How to increase a child's emotional intelligence

October 17, 2021

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is as vital as any other type of learning and is central to children’s ability to interact and form relationships with others and navigate their world successfully. Young children’s understanding of and ability to regulate their emotion has been shown to be clearly linked with early academic success (Leerkes et al. 2008; National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2004).

Research has identified five skills that can be taught to increase emotional intelligence. Together the skills form the acronym RULEr (Rivers, 2014):

  • Recognizing emotions in themself and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labeling (naming) emotions properly
  • Expressing emotions in ways that are appropriate for the time, place, and culture
  • Regulating emotions

These are the core social-emotional skills that a child needs to be taught. Children need to be able to self-reflect on their own feelings, observe and respond to the feelings of others, develop an adequate vocabulary to name, express, and discuss feelings, and learn what sort of calm-down (self-regulation) strategies work for them.

The good thing is that Earlybird can help you do all of that, and more. We have a variety of playful ways to teach your child how to identify and name emotions. We also have a variety of self-regulation tools and resources to help teach your child evidence-based approaches to managing their own feelings. These include a variety of social stories, which are short, personalized stories that teach children abstract concepts like why we listen, how to move through feelings when we get hurt, how to manage transitions from one activity to another, that grownups always come back after school or childcare drop off or to look for the "yes" in every "no".

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