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6 Ways To Build A Child's Emotional Intelligence

Written by: Karen Cruise, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Karen Cruise

Emotional intelligence is an essential life skill that can be developed at every age. What's more, emotional intelligence can be hugely important in future success too.

A kid with glasses.

Studies have shown that children with high emotional intelligence perform better at school, achieve higher grades, make healthier choices and are more collaborative in the classroom. Later in life, high emotional intelligence can be a factor in career success, relationships, and quality of life. While school's out for summer, it can be a great time to develop this skill and secretly prepare your child for the new school year.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage one's own emotions, as well as to empathise and communicate effectively with others. EI is an important skill for children to develop, as it can help them cope with stress, build positive relationships, and achieve their goals.

6 fun ways to develop a child's emotional intelligence

1. Play charades

This is a game where one person acts out an emotion without using words, and the others have to guess what it is. This can help children learn to recognise and label different emotions, as well as to express them in appropriate ways.

2. Create an emotion wheel

An emotional wheel is a valuable tool to help people identify their emotions, particularly when they're overwhelmed. Here's a good example, but children may want a more simplified version. Alternatively, they may want to make collages of different emotions using the emotion wheel. This can help to improve their emotional vocabulary and see the differences in a diversity of emotions.

3. Watch films with feelings

Reading books and movie nights can be a great way to help children explore emotions. Can children identify with characters and how they feel in certain situations? Would they feel and react in a similar way if it was them? Movie nights and story time can be a great way to discuss handling different emotions and different reactions.

4. Create playlists

Different feelings can come from different songs, and sometimes we need a certain type of music at different times. Building playlists with kids is a great way to tune into their own emotions and what they need at the moment. Creating emotion playlists can help with their auditory skills, creativity, and mood regulation. For example, they might want a playlist before the sports club to energise them or a relaxed playlist for when they're tired.

5. Role-playing

This activity involves pretending to be someone else, such as a character from a story, a superhero, or a friend. Role-playing can help children explore different emotions, perspectives, and situations and learn how to express themselves appropriately. It can also boost their creativity and imagination.

6. Daily gratitude

Daily gratitude is a powerful activity for people of all ages to help develop a positive attitude. Around the dinner table, this can be a great family activity when you say three things you are grateful for each day and how they make you feel. For example, I am grateful for scoring a goal at football training today, and I feel a sense of achievement.

With these six activities, there are many ways to explore and develop emotional intelligence, and these can be great activities to try over the summer break! If you need any help with this please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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Karen Cruise Brainz Magazine

Karen Cruise, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Karen Cruise is an expert in life coaching for children and young people. She was written off at school and left with no qualifications. Despite this, she had a successful corporate career as a senior leader, passed her GCSE's aged 52, achieved a university degree and is the founder and CEO of a successful, award-winning social enterprise, Flourished Minds. Her company focuses on supporting young people to excel; improving their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief and helping them to realise their fullest potential. Her mission: To help every child to tap into their wonderful uniqueness.



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