Many parents end up focusing more on their child’s academic achievements than they do on their emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence — or “EQ,” as it’s sometimes called — is made up of five components: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills and intrinsic motivation, according to psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, who popularised the concept in his 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.”
Some research has shown that kids with high emotional intelligence tend to be more engaged in school, have better relationships and get better grades. As adults, people with higher emotional intelligence also tend to have higher-quality relationships, improved mental health and more positive feelings about their jobs.
“The great news is that emotional intelligence is not just a ‘gift,’” Michele Borba, educational psychologist and author of “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World,” told HuffPost. “It’s actually a skill, one that can be taught to children, starting when they’re as young as toddlers, though the seeds are planted even earlier in how we relate and respond to our infants.”
Parents who model and encourage emotional intelligence at home can help their kids cultivate these skills, too.
“A child needs an environment where they can feel comfortable expressing their inner worlds,” said child psychologist Dustin Plattner. “Parents get the wonderful job of being curious and ready to allow them space for expression. This sets the stage.”
We asked experts to share the habits of kids with high EQs. Here’s what they said:
1. They use their vocabulary to identify their emotions.
Children with high emotional intelligence are adept at recognising and verbally labelling their emotions beyond just “good” and “bad.”
“For example, ‘I feel sad I cannot hang out with my friends,’ ‘I feel so excited I got a new bike,’ ‘I feel...