Emotional intelligence or EQ is the new buzz word around town. Corporate giants like Amazon & Google are now hiring people more based on their EQ rather than IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Researchers at Harvard have documented that people with high EQ are far more successful in all aspects of life than those with only a high IQ.
What Is EQ?
It is the ability to recognize, manage, and use our emotions in a way that we make better decisions. We learn to respond rather than react, to take that pause when required, to empathize, to work collaboratively towards the greater good.
EQ activities for young kids:
Make a Face Game: Tell your child – “I’m going to make a face. Guess what I am feeling by looking at my face.” Once your child gets a hang of this, ask your child to make a face. Now you try guessing the feeling using feeling vocabulary.
Emotion Eggs – Take plastic eggs and draw different facial expressions on each egg. Use role-play and ask your child how each egg is feeling. You can also copy the expression of the egg and show your child.
Create Emotion Cards: Use pictures, newspapers, magazines to cut out faces expressing different emotions. Put these cards face down. Pick up any one card. Ask your child to tell you how that person is feeling. If your child is older than 4 yrs old then you can also ask him to guess the situation that person might be going through. Ask your 4 yr old to think of a time he also felt that emotion.
Play-doh – Use play-doh to create faces with different emotions. It’s a great motor activity and will get their minds thinking too.
Create Masks Using Paper Plates – Use paper plates to show different emotions. Put on a mask and ask your child what emotion that mask is feeling and when does he feel like that? E.g. sad, mad, scared, glad, embarrassed. It’s a fun way to show them different expressions and a cool DIY activity as well.
Make Your Own Feeling Pillows: Take plain white pillow covers and paint different faces on them showing basic feelings like – Happy. Angry. Sad. Scared. Now do role-play and ask your child to become one of those emotions and express himself.
Storytelling – Stories are one of the best ways of understanding emotions. While reading your bedtime story, stop intermittently and ask your child how the character might be feeling right now. What do you think he will do now? Tell him a story from your life where you have experienced a similar feeling and how you dealt with it.
These simple activities are a great way of boosting your child’s emotional intelligence and give you a way to bond with your kids over some fun!