As parents, we all want our children to develop well academically and personally. Aside from the development of cognitive skills, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are also necessary for children to thrive in their future lives. One of the critical areas in personal development is emotional intelligence (EQ). However, what can we do when we notice that our child’s EQ is not developing as fast or as effectively as we expect it to?
As a parent of a sixth-grader with low EQ, it’s understandable how challenging it can be to help your child understand and express their emotions fully. However, it’s important to note that through practical interventions, they can improve. This article aims to provide solutions and recommendations for parents to improve their sixth-grader’s EQ through the introduction of books and programs that promote emotional intelligence.
Analyzing the Problem
Low emotional intelligence in children can manifest differently, but it usually involves:
- Difficulty recognizing or understanding one’s emotional state
- Inability to distinguish between different emotions
- Difficulty expressing emotions appropriately
- Tendency to react impulsively to emotions rather than responding in a balanced way
- Lack of empathy for others
In most cases, low EQ in children is a result of inadequate teaching by adults or lack of exposure to an environment that promotes its development. For instance, if parents seldomly talk about emotions or express their feelings, children’s emotional capacity may be limited. Also, parents who tend to ignore their children’s feelings may also contribute to this problem.
Recommendations for Improvement
Helping a child improve their EQ may not be a straightforward process, but it can be achieved through consistent effort. Here are three forms of intervention that can enhance your child’s EQ:
Children often learn by observing and imitating the behaviors of adults around them. This technique is called social learning theory. Therefore, parents should serve as models for their children by demonstrating a broad range of emotions and the appropriate way to express them. Parents should express their emotions openly, teach their children to label their feelings, and respond appropriately to situations.
Books are excellent tools for promoting emotional literacy in children. Children’s literature has several books focused on emotional intelligence and tends to be engaging, relatable, and suitable for different ages. Here are some recommended books for sixth-graders:
- The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
- The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
- R.J. Palacio’s “Wonder” series
- My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
The books mentioned above help children understand their emotions, differentiate between different emotions, and develop empathy for their peers. Parents can read these books to their children and discuss the emotional content to encourage their children to express their feelings.
Enrolling in EQ Programs or Workshops
Several EQ programs, seminars, and workshops aim to improve emotional intelligence in children. These programs help children to build self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills.
The programs may involve role-playing activities, storytelling, games, group therapy, and other forms of experiential learning. Children may learn about self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision-making skills. Parents can research and enroll their children in such programs or workshops to help boost their emotional intelligence.
Low EQ in sixth-graders can be personally and academically limiting. However, parents can help their children improve their EQ through role-modeling, reading books that focus on emotional intelligence, and enrolling their children in EQ programs. By doing so, parents will help their children develop important emotional skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.