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SI and EQ of kids SI and EQ of kids
by Dr Elsa Lycias Joel
2020-11-12 09:02:13
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As much as good health is important for life so is social and emotional intelligence and parents seem to understand it best during these times. Many develop a high SI (Social Intelligence)  from getting out and interacting with others and the traits of SI are empathy, respect, behaviour and self-efficacy. Emotional quotient ( EQ) and SI is a skill set that's been getting a lot of buzz with experts and educators helping parents know that it matters more than a child's IQ-Intelligence quotient. According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, IQ makes up only 20 percent of the factors that determine life success while SI and EQ make up the balance. By SI, I mean the ins and outs of socializing. Without a doubt emotional intelligence in kids plays a vital role in sculpting them into the individual they will grow up to be and  it's been known that children with high EQs earn better grades in school, make good choices and better leaders.

ci001_400Today, people and places have transformed and so have ideas and practices.  COVID-19 brought about a paradigm shift in the teaching-learning process and shift to online classes was inevitable which in turn curtailed children's opportunity to play various roles within a social environment and communicate with people from all walks of life. Classrooms that offered a space to understand others, make real time friends and handle new situations are no longer available, can't be made available. To be able to get along with someone very different, to share and to be a responsible friend, classmate or citizen is easily possible in a tangible environment. As parents and teachers, when we all do our parts to make learning accessible and engaging, we must remember that regulating our own emotions and being that model for our kids is the part we must play best. Being part of zoom calls and socializing over them look nice and easy but there exists that gap.

The good news? IQ can be developed through online classes and EQ can be nurtured at home. Not by dismissing, disapproving or Laissez-faire parents but by an emotion coaching one. Children who are emotionally coached are physically healthier, will do better in schools once they reopen and get along better with classmates. In Dr. Gottman's opinion,  parents who are aware of their child’s emotions see them as an opportunity for connecting with the kid and teaching by listening and validating the feelings. Every child isn't the same and so are our patience levels. Yet, let's remember, patience is a virtue. To name a child's emotion and to help a child solve problems may either take a great deal of time or happen quickly.

Love it or hate it, we are forced to stay put and that leaves us with ample time. Can we harness the specific at-home situation to create new socialization options! Or set safe play-dates in outdoor settings to let kids socialize together! If nothing, how about spending time listening and telling stories and thus nurture their EQ and SI! Children understand the social world through storytelling. They relate to situations, think in unique patterns to find solutions. In the present situation, if stories can't help kids contexualize situations what else can? For instance, let's make our own stories about kids who have been orphaned, those left with no opportunities to learn and many who starve to death and see how our kids react. Do not let them dwell on their loneliness,  instead,  provoke them to find ways to be of good to the society in their own small ways. Encourage them to make small donations, or raise funds or create videos, educative or entertaining. Unless parents pitch in, kids of today might end up as emotional wrecks or recluses. Outdoing academics can wait!

For the time being, let's ignore the fact that computer-mediated communities and learning do not foster substantive and genuine personal relationship or help legitimate social bonding and do everything possible to help children control anxiety, overcome loneliness  and  fight depression if any. This pandemic has left us with no choice but to handle anxieties risen over the development of on-line learning environments, wonder if this will continue to persist post-pandemic and how such a shift would impact the lives of children. Doing everything online, from reading to shopping, celebrating births to mourning deaths may be frustrating for kids but adults must learn to stay calm, practice empathy as and when we can, thereby set an example for kids. At the end of everyday, no matter what, let's say a prayer of gratitude loud enough for the heavens to hear, even for technology that allows us to be connected in spite of social distancing and lockdowns and anything that affects our day-to-day life as little as possible so that our whole household will learn to manage the situation better.

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