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  • EQ = ‘Intelligence’ + ‘Emotion’

    An AI drawing of “Emotional Intelligence”

    In today’s world, we often hear about the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace and personal relationships. But what exactly is emotional intelligence, and how does it apply to parenting, especially when it comes to raising teenagers? 

    The Roots of Emotional Intelligence

    The concept of emotional intelligence has a rich history that dates back over a century. It all began with the term ‘Social Intelligence,’ which emerged in 1909 when educational philosopher John Dewey defined it as “the power of observing and comprehending social situations.” However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the term “emotional intelligence” made its debut, thanks to Michael Beldoch’s research paper in 1964. 

    The pivotal moment in the history of emotional intelligence came in 1990 when John Mayer and Peter Salovey described a set of abilities rather than traits, discussing emotional intelligence in terms of four branches:

    • Perception, identification, appraisal, and expression of emotion.
    • Using emotion to facilitate thinking.
    • Understanding and comprehending emotions.
    • Reflective regulation and management of emotion.

    Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,” introduced a framework based on Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management. Goleman’s work catapulted emotional intelligence into the mainstream, highlighting its practical applications.

    Emotional & Social Intelligence: A Holistic Concept

    As the concept of emotional intelligence evolved, it merged with social intelligence, creating the parent concept known as Emotional & Social Intelligence (ESI). ESI can be summarized as ‘the science of managing self and connecting with others.’ It encompasses three key components:

    • Awareness: Understanding one’s own emotions.
    • Attunement: Observing and interpreting others’ emotions for empathy.
    • Adaptability: Choosing constructive responses based on awareness and attunement.
    • Awareness and attunement together constitute emotional intelligence, while attunement and adaptability form social intelligence. Together, they give rise to Emotional & Social Intelligence.

    Why Emotional & Social Intelligence Matters for Parents of Teens

    Adolescence is a time of emotional upheaval and self-discovery for your children. As parents, your ability to understand and manage your emotions, empathize with your teenagers, and adapt your responses can make a world of difference.

    Emotional & Social Intelligence equips parents with the tools to navigate this complex phase effectively. By fostering self-awareness, you can model emotional intelligence for your teens, helping them develop this crucial skill for a successful future. Moreover, understanding your teenagers’ emotions, and adapting your parenting style accordingly, can improve communication and strengthen your relationship.

    As parents of teenagers, embracing Emotional & Social Intelligence can empower you to connect with your adolescents on a deeper level and guide them through the challenging journey of self-discovery. Remember, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed and nurtured, benefiting both you and your children.