Importance of teaching emotional intelligence in school

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The term emotional intelligence came onto the scene in 1990, with Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer having understood its significance, with some arguing that it is just as important as or more so than IQ. Also referred to as EQ, it speaks of one’s ability to be aware of, controls their emotions and equally handles interpersonal relationships in a manner that is and empathetic.

How that looks like in a person’s life takes various forms, but overall it has the makings of a peaceful life with self and others. Studies have shown that those with lower EQ tend to have lower levels of life satisfaction as opposed to those who developed it. Some are lucky enough to grow up with parents that, consciously or subconsciously, teach it and turn out to be well-rounded adults. Others are not so lucky, but for this category of people, there are tools and resources available to help them develop EQ to become like those who have it.

One aspect we can all perhaps agree on is that it is better for a child to learn these skills earlier on in life. Once they develop relevant skills, their decision-making processes will set them up to be successful adults. Given all the trouble we seen among children and teens, both in school and in the division of child support, we can all agree that the earlier is indeed, the better.

Some schools have social-emotional learning courses in places to educate children with various life skills. There are how they can know and understand what they are feeling, what to do about them, embracing empathy as a gateway to healthy relationships and finally being better decision makers. Once equipped, research shows that students tend to fair on better in the educational system than before the program. There are equally fewer cases of behavioral problems with and among students.

Undertaking these programs means that a person has a higher chance to excel in life as compared to those who did not. Even without learning EQ, there are plenty of researchers who, upon tracking the lives of several hundred men for a few decades, showed that those who had higher EQ levels were doing far much better in life than their counters despite having the same IQ.

Here, when we talk about doing better in life, we mean that they tend to have less personal and social problems. Persons are more likely to graduate from college, not engage in drugs and substance abuse and have other behavioral issues. They tend to have fewer run-ins with the authorities and even less likely to become diagnosed with a mental illness. With these current statistics and more coming out annually, it is imperative that the educational system should prioritize EQ if learning should have the required impact.