What is the best way to support your child’s development?
For many years, knowledge was considered to be the ultimate factor for success in life. Many parents and educators still pump knowledge into kids’ brains, in hope this will bring kids to the desired achievements.
While in the past, knowledge was something not all people could have, nowadays it is much more accessible. Unfortunately, knowledge is not the thing that will give kids the edge to succeed.
For a long time, the Intellectual Quotient (IQ) was considered the best predictor of people’s success in school or in life. When Howard Gardner came up with his Multiple Intelligences theory, other predictors emerged. The Emotional Quotient (EQ), measuring Emotional Intelligence, was one of them.
The EQ came to people’s attention when Daniel Goleman and his Book “Emotional Intelligence” become famous. EQ in a nutshell is a person’s abilities to:
- Recognise their own feelings
- Control their own feelings
- Recognise the feelings of others
- Help and support others with their feelings
Getting these skills to high level was found to have better correlation with success in life than high grades at any stage of schooling or any intelligence or academic aptitude test.
Children with a high EQ can handle their feelings very well and possess a better attitude towards life.
In my work on the “Garden of Eden” program, I worked with children aged 1-5 and examined the possibility that 100% of the curriculum will be dedicated to building emotional intelligence, rather than to transferring knowledge.
Well, as you might suspect, I found out that academic achievements are typical “side effects” of strong EQ, but not vice versa. If you work with children on their emotional strength and attitude towards learning and life, they seem to be picking up knowledge from the molecules in the air. I say “molecules in the air” because they were with me most of the time and I did not teach them that knowledge, yet all of them picked up the same knowledge from the walls, the conversations, the books and the stimulations that were just there, waiting to be noticed.
Developing children’s emotional intelligence is like giving them another set of glasses to notice things they cannot notice otherwise because they are preoccupied with their emotions, such as fear or “the disease to please” the adults in their life.
Many of the conflicts between parents and children are over the parents’ desire to give the kids knowledge, believing this is the key to success and a happy life, where in fact it has been proven again and again that top scores at school do not necessarily translate into social, personal or financial success in life.
When you face a conflict with your kids, whether they are young or teens, and you have any doubt, choose attitude over knowledge.