If you’re interested in self-development, psychology, or therapy, chances are that you’ve encountered the term “emotional intelligence” somewhere. Recently, this concept has become popular. A common factor we know about emotional intelligence is that it is great for empathizing with others and having satisfying interpersonal relationships.
But did you know that emotional intelligence can also help children succeed in their lives? The link between emotional intelligence (EQ) and success might be hard to understand at first glance. However, it turns out that EQ is four times more powerful than IQ (intelligence quotient) at predicting if a person will succeed in their field.
Most importantly, studies show that therapy can help your children by improving their chances to succeed in later life by increasing emotional intelligence.
Let’s explore how EQ is related to children’s success in life and how therapy can help them boost their potential.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), emotional intelligence, or EQ, can be defined as “the ability to process emotional information and use it in reasoning and other cognitive activities.” It’s a concept in positive psychology introduced by psychologist Daniel Goleman in 1995 in his best-selling book, “Emotional Intelligence.”
The author defines EQ as recognizing our own emotions, controlling our feelings, and understanding how others feel. All this helps people to build satisfying interpersonal relationships and succeed in life.
In simple words, emotional intelligence is how we identify, experience, and process our emotions while paying attention. As studies show, EQ contributes to improved cognitive functioning over time, and therefore, it can oftentimes predict academic or professional success (Romanelli et al., 2006). This means that children with high emotional intelligence have greater chances of succeeding in life as they have a better ability to regulate their emotions, are more adept at socialization, and understand how to function flexibly and effectively on a daily basis.
Besides, emotional intelligence can help people understand and recognize others’ emotions which is also essential to success. In fact, social competence is a significant predictor of future success (Jurkowski & Hanze, 2015), meaning that it can affect children’s academic performance and career achievements in later life.
How Does EQ Help Children Succeed?
As we already pointed out, many studies have been conducted recently that show the significant connection between emotional intelligence and success (e.g., Suleman et al., 2019). Furthermore, a 2020 meta-analysis published in Frontiers of Psychology showed that emotional intelligence plays an important role in determining academic performance in secondary education (Sanchez-Alvarez et al., 2020).
This means that even if your child doesn’t have high scores on emotional intelligence right now, working on these skills can create better results over time. But how does an emotional quotient score correlate to children’s success? Why do emotional skills have so much impact on whether or not someone can achieve success and live a fulfilling life?
Having a high emotional quotient score would indicate high emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can help children succeed. With greater emotional intelligence, your child can more readily solve challenges in their social lives, communicate effectively with others, reach decisions with critical thinking, and recognize their own or others’ emotions. All of the aforementioned skills are related to success in both a child’s personal and academic life.
As a matter of fact, making clear-headed decisions and understanding how to maintain a steady relationship with people that work in the field you’re interested in can positively impact one’s chances of achievement. Emotional intelligence is a mediator between those skills and the ability to function efficiently in the modern, fast-paced, and often chaotic world.
Research indicates that 80% of your child’s success depends on their emotional intelligence. In fact, having high emotional intelligence has become a job requirement in some industries, which, in turn, is related to success in various careers. But unfortunately, most school teachers are overwhelmed and do not have the time to help children develop emotional intelligence in the classroom. As a result, many children fail to master emotional intelligence skills through school alone.
That’s why it’s important for parents to understand methods of developing and improving emotional intelligence in children. For many parents, turning to counseling for children and teens is one of the best ways to increase the emotional intelligence of their child.
How Can Therapy Take Part in Developing EQ in Children?
If you’re trying to help your child improve their emotional intelligence, receiving therapy from professional counselors might be the most efficient way. One of the purposes of children attending therapy is for counselors to help them recognize and understand their own emotions. Talking about, discovering, and understanding our own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors is an integral part of counseling. And as studies show, self-reflection is a great way to boost emotional intelligence and become more mindful of our emotions and how we behave (Perkins & Schmid, 2019).
It can be difficult for kids to notice what they feel and give particular names to their emotions. However, working with a counselor who is creative helps children learn to calm themselves and begin to understand and work with emotions, such as anger or sadness. Identifying emotions and working with them is one of the most critical parts of every type of counseling, especially children’s counseling.
Counseling for children and teens at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids includes working on issues such as lack of self-awareness, difficulties regulating emotions, and problems in interpersonal relationships. Our qualified therapists will teach your child how to become more aware of their own and others’ feelings and how to change their point of view, such as looking at situations from other people’s perspectives. This process, in turn, will help most children become more empathetic, aids in boosting emotional intelligence, and can lead to success in academics.
Here are some of the ways that therapy can help your child develop emotional intelligence skills:
- Counselors will help your child improve emotional control, manage impulses, and develop adaptive emotion regulation strategies.
- Working on emotions will increase your child’s self-awareness and help them become more empathetic towards others.
- Releasing negative emotions will develop motivation to achieve their goals and help children turn their energy into self-fulfillment.
- Talking about their emotions will help kids develop social competence and build stronger social networks with their peers.
- Therapists can also utilize family therapy techniques and bring the parents/caregivers into the therapy room to work on emotional intelligence skills with their children.
All in all, it’s true that emotional intelligence can help children succeed in life, while low EQ (Emotional Quotient) scores might pose a threat to academic and future professional achievements. Therefore, if you notice that your child is struggling with expressing their emotions, understanding others’ perspectives or has problems in interpersonal relationships, contact our professional therapists at Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI, and Ada, MI and online (in the State of Michigan).
Licensed counselors who work with children at Health for Life Counseling can not only work with your child to improve emotional intelligence, but they’re also skilled in helping kids deal with stress, anger, grief, sadness, traumatic life events, or self-esteem issues. So, don’t hesitate to contact them in the West Michigan area or talk to them online.