In this world of testing and grades, it's easy to forget that EQ is just as important as IQ. I'm sure you have heard and read the term emotional intelligence, but what does it mean?
Psychologists ascribe four initial characteristics to emotional intelligence. They are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Recently motivation has been added to this list.
Self-awareness is an understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses. Self-management means that I am able to work with my strengths and weaknesses, using the strengths to offset weaknesses. Social awareness means that I understand how people view me. Relationship management is how I interact with other people. Motivation is the wildcard, the one that enables us to work on the four preceding.
It's easy for us as parents to put more emphasis on the quantitative things we see such as grades and test scores. It's unfortunate when we do that to our children, because their success in life is at least as dependent on emotional intelligence as intelligence and education.
Ask yourself this question. Would I rather that my child got straight As but had relationship trouble with classmates, or would I prefer they got Bs and Cs but got along well with everyone? The answer to this question will help you assess your own values.
Like most human qualities, some of us are just naturally better with EQ, but we can all grow in it. To help your child grow, ask questions about how they perceive themselves. Ask about how they treat others. Give those answers a reality check. If they want to talk about how others treat them but not how they treat others, dig deeper. Help correct misperceptions and advise with ways to handle situations better.
At Epiphany we work on the relationships among students and on a student's realistic perception of self. The importance of a well-rounded education is why we promote the tag line - educating the whole child - mind, body, spirit.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal