“All learning has an emotional base.” – Plato

Emotional intelligence has been defined, by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior”. It addresses two aspects of our psyche. First, it includes our ability to understand and manage our emotions. Second, it includes our ability to understand, and in turn influence, the emotions in other people. 

Today, many professionals and scholars are making an argument that we need to teach emotional intelligence on the same level of importance as we teach the ABCs.

Emotional intelligence can be said to cover five main areas: self-awareness, emotional control, self-motivation, empathy, and relationship skills. Skills such as these developed in our formative years at school often provide the foundation for future habits later on in life.

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Emotional intelligence in children involves:

  • Emotional literacy: Recognizing your feelings and the feelings of others.
  • Managing emotions: Being able to control your emotions effectively.
  • Developing empathy: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
  • Intrinsic motivation: Pushing yourself to meet the goals you have set.



There is a strong correlation between students’ emotional intelligence and their classroom


  • Research has shown that emotionally intelligent children do better in both school and work. Students with higher levels of emotional intelligence can better manage themselves and relate to others around them. This can help them develop improved self-motivation and more effective communication skills—essential skills in helping students become more confident learners. 
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  • Students with lower emotional intelligence tend to struggle to communicate their feelings with their peers, and this can result in struggling to form friendships with classmates or even relationships with adults. Aggression is a common issue with students with low emotional intelligence because they don’t have the skills they need to communicate or manage their emotions appropriately. 
  • Some expect children to learn aspects of emotional intelligence implicitly from family and by community activities. These aspects include self-expression of emotions, conflict management, and empathy. Self-expression is a person’s ability to communicate how he or she feels in any given situation. Conflict management refers to our ability to discuss our issues with another person calmly and work together to resolve the issue. Empathy refers to our ability to understand the emotions of those around us.
children and young people

Improving emotional intelligence in children can help them:

  • Improve self-awareness
  • Manage stress
  • Boost self-motivation
  • Build empathy
  • Make good decisions
  • Communicate effectively
  • Develop relationships

How to build Emotional intelligence in your child?

  • Stop and identify emotions

Talk about what your child is feeling and help him or her name the emotion (anger, happiness, sadness, frustration). Ask how a situation has made him or her feel and why. Help your child overcome a negative feeling by talking to him or her about it.

  • Empathize with your child

It is important to let your child know that you understand what he or she is feeling.

  • Teach problem-solving

Help your child reflect on his or her emotions to identify what makes him or her feel a certain way. Find solutions to any challenges together.

  • Lead by example

Communicate better with your child. Opening up about your feelings, the reasons behind those feelings, and how you deal with it will help bridge gaps between you and your child.

“When awareness is brought to an emotion, power is brought to your life.” – Tara Meyer Robson

Often we assume that emotional intelligence is innate in people or we develop it naturally by casual interactions with others throughout childhood. For many children, however, this is simply not the case. Therefore, they need to be taught explicitly through classroom instruction, modeling, and even role-playing.


  1. India Today
  2. Times Now

Written by:- Taniya Arora

She is pursuing BBA from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.She is an enthusiastic learner and an ardent researcher. 

Edited by:- Shweta, Team SciComm