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How to educate the emotions of children, in 3 keys (and benefits)

How to educate the emotions of children, in 3 keys (and benefits)

June 17, 2024

Emotional intelligence is one of those forgotten concepts that are missing when we review how we are educating our children. This concept, developed by psychologists such as Daniel Goleman, contemplates the emotional and introspective aspect as an area of ​​special interest when children grow up with good psychological and relational health.

But nevertheless, in a few families and educational institutions, enough effort is devoted to educating the emotions of children . Whether due to lack of time, scarce resources or an educational scheme stagnant in the past, emotions have been underestimated and our children grow up without certain educational guidelines that help them improve self-control, self-esteem, assertiveness or the way of relating. and communicate with other people.


How to educate the emotions? Several psychological keys

Over the past few decades, more and more parents and schools have become aware of the vital importance of the emotional state of children in their academic performance and happiness.

So, What psychological and educational keys can we use to improve the emotional state of children? We review them below.

1. Value the process and not so much the result

Sometimes adults are too focused on the performance of our children: what grades they get on their exams, what their IQ level is, how they compare with other classmates ... This attitude makes them dependent on the resultant praise, and transmits a totally wrong message: the value of the activity they perform depends on whether they are able to solve it correctly .


In the case of advantaged children and those who are good at solving problems (who are not necessarily the most intelligent or those who will have a more promising future), they are positively reinforced by their achievement, but the process is rarely valued. have been carried out to achieve that result. In this way, they are also taught that the enjoyment of activity is totally secondary, since the important thing is that they have been able to solve the problem. As we see, it is not a good strategy.


In addition, in children with a divergent type of thinking and / or those who find it more difficult to solve problems, they are also taught that they are not able to reach a satisfactory conclusion, which may result in the Pygmalion Effect. The importance of enjoying the thought process and the task is not transmitted to them either, since the only important thing is to achieve an objectively correct result.


To avoid this result scheme, it is important to emphasize the thought process, the motivation of the student to fit the pieces of the puzzle, and give the necessary attention and feedback (not excessive) so that he himself will discover the path that leads to the correct result.


2. Perform emotional introspection games

Something as simple as playing guess and defining the emotions of other people can help children recognize, identify and reflect on anger, anger, guilt, shame, joy ...

There are different activities and games that pursue this purpose in one way or another . As parents (or teachers), we can build on these games to ask the children how they felt such emotions, how they felt exactly, what caused them, how they went back to normal, etc.

3. Relaxation

Relaxation allows children to momentarily disconnect from the host of stimuli they receive and reconnect with their breathing, their body, their muscles, their heartbeats ... It is a technique that, when well used, brings great cognitive, emotional and behavioral benefits .


In fact, in many schools they are already implementing some relaxation sessions. These sessions have great benefits, as reported by this study from the University of Valladolid led by Beatriz Peón.


What are the benefits of emotional education?

Emotional learning involves a series of benefits for our children and students. It gives them certain psychological tools to build a vision of their life, of themselves and their environment much more positive. It also helps them manage their fears and conflicts.

Children who develop good emotional intelligence are able to:

  • Increase your resilience, that is, recover before the obstacles and bad feelings you feel at a certain time.

  • Have an optimistic but moderate view of its possibilities.

  • Be more proactive, getting more involved in their tasks and developing new interests.


  • Express their emotions in such a way that they are better able to face relational and personal challenges.

  • Encourage good self-esteem and self-confidence.

  • Be more cooperative and better manage conflicts and group demands.


Why We Need to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Our Kids l SuperSoul Sunday l Oprah Winfrey Network (June 2024).


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