Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, use, manage and channelize our emotions. Just as a high intelligent quotient can predict top test scores, a high emotional intelligence can predict success in social and emotional situations.
Needs for Emotional Intelligence during adolescence
Emotional intelligence is much needed during the period of human growth that occurs between childhood and adulthood. During the period of adolescence age, there are some psychological (emotional) characteristics that tend to possess every individual at this growth level. The foreknowledge of these emotional changes will help an average adolescence to cope and manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results
Recognizing your feelings and acknowledging them with self and care-givers, is the first step to be Emotionally adult.
Developing emotional intelligence is the responsibility of the parents, guidance or foster parents but it’s quite unfortunate as parents do not invest much effort in the development of emotional intelligence of their children. Emotional intelligence is more learnable.
As babies we experience feelings and emotions already. From as early as 6 months or even early subconsciously we build up a memory bank based on experiences, mostly from parents. Later in life they are what we termed our beliefs, a product based on what we hear, see, experience, feel.
Each time we find ourselves in a similar situation or experience the same impulse, this memory bank kicks in - our experience is thus filtered. If we have learned awareness of our emotions and skills to control them (not deny them) we react with responsibility. If not, we are victims of our emotions.
Also during adolescence, the thinking horizon of a child becomes widening and his/her sense of decision making becomes flexible and adaptive that he /she decides so sharply on anything of interest to him/her and gets irritated when being decided for, he/she sees things from a wider perspective.
At this age level, thoughts like “I own my life and I choose to do what I like with it” comes radiating in the child’s mind and if the child belongs to an unbalanced home, an indecent peer groups or frivolous friends, the child develops much interest in whatever he/she is exposed to, the child get attracted to: sex urges, intake of alcohol, shoplifting, drug abuse, and love to hangout till late in the night, trying to get whatever he /she wants by all means not minding the cost, smoking of cigarette and bad manners of communication.
Learning is an ongoing process, the more you become sensitive to ‘Self’ – the better you can understand others’ emotions and respect their spaces.
At this point, providing them with the knowledge of what they are going through and how to manage these emotional feelings would be the best idea. So, it is utmost important that the parents ensure that their children have a distinct advantage to understanding emotional intelligence so that by the time they exit school to either enter graduate studies or the work place they would have learnt to control and cope with their emotions and any other changes that evolve during the growth process.
Emotional intelligence is best taught at home as most schools’ curricula do not include much reference to emotional intelligence so, parents/guidance or foster parents will have to invest in additional programs in this regard.
Emotional intelligence provides the child with six distinct core skills:
Personal Competence: this focus majorly on the child as an individual on his/her interactions with other people. It helps the child to stay aware of the emotions and manage his/her behavior and tendencies.
Self-Awareness: it provides the child with the ability to accurately perceive emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
Self-Management: it helps the child to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.
Social Competence: this refers to the ability of the child to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to respond appropriately and improve the quality of child relationships.
Social Awareness: this refers to the ability of the child to accurately figure out emotions in other people and concisely understand what is really going on.
Relationship Management: helps the child to use awareness of his/her emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.
It is never too late to start learning these skills. Teenagers especially as they are faced with changes during adolescence emotional intelligence helps them to build stronger relationships, make appropriate decisions, and handle difficult situations. One way to think about emotional intelligence is that it's part of being people-smart. Understanding and getting along with people helps us be successful in almost all ramifications of life.
In fact, some studies show that emotional intelligence is way more important than intelligent quotient when it comes to doing well in school or being successful in life.