Enhancing Emotional Intelligence May Be Key to Bullying Prevention

Discover how social and emotional learning can make kids better people

By Sherri Gordon
Published: Dec 30, 2013 10:56 PM GMT / 
Updated: Jan 03, 2014 03:20 PM GMT

I read a really interesting article this month on emotional intelligence, or EQ, as some people call it. In the article, the author lists 14 ways you can determine if you are an emotionally intelligent person including everything from being curious about strangers and knowing when to say no, to trusting your gut and being resilient.

Emotional intelligence is not only the ability to understand and manage our own emotions, but also the ability to understand and respond to the emotions and needs of others as well. At the core of a person’s EQ is empathy and an understanding of other people. Although every person possesses different levels of emotional intelligence, those who become the most effective leaders have a very high EQ.

For this reason, a number of schools have adopted programs that focus on developing and enhancing a person’s EQ. These programs are called social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. And, they are extremely effective in changing school climate and preventing bullying.

Through SEL programs young people learn how to interact with one another in positive ways, deal with anger and solve programs. And research shows that not only do SEL programs prevent bullying and improve the school’s climate, but they also improve academic performance. For instance, students with SEL programs at their schools scored 11 percentage points higher on standardized tests.

But there is more to social and emotional learning than preventing bullying and improving standardized test scores. These programs help kids become better people and better leaders. It’s about changing their way of interacting with the world around them so that emerge as better people.

If you are interested in finding out how you can impact your child’s emotional intelligence, check out 6 Ways Parents Can Encourage Emotional Learning and Prevent Bullying. You also might find 8 Strategies for Increasing the Emotional Intelligence of Students useful.

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Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.

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