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What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Does Your Child Need It?

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

You may have heard how important emotional intelligence is for students as they navigate school, but what is emotional intelligence? Simply put, it involves the ability to understand one’s own feelings as well as the emotions of others. Children and teens with high emotional intelligence tend to be more mature and responsible. Here are some of the other reasons children need emotional intelligence:

To be able to relate to their peers better. The ability to understand, communicate and work with others effectively will benefit children tremendously.

To learn to read social situations. Knowing how to read social cues and body language is a life skill many of us take for granted. Children who are more emotionally intelligent are adept at reacting and responding to others in different scenarios.

To foster responsible decision-making. With emotional intelligence comes the ability to make decisions thoughtfully and learn from those decisions by weighing consequences and how different actions can impact different people.

To become more skilled at tackling problems. When people are emotionally intelligent, they have greater empathy for others’ perspectives and can more easily resolve conflicts. They’re also able to solve problems methodically and thoroughly.

To build leadership competencies. The world needs great leaders and emotional intelligence is an essential trait of a great leader. These individuals are good at building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. They listen well and know how to make others comfortable enough to share their ideas and input. Because they are skilled at relating to people, they are also good at building teams and motivating others.

So, how can you work on raising an emotionally intelligent child? Here are several tips:

  • Help your child develop his self-awareness. Encourage your child to be more mindful and more willing to take note of his emotions, good or bad, and talk and think through those feelings. Invite conversation. Encourage self-reflection.
  • Nurture the development of good friendships. Children should recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships. Teach your child what to expect of all friendships and how to be a respectful, encouraging friend to others.
  • Build your child’s confidence. To cultivate emotional intelligence, help your child become comfortable with who he is and the decisions he makes in life.
  • Help your child think critically. Because emotional intelligence is all about recognizing one’s emotions and reactions and those of others, it also requires trusting one’s feelings and conclusions about different people and situations. Make sure your child feels empowered to use his perspectives to make decisions.
  • Teach self-regard for strengths and weaknesses. There’s great value in acceptance. Teach your child to be realistic about who he is and confident enough to believe he can improve on those weaker areas.

It’s a fact: students who possess emotional intelligence often outperform their peers. Teach your child to develop his and you will set him up for success in all aspects of life.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit


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