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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Ripley-Evans

Fostering EQ

We all hear about emotional intelligence all the time, we read articles and books about it and we talk to our children about it, but what does it actually all mean? Emotional Intelligence or EQ refers to a person's ability to identify emotions that they experience, as well as being able to identify the emotions of others. In addition to being able to identify the emotions, an individual with a well developed EQ will also be able to effectively manage their own emotions. Similarly, they will also be able to recognise and appropriately respond to the emotions of others, and display empathy for them.

Why do we need EQ

Emotional Intelligence seems to have gained additional attention in the recent years as it is highlighted as one of the critical skills that individuals will require as we venture into the 4th Industrial Revolution. EQ is listed among other skills such as; Complex Problem Solving; Critical Thinking; Creativity; People Management; Judgement and Decision Making; Service Orientation; Negotiation and Cognitive Flexibility.

It is important to bear in mind that EQ (and all the skills identified above) are, and should be, regarded as critical skills irrespective of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Reflecting on the list of skills, we can understand how each of these will be beneficial to all of us on a daily basis.

Developing EQ

Some parents begin to feel quite overwhelmed at the thought of having to teach their children about emotions. Often this is due to them not having trained their “EQ Muscles”, but this is ok. There are many ways that we can explore the realm of emotions with our children in relatively unthreatening ways. Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful.


The world we live is a complicated minefield of relationships. Having the necessary social-emotional skills to help us to navigate our way through life, connect with others, and build lifelong relationships is critical. As such, as a parent it is so important to teach our children to identify, express, and to manage their emotions in a healthy way. But, in order to teach our children, we first need to be able to identify and regulate our own emotions.

Emotional Wheel


Reading stories aloud to our children offers numerous learning opportunities, in particular with regard to identifying and understanding emotions in others. Turn your reading into a conversation where you ask questions and probe gently for some engagement. Let your children use their creativity and explain their own predictions for what might happen. Don’t rush the reading, and allow time to comfortably consider the characters emotions and responses, the conflicts, resolutions and the consequences. Help make the story more relatable by sharing your own experiences or linking it to things more relevant to your child's present situation. Additionally, you can also make use of movies as a means of engaging in this type of conversation. The movie Inside Out