Emotional well-being has been on the back burner for some time. A variety of tools and techniques have been used to develop children’s intellectual skills, but social and emotional skills have not received the attention they deserve.
In fact, the concept of emotional intelligence in terms of human intelligence was not established until the end of the 20th century by Daniel Goleman, a doctor in psychology from the University of Harvard. Through his studies, he justifies the essential role played by emotional skills in humans’ intellectual development and shows that they are vital to professional and personal success.
“The control of emotional life and its subordination to a goal is essential to spur and sustain attention, motivation and creativity.”
Goleman defines emotional intelligence as a person’s ability to manage their own and others’ emotions. In this way, thanks to emotional intelligence, humans are capable of tolerating and handling conflictive situations that arise, of being empathetic towards others and, therefore, of having healthy social relationships.
The importance of emotional well-being has grown in recent years, mainly due to the psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially amongst the young. Many schools have increased their efforts to enhance and develop children’s and teenagers’ emotional and social skills. Starting to work on these skills from a young age is beneficial in both the short and long term.
Emotional intelligence is a broad concept, but when we refer to socio-emotional intelligence, we are talking about the mastery of certain emotional management tools that allow us to have good social relationships.
To this end, the most important skills, and therefore the ones that we focus on at centres from the Best Schools in Spain network, are the following:
This is one of the pillars of emotional intelligence and plays a key role in the emotional development of children and youngsters. It involves regulating our emotions and reactions when faced with different situations. It is one of the last skills to be developed and therefore requires special attention during childhood and adolescence. A child’s ability to control their impulses when faced with a desire or their reaction in an uncomfortable situation will be key in developing relationships.
In order to have good self-control, youngsters must be able to identify their own emotions and feelings. To do so, we must help children work on their ability to analyse what they feel and why they feel this way. These tools allow them to better control their reactions and make them less impulsive.
However, merely being aware of what is happening to them is not enough. They must stop to observe and identify what is happening around them and what others are thinking and feeling. They will be able to better respond to others if they have a deeper understanding of them.
Optimism and personal motivation in the face of new challenges or problems have a direct effect on our emotional well-being. An optimistic attitude will help students see more complicated situations as opportunities and, therefore, be able to better handle frustration.
This is a key skill when building relationships with others. Empathy allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes without taking on their feelings and emotions as our own. From this perspective, we are able to give the best response to all questions, understand and provide support in decisions or important situations and, of course, build strong, lasting friendships.
5. Social skills
Humans are social beings by nature. Therefore, mastering these social skills is fundamental for our emotional well-being. Consequently, centres from the Best Schools in Spain network help students develop their ability to interact with others honestly and respectfully through values.
During their teenage years, youngsters finish defining their personality and start to have much more independence in their studies and personal relationships.
Therefore, working on all the above-mentioned factors with them both at school and at home is very important at this time. This will ensure that youngsters have the tools they need and will directly affect their emotional and social well-being.