Cultivating emotional intelligence can help your teen succeed

IQ is not a strong indicator of success but Emotional Intelligence is.

Parenting teenagers is no easy task. Teens seek independence but remain dependent on their caretakers. They seek peer acceptance, sometimes at the cost of self-acceptance. Navigating adolescence can be a confusing, and frustrating time for a family. What skills are necessary, and supportive for a teen to navigate these years with grace and success?  For all family members involved, look no further than emotional intelligence.

The United States education system has a history of focusing on and nurturing students’ intelligence quotient, also known as IQ. However new research is finding emotional intelligence, also known as EI, may be more important than IQ.  According to the PR NewsWire Journal, CareerBuilder surveyed 2,662 hiring managers in 2011 and found 71 percent of them value EI over IQ in their hiring practices. It is clear, for youth to succeed in today’s society Emotional Intelligence is a priority. First, teachers, leaders, and other caring adults must understand the skills of EI in order to be a role model and cultivate these skills in our youth.

According to University of Minnesota Extension, “Emotional Intelligence is based on the idea that there is tremendous value in knowing yourself, recognizing your emotions, and knowing how emotions contribute to interpersonal relationships.” Michigan State University Extension recognizes five key areas to foster emotional intelligence. The Collaborative for Social Emotional Learning highlights five key areas to foster emotional intelligence. These areas in developmental order are:

 Step 1: Self-Awareness

 Step 2: Self-Management

Step 3: Social Awareness

Step 4: Relationship Management

Step 5: Responsible Decision Making

These five steps lay the foundation for learning Social Emotional skills, which in turn improve our Emotional Intelligence levels. For opportunities to learn more about Social Emotional Health and Emotional Intelligence, please reach out to your local Michigan State University Extension office. You can also search the MSU Extension website for related topics and programs to help you on your journey of improving you and your families’ Social Emotional Health and Emotional Intelligence.

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