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Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

Mrs Sonia Nguyen-Delestree
Mrs Sonia Nguyen-Delestree (3 posts) Lower Primary Coordinator and Year 2 Teacher Ver Perfil

“An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings.” -- Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind (1983)

Until the 1980s, intelligence was mostly recognised and talked about based on IQ tests which took very little into account other than results of a timed and standardized test. But this method to measure intelligence has since come under a lot of scrutiny and criticism.


Two of the more famous theorists who have criticized traditional views of IQ are Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman. Howard Garder revolutionized the educational and psychological world when he wrote about this theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. 


Gardner theorizes that people do not have just one, fixed, intellectual capacity, but have many kinds of intelligence, including musical, interpersonal, spatial-visual, intrapersonal and linguistic intelligences. These should all be taken into account when assessing someone’s abilities and talents. They also go hand in hand with a Growth Mindset and can be developed over time.



Then in 1995, Goleman published a book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”  in which he popularized the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ that had already started coming up in educational circles since the early 90s.

In his book, Goleman explains that emotional intelligence is made up of four components: self awareness, social awareness, self management and relationship management. Advocates of emotional intelligence believe that a combination of emotional intelligence and Gardner’s multiple intelligences are a strong predictor of successful leadership.


One could argue that emotional intelligence is implicitly present in Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences through his description of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. These two types of intelligence may be considered as forms of emotional intelligence and are defined as follows:


Interpersonal Intelligence – Detecting and responding to others' moods, motivations, desires. Intrapersonal Intelligence – Being self-aware and attuned with values, beliefs, and thinking.


Understanding and managing our emotions and those of others can lead us to being more successful in both our personal and professional lives by helping us solve conflicts and by improving our relationships with others. In a world where flexibility and adaptability are increasingly essential skills for our children to develop, having a strong sense and acceptance of those different types of intelligence has become vital for parents and educators alike.


If you’d like to discuss Emotional Intelligence in more detail, please join our Parent Workshop on Tuesday, May 10th at 9am!