Emotional Intelligence or EQ is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and it is a key life skill. What if you couldn’t read your boss’ body language and facial expressions? What if you lacked the ability to control your emotions or the way your face and body communicated with others? EQ is so important, kindergarten teachers say “EQ skills are more important to school success than the ability to read or hold a pencil” (The Smart Moms Guide to Emotional Intelligence).
How do we help kids develop emotional intelligence?
A great first step is to teach children to identify emotions in others. What does angry look like? What does hurt look like? This new free printable empathy worksheet is a great place to start. The worksheet presents different situations with very expressive faces portraying a range of emotions. Have children identify the emotions and even practice making expressions and body positions to mimic them. (Update: Check out the new Empathy Lesson Plan with step by step instructions on using this worksheet as well as the “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” empathy worksheet.)
Start teaching EQ and empathy when they are young
More and more we are learning that it’s not just test scores that make successful students, or successful careers. Emotional intelligence is linked to better test scores, but also to less disruptive behavior, better friendships, avoiding risky behaviors, improving health, and more. (School Family Blog) So start teaching EQ and empathy when kids are young, and you’ll have a lot easier time when they are teens and adults.
More resources to teach empathy and emotional intelligence
Find more free printable worksheets, lessons plans and PowerPoints to teach empathy and EQ: