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The Big Answer


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Children, Parental Guidance, And Emotional Intelligence

an article by Daniel Goleman

(our site's article review)

Daniel Goleman says “There are hundreds of studies showing that how parents treat their children—whether with harsh discipline or emphatic understanding, with indifference or warmth, and so on—has deep and lasting consequences for the child’s emotional life. Only recently, though, have there been hard data showing that having emotionally intelligent parents is itself an enormous benefit to a child. The way the couple handles the feelings between them—in addition to their direct dealings with a child—impart powerful lessons to their children . . .” These are the words of Daniel Goleman, the originator of the emotional IQ idea.

The most comprehensive guides for people to use in learning how to develop emotional intelligence is P.E.T., which can be applied to relationships as well as parenting, and Winning Family Lifeskills, complemented if necessary by sections of Goleman’s books that deal with how to nurture E.Q., and William V. Pietsch’s book, Human Be-ing.

happy child
Happy child

Emotional Intelligence includes four types of abilities:

  1. Perceiving emotions – the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one's own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible.
  2. Using emotions – the ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand.
  3. Understanding emotions – the ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time.
  4. Managing emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.