Dear Aidan Community,
Part of my meaningful work as Aidan's school counselor involves promoting a deeper understanding of emotional intelligence and how it is incorporated not only in the classrooms, but in your homes. According to John Gottman, esteemed psychologist and family therapist; "Emotional Intelligence means being able to: identify and understand your own emotions, understand and empathize with another person's feelings, and respond to emotions with appropriate behaviors in a cooperative, functional, and empathetic manner. To be emotionally intelligent requires knowing who you are, your own feelings, and your own needs. It also means being able to compromise your needs in complex social situations."
A key component of emotional intelligence involves emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to understand feelings and manage them. More specifically, emotional regulation is a complex process that involves initiating, inhibiting and modulating one's mental state and behavior in response to an external or internal stimulus. Being able to regulate emotions involves necessary skills that children must master to negotiate their day-to-day lives. The regulation of emotion comes only through the understanding of emotions, not by suppressing them. One of our most important jobs as parents and as educators is to give our children the skills they need to be emotionally intelligent. These abilities are not inherited; they are learned.
In the classroom, we support students' ability to regulate their emotions by teaching them to first recognize and understand their emotions. The next step involves teaching students to correctly label and express their emotions by deepening their emotional vocabulary. On the parent side, we have started our winter session of Nurturing Your Child's Emotional Health workshop that teaches parents to "emotion coach". Emotion coaching gives parents the chance to recognize your child's expression of emotion as an opportunity for connection and to respond to your child's emotions with empathy and understanding while setting limits on negative behaviors.
If you didn't sign up for the workshop, stay tuned for upcoming parent workshops designed to help families support emotional growth at home.
Jessica Kwerel, LPC, NCC