Why do some of my students make poor behavioural choices?
Emotional Intelligence is like freshly-squeezed orange juice! When you squeeze an orange, you would expect orange juice to flow out of it. You would not expect to find grape juice or peach juice inside an orange because an orange only has orange juice inside it to give.
Human behavioural choices are rooted in what we have inside to give-much like that orange. What we have inside to give is based on how we feel about ourselves as a person. And…. How we feel about ourselves as a person, influences every choice we make!
Every choice that we make defines the path of our lives! Negative behaviours hinge on fear, low self-esteem, self-defeating and destructive self-talk and low self-value. Consider, for a moment, how, nobody, who values and respects themselves would want to hurt, bully, degrade or disrespect others! The very act of self-value and self-respect ensures that they will give the same to others! This is the essence of the importance of teaching and enhancing emotional intelligence skills in our students!
Emotional intelligence encompasses skills in self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Children who master emotional intelligence skills become better leaders, are able to study more effectively, enjoy more fulfilling relationships with others, are better able to retain information, have better concentration skills and live happier more fulfilled lives. Schools who teach emotional intelligence skills have fewer bullying incidences and learning for all is more exciting, creative and effective!
Here are some helpful tips that you can use to help enhance your student’s emotional intelligence skills:
- Communication is essential and connection is key. We need to talk to our students about their emotions and listen sincerely to their answers-without judgement. This will help them become more aware of how they are feeling, and, with your encouragement and guidance, they can find more positive solutions to any number of challenges. Use phrases such as:
“How is your day going?’ “You seem upset- would you like to tell me about it?” “How did that make you feel?” “I hear you…” “I can understand how that must have hurt your feelings…”
- Teach your students to take responsibility for the choices that they have made. Blaming others has no value. We all make mistakes- own them and learn from them. Help your children understand that every choice has a consequence. We are free to make any choice that we want. The consequences, however, will be there no matter what.
- Teach your students to value who they are so that they will value others around them.
- Celebrate growth and progress, no matter how small.
- Children do what we do and not what we say. Walk-your-talk.