Research has shown that this skill set can be a strong predictor of success in relationships, health and quality of life. One study even found that children with high emotional intelligence earn better grades, stay in school longer and make healthier choices overall.
According to Daniel Goleman, one of the first people to raise awareness of emotional intelligence and author of "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ," this skill set can be streamlined down to five core components.
Here's a look at each one, how to tell which ones your kids need to work on the most, and examples of how to do it:
Why it's important: Self-awareness helps us understand how our actions are perceived by others, know when to engage our strengths (as well as when to pull back), and how to discover areas that need improvement.
Signs that your kid is self-aware:
How to teach self-awareness:
Why it's important: Self-regulation helps us direct our behavior towards a goal, despite the unpredictability of the world and of our feelings.
Can your kid self-regulate?
How to teach self-regulation:
Why it's important: Motivation increases our effort, helps us take action and be more productive. More importantly, it's what keeps us going in the face of extreme challenges.
Is your kid motivated?
How to boost motivation:
Why it's important: Being empathetic isn't just about understanding the emotions of other people, it's also about the ability to express sensitivity to them. Children who experience empathy have an easier time providing it to others.
Does your kid have empathy?
How to teach empathy:
Why it's important: Social skills are an integral part of functioning in society. They help us create healthy and positive interactions in both our personal and professional lives.
Does your kid have social skills?
How to teach social skills:
Sandra Wartski is a psychologist at Silber Psychological Services in Raleigh, North Carolina. She enjoys helping individuals and families use skills for positive coping, thriving and living their best lives.