Emotional Intelligence and Behavior
Many behaviors in young children stem from emotional responses that they are not yet attuned to regulate. Often, they are not yet able to recognize these emotions let alone regulate them. Older children begin to get a handle on this skill but often it is not fully developed until well into adolescence. This can be a key contributor to many common behavioral issues. Of course, educators should consider the whole child when it comes to any undesired or challenging behaviors, but it is important to note that emotional immaturity is also a key component.
Having a higher emotional intelligence, or certainly having the skills to work with emotional situations can have a positive impact on behavior. Certainly, in the first example, the teacher was able to support Johnna’s emotional intelligence acquisition but in the second example it was James, a classmate that was able to step in and assist in this situation. We see these types of situations in education every day. Sometimes it is a game at recess that causes one student to be overjoyed and excited but other times it is a scolding from a teacher that causes a different emotional reaction.