EDUCATION NATION -- Pictured: "Education Nation" Logo -- NBC PhotoResearch has shown that those with high emotional intelligence have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. NBC News Education Nation has created a Parent Toolkit contains parent resources for each stage of your child’s education from Pre-K to 12th Grade. It now contains resources to support your child’s social and emotional health as well.

Social and emotional intelligence involves understanding your feelings and behaviors, as well as those of others, and applying this knowledge to your interactions and relationships. The term “emotional intelligence” was coined in 1990 by Peter Salovey of Yale University and John D. Mayer of the University of New Hampshire. The concept was popularized in 1995 by Daniel Goleman, author and co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

The concepts highlighted in the Parent Toolkit are based on CASEL’s five interrelated sets of competencies.

  • Self-awareness is knowing yourself. It’s about knowing your emotions, strengths and challenges, and how your emotions affect your behavior.
  • Self-management is knowing how to control your behaviors and moods, and setting and working toward goals.
  • Social awareness is the ability to understand and respect the perspectives of others, and to apply this knowledge to interactions with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Having good relationship skills involves knowing how to establish and keep rewarding and positive relationships with friends, family and others from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Responsible decision-making involves identifying the impact of your choices on yourself and others, and using empathy, relationship skills and self- and social awareness to make decisions.

Unlike IQ, social and emotional intelligence can be enhanced at any age through thinking about these competencies and putting them into practice. You are your child’s greatest influence, no matter how young or old your child is. In order to help your child’s social and emotional development, you can model the skills you would like to see. Many social and emotional skills are developed over time, and some adults are stronger in this area than others, as is the case with children. Visit the Parent Toolkit to help you continue to be a strong positive influence on your child’s social and emotional growth, and to reflect on your own skills in the process.