HomeHealth & BehaviorEmotional Well-Being

Boost your youngster's emotional intelligence

IQ isn't everything! Six tips for strengthening your child's EQ.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Ask your child "What would you do if ...?"

During family car rides or as conversation starters at the dinner table, the “What would you do if ...?” game gets kids thinking about ways to respond to different situations. Ask questions that encourage your child to behave with more emotional smarts: “What would you do if you saw someone grab a toy away from your friend? Or if I blamed you for something you didn’t do? Or if your brother hit you for no reason?”

Asking these questions when emotions aren’t running high gives your child a chance to come up with ideas on how to best respond — and for you to offer some ideas of your own. Since you can tailor questions to fit your child’s age, this works for young and older kids alike.

Comments from readers

"This is a very interesting view on many levels. Are teachers ever trained to do this with students? I am curious, because if you are teaching emotional intelligence at home and you are explaining to your child if they are being hit or bullied to tell the teacher, what happens to that child when the teacher chooses not to recognize his or her complaint. For example, we have a first grade child that has been dealing with a bully on the playground. Every time she tells the staff yard duty , the simple reaction is to say that they did not see a thing. This is very frustrating. "