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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Get a toy with feelings inside

Kimochis are plush toys designed to teach kids, ages 4 to 9, how to express their feelings in a safe and playful way. (“Kimochi” means “feeling” in Japanese.) Stuffies, priced at $24 each, are coloful characters like Cloud (who is moody), Cat (bossy), and Bug (shy). Along with your stuffy, you get three small pillows representing feelings — such as happy, angry, scared, or frustrated — that can be tucked in its front pocket, plus a how-to "Feel Guide" with ideas for games to teach children about difficult emotions.

Kimochis are also being used in classrooms to teach social skills and conflict management. The school kit includes the 296-page "Feel Guide: Teacher's Edition," the "Feel Guide: Home Edition," all five Kimochis characters, and 29 feeling pillows.

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. "