We have all been encouraged to enrich our knowledge from an early age. Our parents were also our first teachers, whose educational activities aimed at contributing to our literacy. At a later stage, our twelve years of schooling sheds a bright light on the single purposeful process – education. It is a set of acquired knowledge, skills, values, social beliefs, and habits, whose mission overlaps with parenting – literacy. Going through the different stages of education, we observe the same concept, both in higher education institutions and in different forms of education. Undoubtedly, the educational system is a well-oiled machine, whose wheel is constantly spinning, helping young people gain literacy and develop intellectually. However, in order to reach our full potential of knowledge and skills, something more is needed. Something that is directly related to the divine in us – emotional literacy.
In this blog article, we will close the topic of Daniel Gollman’s book – “Emotional Intelligence”, again relying on his enviable knowledge and skills in the field of psychology. So far, we have crossed out several important topics related to emotions and feelings, a better understanding of our inner strength, and we were able to get acquainted with the different moods and their consequences. In the following lines, we will focus on how to protect our children from their primary impulses and illuminate their path to emotional maturation. In other words – we will talk about emotional literacy as a form of prevention.
In this chapter of his book, Holman talks about one of the many emotional literacy programs designed to address a specific problem, especially violence, namely the Creative Conflict Resolution Program.
It focuses on methods that resolve disputes and conflicts in school without physical interference between students. The founder of the program, Linda Lantieri, says that her work is more than just resolving disputes. She believes that her methods can replace aggression with specific skills and thus teach children techniques for dealing with various conflict situations. These include exercises in an actual environment, giving each student an important role in resolving a dispute, through which they learn to listen to the other and think differently. Disagreement as such. Lantieri even believes that violence prevention is part of the overall mix of emotional skills, which helps to name feelings and control anger.
Looking at things from another perspective emotional literacy programs are a key point in supporting young people who have chosen to take a less constructive path – that of crime. Here we can observe how violence in these children is constantly evolving, and its scale increases with age. Such is the program of Carl Couchet and Mark Greenberg at the University of Washington to promote alternative thinking strategies. Its purpose is to help such and any other students to acquire the skill – controlling their impulses.
The program consists of 50 lessons related to different emotions, their observation, and self-observation. This is especially helpful for children who show various forms of aggression, the purpose of which is to give them a clear idea of who and when is hostile to them. One of the most valuable lessons that program participants learn is the management of anger itself and the fact that the concept of “wrong feelings” does not exist. They understand the notion that the problem and its escalation do not depend on what emotions they experience, but on how they react to them.
We conclude that emotional intelligence, like education, is an integral part of our children’s development and transformation into sane and intelligent individuals. And, diving into Daniel Goleman’s bestseller gives us the full opportunity to swim in unfamiliar waters that will reveal new worlds. Such as we did not suspect existed, and which will certainly enrich our knowledge, through which to curb the whirlwind in our consciousness – that of emotions.