As a parent of young children I have learned is that it gets harder and harder to protect them from the harsh realities of the world. Despite our best intentions, it is often impossible to shield our kids from internet and media coverage of crisis events like terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Building Emotional Intelligence by Linda Lantieri explores how to best approach such topics with children.
All of this is incredibly frightening for children, so the need to develop emotional resilience is crucial. Central to this idea is teaching kids the skills and strategies they require to calm their minds, calm their bodies and manage their emotions more skilfully.
When children aren’t equipped to deal with anxiety, less of their attention is available for them to learn, problem solve and understand new ideas. Building Emotional Intelligence is all about helping children handle their inner world and relationships.
Linda Lantieri opens with an account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the impact they had on children at the time. It was a life-changing moment for Lantieri, an education professional with decades of experience, who has since dedicated her life to equipping children and adults with these vital skills.
The book comes with a 56 minute audio CD featuring six guided exercises by psychologist Daniel Goleman (author of the international best-seller Emotional Intelligence). There are tracks dedicated to “Getting Relaxed” and “Paying Attention” in each of the featured age brackets: ages 5 – 7, ages 8 – 11 and ages 12 and up.
Whilst we can’t shield our children from the hurts and injustices of the world, we can certainly teach them how to cope. This book is an excellent place to start.
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