If you are not familiar with “EQ” it is based on a book written by Daniel Goleman “Emotional Intelligence, Why it can Matter More than IQ.” It is based on the concept of managing emotions, delaying gratification, and developing empathy. EQ, (Emotional Intelligence) has stronger predictors of success then IQ. IQ has been shown to account for only 20% of success in life. In the age of distraction, I believe it’s even more critical to embrace EQ as a key area to guide our children through our parenting lessons.
Studies have shown identical twins raised in different homes have extremely similar IQ’s. This analysis supports the concept that genetics play a significant role in determining IQ. However, EQ can be learned and increase with training and practice.
Setting our children up for success is one of our primary objectives as parents. It’s not difficult realize the importance of teaching EQ. The question is - how do we teach our children this important life skill in a kid-friendly way?
Thanks to some homework my children brought home, I discovered how some schools are using symbolism to illustrate EQ. It teaches children the three different “brains” we have which lends to building EQ: The Lizard Brain, the Dog Brain, and the Owl Brain.
The Lizard Brain, located in the brain stem, keeps us safe and runs our systems on autopilot. It is responsible for the basics like temperature control, hunger, and fight or flight. It’s not difficult to observe toddlers demonstrating when the Lizard Brain has primary control.
The Dog Brain located in the limbic system is responsible for our feelings. Feelings are complicated. Feelings are the biological reaction to our experiences stemming from our hormones, memories, and mood. Children tend to easily experience their feelings; however, do not always know their label or how to associate feelings with appropriate behaviors – this is where parental guidance is crucial.
The Owl Brain, located in the cortex is responsible for wisdom. It is also described as the higher-level thinking brain. It is involved with complex social interactions, planning and strategy.
The Owl Brain is the helper to the Dog and Lizard Brain. The Owl brain can “tell” the other brains to use calming strategies if they get over excited. These strategies can include deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. To learn more about how to use the Lizard, Dog, and Owl Brain models in practical situations, please access my blog via the web or Facebook, Raisingigen.com.
The challenge as parents is to demonstrate, by example, awareness of our own Lizard, Dog, and Owl Brains - which is no easy feat when we feel like roaring like a lion or running like a race horse – but now there are just too many animals involved!