GIIS schools are committed to nurturing children who are not only academically intelligent, but also emotionally intelligent. Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to a set of skills that people can develop in regards to their ability to be self-aware of their emotions, to regulate their emotions, and to translate their emotions into thoughts and actions. Researchers at several high caliber institutions, including Harvard University, have made clear that improving EI can improve many other aspects in a person's life, including academic performance. Here are 5 key tips from Harvard's Making Caring Common Project on how to help your child develop empathy, which is a key component of EI:
- Model empathy for others. At every GIIS school, our educators know that modeling empathy through strong ties to the community is essential for students to understand the importance of EI. Empathy cannot be taught without meaningful human interactions, and, without empathy, you cannot make a successful leader.
- Set high ethical expectations. Talk to your children about your expectations for their inner moral compass, and rest assured that, at GIIS school, our 9 GEMS™ framework directly addresses the creation of a Universal Values and Ethics system. One example of how this plays out at GIIS is in our multi-campus Global Indian Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Universal Values. This well-structured, integrative approach focuses on community welfare, practicing kindness, mutual cultural respect, and the need for peace.
- Give children time to practice empathy. Make volunteerism a family affair. At our GIIS schools, in Singapore, we build in regular opportunities to care for others. For example, the students of the primary campus undertook the ‘Peace Is Sweet’ project to spread messages of peace and love by the children. As a part of this programme, students of Class 1 and Ambassadors of Peace of Class 6 joined hands with the organization ‘Muslim Youth for Peace’ and distributed sweets with a message of respect for differences.
- Encourage children to care about their community. In concrete ways, all year long, we show children at GIIS how to care about their communities, in initiatives like our Tetra Pak recycle programme which set forth recycling as a simple but powerful strategy to care for the environment.
- Show children how to develop self-control. Putting aside your own needs and thinking of the needs of others is a key component of self control. GIIS initiatives like our Feel Special project show children how to do just that, through a letter writing campaign geared at helping our students send a special message of care to their families, as well as people in old age homes and orphanages.
To learn more about GIIS, and the ways in which we help all of our students develop empathy and EI, please contact us today!