GreatKids – Emotional Smarts

GreatKids – Emotional Smarts

“Children who develop the skills Emotional Intelligence are kinder, happier, healthier and more successful in life.”

Belief in this statement lies at the heart of the recent collaboration between the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and GreatSchools, a nonprofit organization that provides parents with online ratings of over 200,000 schools and districts across the United States; reaching more than 50 million unique visitors in 2015 and accounting for over half of all U.S. Households with children, and nearly half of all U.S. based Kindergarten-12th grade teachers.

Featured on GreatSchool’s GreatKid’s website, Emotional Smarts is a collection of tools designed to provide new parents and families with the resources necessary to help children develop emotional intelligence, and hone such vital life skills such as “resilience, confidence, gratitude, courage, empathy, and grit.

Through a series of video resources and other training materials, the “Emotional Smarts” initiative capitalizes on GreatSchool’s wide-reach, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligences’ pioneering research on Emotional Intelligence to encourage families to understand both how and why Emotions Matter.

For example, the Emotional Toolbox provides parents with recommendations for scientifically-based strategies and activities that can help them maneuver various parenting challenges that routinely erupt in households—related to discipline, friendships, sibling rivalry, and bullying. The Do You Feel Me section allows for families to explore universal human emotions together through the power of storytelling. In Caught Being Kind, hidden cameras reveal how students exposed to SEL techniques will interact with one another in spontaneous situations at school, without knowing they are being observed.

Already, Emotional Smarts content has been pushed to 2 million GreatSchools.org visitors and newsletter subscribers, and has been promoted more than 18 million times through web, email, and social media outlets. In total, more than 350,000 unique visitors have engaged with the Emotional Smarts content on the GreatSchools.org website, 175,000 of which self-identify as parents.

Most of the resources promoted on Emotional Smarts are based on a whole-school approach to changing school climate and cultivating emotional intelligence, known as RULER,  a program that has been adopted by hundreds of U.S. public and private schools. (RULER is an acronym that stands for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions.)

To learn more, be sure to check out www.greatschools.org/gk/ or the Yale Center’s recently launched RULER Community website to view and download more Emotionally Intelligent Resources.

Words by: Ian Knisely