signs of high emotional intelligence

High Emotional Intelligence: Introduction

There is no doubt that it is important for your child to have a high Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which includes skills such as logical reasoning and math skills. However, it is equally important for him to be able to display a high level of Emotional Intelligence or EQ.

This is the ability to recognize and manage emotions and be able to overcome negative ones such as fear and anxiety, enabling one to perform well in varied life situations.

Educators and psychologists increasingly believe that children need a balance between IQ and EQ to be able to mature into well-rounded, successful adults.

Does your school-aged child have high emotional intelligence? Take the quiz below to find out.

1. Your child has just had a bad day at school. What does he do when he gets home?

  1. He refuses to explain what happened and continues to cry and insist that he does not want to go to school anymore.

  2. Upon prompting, he shares with you what happened and is willing to listen to solutions.

2. A child has just had a nasty fall in the playground. How does your child react?

  1. He bursts into peals of laughter because he thinks it is funny and does not think about the impact of the fall.

  2. He assumes something must be wrong, expresses concern, and attempts to help the child who has fallen.

3. You are walking home from the supermarket with your child and tons of grocery bags. You can’t help but say “It’s so heavy!” How does your child react?

  1. He expresses concern and attempts to help carry a bag

  2. He assumes that the problem does not concern him and he cannot help, and just keeps on walking

4. You go to your office party where there’s no one your child knows. What does your child do?

  1. He tries to mingle and play with the other kids present after being introduced to them.

  2. He acts nervous and clings to you throughout the party.

5. You are walking and come across a man who has just dropped some litter in front of your child. When you point it out, what does your child do?

  1. She shrugs and says, “It’s his fault, what a bad thing to do.” But then makes no attempt to pick it up.

  2. She picks up the trash and throws it in the appropriate bin, even if it he does blame the man for the actions.

6. Your child loves his new toy. It’s his current favourite thing in the world. His friend comes home to play with him. What’s likely to happen next?

  1. He shows his friend the new toy and suggests that they play with it together

  2. He hides his new toy saying he does not want his friend to spoil it

7. You go to a toy store and your child insists on buying a toy. You advise him, saying that he already has so many toys. How does he respond?

  1. He sits on the floor and starts throwing tantrums, refusing to give in till he has his way.

  2. He listens to what you have to say, and either agrees or tries to negotiate about what he can/cannot have.

8. A boy has just snatched your child’s cupcake in the playground. How does she react

  1. She bursts into tears, or hits the child and snatches it right back from him.

  2. She gets upset, but tells the other child that what he did was wrong and calmly requests for her cupcake back.

9. You are in the park with your child and you see a woman being mean to a dog and hurting it. How does your child respond?

  1. He displays empathy and concern and asks you to interfere and protect the dog.

  2. He seems unaffected and carries on walking.

10. Your child is struggling with reading a particular book. What does she do?

  1. She gets frustrated, starts crying, and gives up, saying “I don’t know anything!”

  2. She gets frustrated, but comes to you for help and tries to get over the difficulties.

11. Your child has just been hit by another boy at school. How does he respond?

  1. He hits him back and sees that as the end of the problem.

  2. He stands up for himself and informs the teacher about it.

12. A friend has come home to play. There is one last piece of cake left. What does your child do?

  1. She offers it to his friend, or asks for it to be cut in half so that it can be shared.

  2. She refuses to share, grab the slice, and starts eating

13. Some guests have come home. Your child has never met them before. What does she do?

  1. She refuses to greet them, runs into her room, and insists on staying there and not coming out till they have left.

  2. She remains shy, but offers a smile and says “hello” before going to play in her room.

14. Your child is watching his favourite TV show. Daddy comes in and changes the channel. How does your child react?

  1. He creates a big fuss, starts crying and throwing things around, and goes into a complete meltdown until he gets his show back.

  2. He tells his daddy that he would like to finish his show, and if he doesn’t get his way, will then go and do something else.

15. Your daughter is attempting to draw her favourite animal and is not being able to draw it quite as well as she would like to. What does she do?

  1. She starts getting frustrated, cries, and refuses to draw any more.

  2. She asks for help to fix the parts she is not getting right, or just takes pride in what she has produced.

Answer key:

  1. b.

  2. b.

  3. a.

  4. a.

  5. b.

  6. a.

  7. b.

  8. b.

  9. a.

  10. b.

  11. b.

  12. a.

  13. b.

  14. b.

  15. b.


0-5: Your child seems to struggle with emotional maturity and perhaps needs a little bit more help in being able to articulate and process his emotions. Without a healthy emotional state of mind, your child may not be able to achieve his full intellectual potential, as his emotions can hinder the thinking part of his brain. At the moment, it seems as if he lacks the ability to cope with his emotions, and this could hamper his performance in school as well as his development.

Help him become future-ready by working on key life skills such as empathy, collaboration, problem solving, concentration, and communication. Start early by recognizing teaching moments in everyday situations and constantly guiding him towards applying the lessons.

6-10: Your child seems to be fairly capable of being able to understand, control, and express his emotions in most situations. However, at other times, he still shows signs of nervousness, and frustrations when faced with a problem. With a little help and guidance from you, he can better understand and process his emotions. This will help him develop a higher sense of self-esteem and display improved social and communication skills with his peers and teachers.

11-15: Your child displays a high level of emotional intelligence and is able to overcome his frustrations and fears and be able to handle the task at hand effectively. He is able to understand his own and others’ emotions and responds appropriately in every situation. This is a really positive sign and will stand him in good stead as he grows older. Emotional intelligence complements his IQ and helps him be a good problem solver and display leadership qualities.