If you want to read an excellent and very thorough overview of where we are at with emotional intelligence as it relates to parenting, character development and academic performance, then check out this paper from the Vanier Institute of the Family.
In this paper they acknowledge The University of Toronto Institute of Child Studies (ICS) laboratory school as one of the most progressive and successful schools in the world. I have had the pleasure of coming to know this school through some teacher training I have done, as well as presentations to their active parent community and I couldn’t agree more. They are doing really wonderful work. I had my own children on the waiting list to get into this school when they were young.
Although not mentioned by name in this paper because they are under the radar of typical researchers, I would also like to point out that the North Toronto Early Years Learning Center where I’ve consulted in the past, uses all the good EQ information outlined in this paper. And of special mention too is Kinderschool Adlerian Nursery School where I first learned all my skills as a teacher and parent educator so that I could help foster that same style of approach at NTEYLC. Newer to the fold is Foundations Private School in Aurora where I also consulted and conducted parenting classes. They included EQ as a core part of their program with the help of myself and my colleague Julie Weiss. The transition was met with great enthusiasm by staff and students alike.
Also mentioned in the paper is the need for universal rather than targeted parenting education classes. We all need parenting skills, not just those educationally or economically disadvantaged. They reveal that:
- only 1/3 of parents are using an democratic model of parenting (the approach they deem as being the best)
- 1/3 of parents could benefit from increasing their positive and warm behaviour with their children
- 1/3 of parents could be more effective in their child management
- More than 6 out of 10 parents of young children could reduce their punitive and angry behaviour with their children.
I hope you’ll consider taking the time to read this paper, and look into a parenting class.