As we begin to enter a new school year, we reflect on the excitement of what lies ahead but also the challenges that may appear.
One of the biggest challenges facing students today is how to navigate the world of digital technology in safe and healthy ways. Cyber-bullying and reliance on social interactions through screens can have serious harmful effects on self-esteem.
As more young people turn to streaming devices, video games, and social media as forms of validation, there’s never been a better time to invest in developing emotional intelligence (EI) for students in order to boost self-esteem.
As parents and educators… how can we help them?
Don’t Forget The Golden Rule
The mantra “treat others as you’d like to be treated,” is still appropriate today, especially in the digital world. Be sure to consider real-life examples of this kind of cause and effect.
Digital screens reinforce people that their actions will result in a consistent, positive responses.
As a result, students need to take time to consider different scenarios and discuss how various actions can lead to outcomes and feelings that are either positive or negative. Try role-playing to better understand how different actions and responses change how people react.
The immediate gratification we get from technology is harmful to young people, says Steven Stein, Ph.D., who recommends using a “subtle approach” to instilling patience.
He recommends playing turn-based board games, which teach people to wait their turn and to learn to control their impulses. There are many games and activities that help to teach patience, and help younger people them see the value in the finished product. Independent interaction also allows students to learn to manage their impulses without getting frustrated or overwhelmed
Encourage Play Away From Screens
Today, cell phones, apps, television, and other streaming devices create distractions that prevent students from socializing with others, which can arrest the development of social skills and habits.
Depending on the individual student recreational sports also offer a great way to develop healthy social skills, but also to learn how to work as part of a team, follow the rules, and resolve situations on their own.
Even better: cooperative activities offer opportunities to explore and talk about emotions, and how words and actions impact others in a meaningful way.
Invest in Your Own Emotional Intelligence
The easiest way to teach students the skills they need for success is to understand and embody those qualities within ourselves. Ask us about our 1-1 training, or sign up for one of our upcoming online classes and earn your EQi 2.0 and EQ360 Certification!