Emotional intelligence is the ability to handle one’s own emotions and to read and respond to others’ emotions in ways that create positive relationships.
Interestingly, research tells us that emotional intelligence may have more to do with life success than cognitive intelligence or academic performance.
Mental health professionals agree that it is a protective/resiliency factor against depression, anxiety, anti-social behaviors and drug/alcohol dependence. Although some children seem naturally adept at handling their emotions and getting along with others, ALL children can learn these skills!
The Emotional Intelligence Game is an entertaining and engaging game that reflects the five areas of emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness—the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts and values, as well as the ability to recognize the impact of those emotions, thoughts and values
- Mood management—the ability to regulate emotions and lessen internal conflict in order to adapt to changing circumstances
- Self-motivation—the ability to utilize emotions to achieve goals
- Empathy—the ability to read, understand, and respond appropriately to others’ emotions
- Relationship skills—the ability to listen to and support others, to manage conflict, and to communicate and cooperate with others
There are two versions of the game and corresponding sets of rules, competitive and cooperative. In the competitive version, each player is given a card with an image of a brain on it. The brain is divided into five areas corresponding to the five Emotional Intelligence areas outlined above. Each brain card has room for the application of round tokens. Players answer questions and win tokens, using them to “fill in their brain” in a way similar to filling in a bingo card. The first player to completely fill in the brain card is the winner. In the cooperative version, players work together to completely fill in two brain cards.
There are five decks of cards representing the five skills and a sixth deck of Bonus Cards that add to the educational value of the game as well as add to fun and excitement. One type of Bonus Card is the Wise Owl Card. When a player picks one of these cards, another player must pose a problem related to Emotional Intelligence, and the player who picked the card gives possible solutions.
The game utilizes the techniques of both CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and social learning theory to help the players build their emotional intelligence.
- understand the concept of emotional intelligence and how it can help them manage themselves and their relationships at school, in the community, and at home;
- become more aware of their own feelings and moods;
- learn important skills for keeping themselves motivated and persistent;
- improve relationships with peers;
- improve their ability to feel and show empathy; and
- learn how to solve interpersonal problems by practicing on real problems during the game.