Growing up in a very traditional household with a drill sergeant of a father, the major focus was always around building our IQ. We would spend a fair amount of time on our studies with little importance given to building our other core competencies in the arts, athletics and music. Emotional qualities such as expressing sadness through crying were frowned upon as it was a sign of weakness.
The goal was very simple, study as hard as you can get good grades to enter a good university, specialize in a skill that is in demand so that you will end up in a good paying job and of course give your parents bragging rights amongst their friends. Well, I went that route and made my parents proud, however, I noticed that although I was “book smart”, I lacked certain basic skills related to my EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Over time and having married this special woman who has taught me so much, I am happy to say that I continue to build on my EQ skill set. So, how does all of this relate to my 2 little chickadees?
Well, over the weekend we as a family went out to the movies. The kids wanted to watch Finding Dory that was just released. We grabbed a bag of popcorn, some sugar drinks and candy and settled into watching the movie. Part way through the movie our little Regan started to get disturbed over the movie. She started to say she wanted to leave and she did not like the movie. It was at the part when Dori gets swept away into the pipes that she started to really get anxious and cry and at that point my wife decided to take her out of the movie theatre. Regan and my wife of course did not return and met us in the foyer at the end of the movie.
Normally, we wouldn’t think much of Regan’s reaction to the movie, however, my wife reminded me that Caleb had a similar reaction when he was 4 years old and first watched Finding Nemo. He refused to watch the movie until he turned 7. Having been adopted at such a young age, I believe we were naive as to the trauma and impact that children feel with a sense of abandonment and loss from their birth parents. Even at such a young age their memories are so strong that simple triggers as a movie depicting the breakup of a family can bring back memories of the traumatic event.
Having done more research it is my belief that although we as parents have a commitment to focusing on the IQ of our children, we must place a greater emphasis on building the EQ of our children. I believe EQ trumps IQ when it comes to determining my children’s success in life. A strong EQ will allow my children to be:
- Well balanced
- Gracious and
All these skills I believe will help them to be change agents and better leaders in whatever they choose to pursue.