When you hear people talk about emotional intelligence, they are not talking about someone’s IQ or how “book smart” they may be. Emotional intelligence is a term used to describe a set of other skills that are equally as important, if not even more important.

Author Daniel Goleman describes emotional intelligence in his book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” as having five main characteristics. These are:

  • Self-Awareness- The ability to recognize your emotions, strengths, and emotions
  • Self-Regulation- The ability to manage your emotions and impulses
  • Empathy- The ability to understand someone else’s position
  • Motivation- To be able to work towards your goals
  • Social Skills- To be able to manage relationships

These are all skills that can take some time to grow. But, they can be improved as kids learn about coding, robotics, and Minecraft. Here’s how:

Self-Awareness

As kids learn coding, robotics, and Minecraft, they develop skills of how to recognize their strengths and their weaknesses. They can instantly see what works and what doesn’t. When they see what doesn’t work, they know that it’s something they need to improve and begin to figure out how to do that.

Self-Regulation

When kids learn any new skill, they may get angry or frustrated when something doesn’t work out the way they planned. For many new coders, this is true. It’s a case of trial and error, as with learning robotics or new things about Minecraft. But, if they want to be successful, they learn how to keep these emotions under control to reach their goals.

Empathy

Many coding, robotics, and Minecraft programs can require children to work together. In order to do this, they need to understand and respect the other person’s position. They may not agree with it, but they need to recognize it. This is a big part of emotional intelligence because it requires children to look beyond themselves, which can be difficult at times. By taking part in coding, robotics, and Minecraft programs, kids can improve this skill.

Motivation

To get to the finish line, kids need to be motivated and sustain that motivation even when they encounter hurdles. This is another skill that is not always easy at first. But, with the help of robotics, coding, and Minecraft programs, kids learn that if they want to see their projects become reality, they have to stay motivated.

Social Skills

Many times there are other children and adults who have ideas that can help a classmate’s project develop. In order to receive this input, kids need to learn social skills to communicate effectively. If they can’t talk to their peers and mentors, they may miss out on some great ideas. Coding, robotics, and Minecraft programs offer kids the opportunity to hone their social skills.

For many children, coding, robotics, and Minecraft programs help them to develop emotional intelligence in ways that other activities may not have been able to. By getting children involved in these programs, they not only learn the skills taught there but also how to increase their emotional intelligence.