3 Ways To Use Books To Build Emotional Intelligence

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3 Ways To Use Books To Build Emotional Intelligence and Inspire Future Leaders

3 Ways to Build Emotional Intelligence with Books

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“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” – Margaret Fuller

At Wonder Crate, we love this quote from Margaret Fuller, an American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate.  It makes the important connection between the knowledge and skills learned through reading, and the action that it encourages.  There is nothing like a well written work of literary fiction or non-fiction to inspire its reader.  Wonder Crate believes wholeheartedly in the importance of children having access to books that inform and transform their lives.  Our families go weekly to the library, and we hope you do too.  You never know what will spark your children’s interest and encourage their leadership in the future.

Here are 3 ways you can use books to build emotional intelligence and inspire kids to make a difference:

Find a topic they are interested in and expand their learning

Let the specific book topic inspire additional, more in depth understanding on a wider topic area.  For example, if you are reading a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. for Black History Month, check out additional books on related topics, such as books on the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks, the underground railroad, and Harriet Tubman.  Encourage your children to gain a comprehensive understanding of the broader subject category and its relevance to society.  This same concept can be applied to any book topic your children are interested in, at any time.

Increase emotional intelligence through reflection.

When a story is written well and on the child’s age level, it can be extremely impactful.  There is so much children are able to relate to about the character’s emotions, struggles, challenges and successes.  Encourage your children to reflect on the character’s journey throughout the book.  Ask probing, thoughtful questions about the emotional lessons and nuances in the story.  What kind of person was the main character?  How do you know?  Why might you act the way s/he did?  How does s/he change by the end of the story?

Encourage action/leadership.

Piggyback off of the main character’s struggles and lessons learned.  If the main character helped out in some way, encourage your children to think up a way they can too.  An example could be, if the main character planted a garden, or a tree in celebration of Earth Day, then encourage your children to be inspired to do the same.  Let the book become real in its lesson to children.  Don’t let the lesson stay in the mind only.  Without action steps taken, it is soon forgotten.  All action begins in imagination.  Without children first envisioning themselves as being capable of achieving a goal, or successfully completing a task, the action can’t follow.  Children must believe to achieve!

Help your children develop a love for books and inspire them to make a difference in the world by turning reading into an adventure of learning, reflection and positive action.

Need some more ideas for building emotional intelligence and inspiring future leaders? Let Wonder Crate do the work for you!  We deliver a box to your door that builds social and emotional intelligence, and empowers kids to make a difference.  Learn more at www.wondercratekids.com

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Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

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