Emotional Intelligence: Unlocking Student Potential at ISSP

Education - Saigon/HCMC: July 19, 2019

Understanding Emotional Intelligence and what makes a good EQ?

The importance of EQ

How to raise a child in Vietnam to develop EQ at home and at school

When you think about what children need to become successful adults, what comes to mind? Parents, teachers, and children alike often think a high IQ, good marks, and proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics are all essential for success. Although these skills are certainly a priority at International School Saigon Pearl (ISSP), a growing body of research suggests that it is actually Emotional Intelligence skills that matter most. Cutting-edge educational institutions like ISSP have adopted curricula that increase emotional intelligence in children, as it contributes to the development of high academic achievement, interpersonal social skills and, later in life, a successful career.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

How can someone be “emotionally intelligent” anyway? It’s helpful to think of Emotional Intelligence as four key skills:

1. Perceiving, evaluating, and expressing emotions. 

2. Controlling and changing emotions in order to think clearly. 

3. Using words and labels to identify emotions.

4. Reflecting on those emotions and managing them effectively. In other words: learning how to control your emotions, and not letting them control you!


Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

EQ can make all the difference! Increasingly, experts agree that children with a high EQ are more likely to succeed in relationships, health, quality of life, good decision making, and critical career skills like cooperation in the workplace. Progressive international companies that operate in Vietnam like Google, FedEx, and Facebook are well aware of this research, and have begun to prioritize high EQ scores when hiring new employees.


Children with high EQ scores have a huge advantage. They are especially good at positive thinking and possess the motivation required to study harder and manage their time, which is why teaching emotional intelligence in early childhood is crucial. As they progress into their teenage years and young adulthood, they are equipped with the tools to balance increased responsibilities and workloads, as well as keeping up their relationships with family and friends. 

Having a high EQ means interacting with empathy. Children who are aware of the feelings and experiences of others, are far less likely to exhibit violent, bullying behaviors. And when it comes to life’s tense situations, they’ll have a much better idea of what signals to send to someone in order to communicate with them effectively.

How Can Children Develop EQ in School and at Home?

There’s good news! Unlike IQ, EQ can actually change and be taught over time. Especially with young children, it’s important to teach them how to talk about their emotions. Parents can model emotionally intelligent behaviours at home by naming their own emotions out loud and expressing empathy toward their children when they express their own emotions, even when they’re feeling angry or sad. When children learn to recognize their emotional reactions as they happen, we can then teach them to stop, think, and do something proactive.


Schools can make a huge impact on student’s EQ as well. ISSP is now the only early years & elementary international school in HCMC to have the prestigious accreditation from the CIS (Council of International Schools) and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleagues), which recognizes the academic and operational excellence of our school. This is in no small part due to their incorporation of EQ-strengthening programs for learners of all ages and levels.


Engaging in the hard work of increasing children’s emotional intelligence (as well as those of adults) is vital for the future of our children. The next generation faces an increasingly competitive world where problem-solving and raw intelligence skills matter—but the ability to collaborate, balance career and relationships, and think empathically will help our children grow into strong, capable adults tackling the challenges of the future.

Image source: ISSP