In the increasingly competitive environment of the world today, it’s important to know which qualities are best to nurture in our kids. There is a debate on IQ vs EQ. People seem to be at a loss when trying to answer this question. So, let’s find out: which is better to try to nurture in your child?

This will definitely be a more scientific article, so be ready.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

I don’t believe it necessary to define the term of IQ. But have you ever heard about EQ? What is EQ? It’s the emotional quotient of a single individual, and it has to do with emotional intelligence. As with the IQ, the EQ ends up having a significant role in our development as humans. And it turns out it may have a much bigger one than IQ.

The exact origin of the term EQ is pretty hard to place. It appears to have been coined by Keith Beasley in 1987, while emotional intelligence was coined in 1964, though used with a different meaning. The research book that popularized EQ was Daniel Goleman’s 1995 bestseller Emotional Intelligence. Goleman’s book looked at how this quotient can matter more than the other, already famous one, IQ.

It used to be “common knowledge” that people with great IQs end up as geniuses or land a great job. Surely, Albert Einstein’s estimated IQ of 160 did not help this preconception. It seems that developing the EQ is actually more important.

The Definition of Emotional Intelligence

If we’re to look at the emotional intelligence definition, we see that the term per se is an umbrella term. It assesses how well we understand our own emotions, as well as the feelings of those around us, how well we can separate different emotions and know what they are, and how well we use this info in helping us think and act.

Sounds like a job for poets and bohemians, yet studies on the matter have shown that employees in a selection of different work areas have better results if they have a more developed EQ compared to those with a bigger IQ. This may be the case because human interaction dictates much of what we do on a higher level than just being smart does.

I’m sure that you can think of very intelligent people that you know who are poor at socializing, or at “people-skills,” as some call them. So, it may seem that we have a winner in the EQ vs IQ battle. But it’s not that simple.

How Can a High EQ Benefit Your Kids?

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It’s not all about the brain; sometimes it’s about the heart.

You’ve probably always been jealous of your kid’s classmate that likes to brag about his big IQ. However smart he may be, he may end up with a less bright future than your own kid. This is because nobody will be able to stand all his undeveloped social skills. And employers today are looking more and more for people with highly developed social skills, i.e., emotionally intelligent people. Two articles published in Forbes present further arguments to this extent, citing some studies which say that businesspeople with greater EQ also have better results.

So it’s better to try and develop your child’s EQ. Doing this is a bit more complicated than passing an intelligence test and letting him go to school to maintain it. Emotional intelligence comes from social interaction. You must understand how to be a model for your kid, how to display a wide range of feelings that he or she can learn to identify.

Yes, this is intrinsic to IQ. Solving an emotional equation is a bit more complicated than a mathematical one sometimes, as a divorced physics teacher may tell you. However, EQ develops more easily than IQ.

How to teach EQ

To teach your kid the social skills needed to survive in this hectic world, you must be a model of kindness. You need to be polite, share, talk about your feelings, and be helpful in general. You need to act exactly as you want your child to. Use positive reinforcement, give rewards to your kids once they start behaving, and give them a silent sign of approval when they are polite in public.

Also, try to put them under stressful situations in which they need to use their social skills. Send them off to play with other kids. If they have nobody to play with, make them call up their friends, and instruct them on how to be polite while talking to the parents. These all will ensure that your kid not only understands how to behave but actually gains experience in doing so.

Also worth reading: Your Child and Social Norms.

If you’re trying all these methods, yet somehow are still unable to reach your child, then you can apply for any of the social and emotional learning programs available, of which there are a lot. Also, it helps it your kid’s school emphasizes this. There are many cases of children coming from broken families that end up much better than their parents only on account of what they learned in school. This alone should prove how useful emotional intelligence is.

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Kids with a high EQ turn out to be better at socializing.


A Carnegie Institute of Technology study has shown that a mind-blowing 85% of financial success has nothing to do with actual intelligence, but with one’s ability to lead,  and negotiate. The remaining 15% they attributed to technical know-how. Furthermore, it’s a proven fact that bosses are much more likely to work with likable people that deliver less than premium results, than vice versa. So no matter how good you are at your job, if you fail in the human department, you’re going to have a bad time.

What have we learned? Well, now we know that your kid’s success is not only determined by having great IQ scores, IQ levels, or IQ rates. Emotional intelligence plays a much bigger role, if not the most important. Still, don’t forget that however much EQ may be relevant, the IQ also plays a big role in your child’s development and must not be neglected.

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