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Calm Down and Pay Attention: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence for Kids | Eslkevin's Blog


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The voice on the CD is mine, though the words are those of Linda Lantieri, an old friend and colleague. Linda has pioneered programs in social and emotional learning in the New York City public schools that have been adopted worldwide. Her newest program adds mindfulness for kids to the emotional intelligence tool kit, in one version to enhance focusing and attention, in another to help kids learn to calm themselves better. Linda’sbook and CD Building Emotional Intelligence has instructions adapted to kids’ ages – one for five to seven, another eight to eleven, then 12 and up. And she explains how teachers or parents can best introduce these to kids.

Linda’s CD exemplifies the ways we can take advantage of neuroplasticity to help children master the abilities that are crucial for emotional intelligence. As Richard Davidson, founder of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin explained in a conversation we had, the kind of training Linda offers kids strengthens their neural circuitry for self-awareness, self-mastery, and empathy (to hear Davidson’s explanation, listen to the CD Training the Brain: Cultivating Emotional Skills).

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