Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. To be a bit more precise, it is the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. Those with high emotional intelligence demonstrate an understanding of what they are feeling, what their emotions mean, and how their emotions affect others.
Strengthening emotional intelligence supports growth in*:
Self-Awareness- Self-awareness is our basic understanding of how we feel and why we feel that way. The more we are aware of our feelings the better we can manage and respond to our feelings and to others around us.
Self-Management- Self-management can also be referred to as, self-regulation. It is the ability to manage our own actions, thoughts, and feelings in flexible ways and achieve desired results. Self-regulation contributes to our self-confidence, sense of connectedness, and our own sense of well-being.
Social-Awareness- Social-awareness is our ability to accurately ‘read’ the emotions of others; their face, voice & behaviors. This is where we learn to show empathy for others, being able to sense what they are thinking and feeling and taking on their perspective. This help us understand how to respond to others.
Relationship Management- Relationship management pulls together the other three pieces, above. This is when we have the ability to take our own emotions and the emotions of others, to manage social interactions successfully. (Wow! that’s a lot). Relationship management can also be used to influence others with good decision making. Also, listening and empathizing with others and helping them deal with conflict- I call this being a “peacemaker”.
Why is it important to understand and label our feelings?
Understanding and labeling our feelings allows us to identify exactly how we are feeling, why we are feeling that way, and how best to manage and choose regulation strategies. If children are skilled in labeling their emotions, adults are better able to understand and support their needs. Children will further benefit in understanding and supporting the needs of others.
Building emotional intelligence fosters a healthy well-being and promotes lasting benefits of: achieving personal goals, greater empathy, increased academic achievement, greater self-awareness, quality relationships, satisfaction at school and work, relating to others, and sensing the emotional needs of others*. Read more about emotional intelligence on my blog post.
Why FeelLinks Started
Hello, My name is Marcelle Waldman! I am the proud founder of FeelLinks. Two of the most significant roles in my life, being a mother and an educator, have guided me to pursue my passion in developing an intentional product promoting lifelong social and emotional skills in our children. While the story of why FeelLinks started is much more than I am able to fit on this page, here is a small glimpse in to how FeelLinks was born.
*For a greater understanding, please read my Deeply Personal Story, my truth and my why.
When I first began my teaching career, I was fortunate to start with some of our youngest learners, teaching kindergarten. Immediately, it was quite evident that social-emotional learning would be a priority in our daily learning together. My students would benefit from explicit instruction in building positive relationships with classmates and teachers, gaining confidence, expressing feelings, understanding feelings of others, joining in play with peers, listening and speaking skills, and much, much more.
Despite my school's lack of an adopted social-emotional curriculum, I got creative and designed my own using a variety of resources. My goals were to teach my students greater self-awareness, social awareness, with a large emphasis on empathy, and self-management. The results of my efforts were a respectful and safe classroom environment. After 8 years teaching kindergarten, then starting my own family, I moved into a director and lead-teacher position at a preschool. There, I implemented many of the same resources, tools, and strategies that had proven successful with my kindergarten students.
Throughout my years as an educator, and becoming a mother myself, I knew that one day I needed to use my toolbox to create something meaningful. I learned a lot over the years from my students, colleagues, school families, and my own children. I continue to educate myself with research, books and classes. I listen to the struggles of parents in my community and beyond. These are all significant motivators in driving my passion even stronger.
I continue to feel extremely concerned with the staggering rates of depression, anxiety, behavior concerns, troubles in school, and relationship difficulties affecting our children. I absolutely needed to do something positive to help support the social and emotional well-being of our children.
My mission is to create a kind, compassionate, safe, and inclusive world.
FeelLinks is born…
FeelLinks was born from my experience and knowledge as a mother and teacher. FeelLinks focuses on building emotional intelligence in children; the ability to identify, understand, and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. Scientific research has shown these skills to foster lasting benefits of greater self-awareness, quality relationships, greater satisfaction at school and work, increased academic achievement, and greater empathy. FeelLinks was intentionally created to support children in gaining positive, healthy, and lasting benefits.
Now is the perfect time for your child to begin using FeelLinks hands-on tools to support their growth in emotional intelligence; fostering vital life skills.
FeelLinks has expanded to building partnerships in spreading important education related to social-emotional development and relationships with children - partnering with companies, universities, schools, small businesses, parenting groups, podcasts, and more. Find out more about partnering together, here.
Marcelle Waldman, B.A. Elementary Education, FeelLinks Founder, Youth Mental Health First Aid Certified, Parent and Community Educator, Mental and Emotional Health Advocate and avid community volunteer
STANDARD 1 - SELF-AWARENESS – Individual has the ability to identify their emotions, personal assets, areas for growth, and potential external resources and supports.
- BENCHMARK 1A -Demonstrates awareness and understanding of one’s own emotions and emotions' influence on behavior.
- BENCHMARK 1B - Demonstrates awareness of personal and collective identity encompassing strengths, areas for growth, aspirations, and cultural and linguistic assets.
STANDARD 2 - SELF-MANAGEMENT – Individual has the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
- BENCHMARK 2A - Demonstrates the skills to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, impulses, and stress in constructive ways.
- BENCHMARK 2B - Demonstrates responsible decision-making and problem-solving skills.
STANDARD 3 - SELF-EFFICACY – Individual has the ability to motivate themselves, persevere, and see themselves as capable.
- BENCHMARK 3B --Demonstrates problem-solving skills to engage responsibly in a variety of situations.
STANDARD 4 - SOCIAL AWARENESS – Individual has the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- BENCHMARK 4A - Demonstrates awareness of other people’s emotions, perspectives, cultures, languages, histories, identities, and abilities.
*References: Mayer & Salovey. (1990, 1997), Daniel Goleman. (1995), CASEL Framework. (2020), Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Dr. Marc Brackett (2020)