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A creative way to motivate the emotional intelligence and develop socio-emotional skills for life!


Multiple studies address the importance of acquiring basic social and emotional skills to succeed in life. For a long time, it was believed that these skills were “personal inborn characteristics that some had and others do not.”

Today we know that this is not the case.

Since the 90’s, researchers have been working on what has been called “emotional intelligence” (EQ), which is basically the ability to recognize and regulate our emotions.

Helping children to learn to identify and deal with emotions, as well as being a prerequisite for better school performance; is important to prepare them to face the world, enjoy friendship, getting along with others and solve problems.

What can we do to help our children exercise the muscle of emotional intelligence?

As an educator and artist I’ve been using my experience and research to develop EQ, personal knowledge and emotional awareness programs through the Arts and Humanities.

These programs aim to:

1. Help children develop techniques to deal with difficult times
2. Teach healthy ways to resolve conflicts
3. Teach to understand and valued themselves across the broad range of personal expression
4. Develop empathy and compassion
5. Encourage creativity and critical thinking
6. Develop Expertise
7. Enjoy and learn techniques of artistic expression

The Arts?

The Arts explore in depth a wide range of emotions and teach us to connect intimately and from the soul to the world. Practicing important life skills, such as recognition and reformulation of experience, coupled with the ability to imagine and create invites children to explore solutions and discover the wonder in them while fostering the necessary determination and strength to walk towards their own greatness.

Why EQ?

When we recognize what happens to us and we understand the role that emotions and thoughts play in our decisions; we can consciously choose thoughts, emotions and actions that create healthier habits and enriching and efficient personal patterns.

Step by step we build a relationship with ourselves and others, from a place of confidence and personal power that can make the difference between a life of well-being and success or one in which we are “dragged” by circumstances.

How does participating in a regular activity of exploration and self-expression through the arts benefit us?

Throughout life, we go on discovering characteristic and developing patterns, habits and behaviors that become our personal image or identity. Our experiences, lessons and beliefs are constantly shaping us, to finally define our decisions and actions.

Human beings however, are much more than their emotions, thoughts or circumstances and tend to form an image of themselves that does not conform to the reality of their essence, thus limiting their potential.

Learning to carefully observe ourselves with admiration, respect and compassion, as well as, with courage and an inquisitor eye; is a quality that draws big surprises and satisfactions. However, it requires constant practice and commitment.

We can better understand the benefits of a practice through the behaviors it elicits. Some of the behaviors involving EQ are:

• Talk about feelings and needs
• Listen, share, comfort
• Overcoming conflict and adversity
• Prioritize and set goals
• Intrinsic Motivation
• Inclusion of the other
• Making conscious decisions
• Giving time and resources to the community at large
• Serenity and joy

General objectives

1. To create a safe learning environment where students can take risks, grow emotionally and develop confidence and creativity.
2. To bring about efforts to explore and develop the basic components of Emotional Intelligence.
3. To experience the training process, as a process of transformation and personal enrichment that goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge and tools.
4. To pay more attention to the inner life of children.
5. To establish connections and relationships and apply what we learn in an artistic discipline to other areas of training and in life.

Specific Objectives

1. To develop problem solving, creative, communication and time management skills.
2. To learn to appreciate what is good, beautiful and true in us and show respect and appreciation for the uniqueness of others.
3. To find meaning in difficult emotions and suffering.
4. To develop aesthetic appreciation and learn to assess and derive meaning from a work based on the elements of an artistic discipline, aesthetic qualities and human responses.
5. To develop self-determination,
6. To enjoy and explore our own and others’ talents and various artistic choices.

Workshop Design

The workshop is a regular long-term activity including a variety of different media and duration activities. However, each session itself; is a mini workshop that deals with a specific goal or delineated unit both, in terms of artistic and personal development.

The units can be addressed as” intensive” experiences in a day or weekend.

A session in a nutshell

• Icebreaker
• Central Art-based Themed Activity and game
• Discussion
• Close

Duration: depending on the ages and style
• Intensive: Weekend
• Ongoing: Weekly ranging from two hours to two and a half, once or twice a week for a Quarter.
Scheduled: By agreement

General activities: painting, drawing, poetry, creative writing, “journaling”, discussion, sculpture, reading, analysis of stories and characters and scenes from movies, improvisation, music and role playing.

The workshops are taught in English and Spanish



Image Credit:
Beautiful Rainbow Buttereflies