The First Days

Declare that for the next three weeks, your family will have a daily Emotional Intelligence Report. Every member of your family must say, write, or draw one strong feeling they observed in another member of the family that day. The report should label the emotion and then describe why they think the person is feeling that way. Here are some examples:

• "Dad looked really upset today. Maybe it was because his boss is resigning."

• "Kelly seems upbeat and happy. Maybe it's because she got invited to the prom."

• "Matt looks so sad. Maybe it's because he just found out his best friend is moving."

Next, your family needs to practice a specific thing to say or do that could support or nurture the other person's feelings or needs at the time by playing the Emotional Support Game. This can help your kid confirm or clarify if she was correct in understanding what was going on and give her an opportunity to be empathic. Here's how it might work:

• "Dad, are you worried that your big project may be canceled now? Let's take the dog for a walk so you can tell me more about it."

• "Kelly, you look really happy about something. Did you get invited to the prom? Ready to go shopping so we can help pick out a dress?"

• "Matt, how about going outside and playing catch? Maybe the new kid next door would like to join us."

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