Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reading List 2016: 9 Emotional Intelligence Books

By Seow Lim*

If you had asked me 2 years ago, do you read parenting books? I would have told you, yes, I read What to Expect the First Year and had 'memorized' it when my first child was born, and then memorized it again when my 2nd child was born six years later. I needed to know every details, when exactly do you babies start opening their eyes, when do they sit, how much milk should they drink, what should they eat at every stage etc. 

The book was recommended to me by a very nice co-worker years ago, and I am forever grateful to her. In the early 2000, you couldn't 'google' or 'facebook' for parenting information, hence, I had to read the book multiple times in order to have the information at the 'finger tip', i.e. my brain.I love reading. I have a habit of reading for 30 minutes before I fall asleep every night. It is such a strong habit that if I don't read, I can't sleep. I tend to read novels. They calm me down. 

After that, I had been very busy parenting my children that I didn't have time to read any more parenting books, nor I thought needed it. However, 2 years ago, after I realized that my parenting hadn't develop my first child into a 'happy' boy (read about my transformation here), I had to find resources to help me be a better parent. I realized that I put too much stress in academics, so the first book I bought I searched for keyword 'Well balanced child' and that led me to 'The Well Balanced Child' by Sally Goddard Blythe. I like the book because it discussed how movement, physical activities help our kids with brain development. It made me realize that 'Wow, I didn't think that I had to take neuroscience into consideration when I am parenting. This is so interesting.'

Out of curiosity, I then went to search for Amazon parenting best sellers. I picked up a few other books, that I now can recommend as very good for anybody interested on EQ:

I was concerned about my kid spending too much screen time and I was putting too much stress on him. So I also bought:

With these books, I was introduced to the world of 'Emotional Intelligence' , 'Character Skills' and the power of parent-child conversation. Children develops better when they learn to manage their emotions, establish positive relationships, develop caring and concern for others, make responsible decisions and constructively handle challenging situations.These are my keywords to what I was searching for - the wholesome, well-balanced, happy and healthy child. 

I had since found a lot of other online resources, such as the Heckman EquationThe Character LabThe Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. and many others that drive the research and values of emotional learning.

Although there are many different words and ways that people describe social emotional skills, like character skills, emotional intelligence, EQ, executive function etc, they mostly mean help kids develop skills such as motivation, self esteem, perserverance, resilience, empathy, perspective taking, emotional sharing, emotion recognition etc. And these are critical skills that balance their brain, how they deal with life.

And the most important finding or realization for me personally was that such skills can be taught, and they can be taught by teachers and even by parents; and best taught through play, conversation and quality time together. With these skills, I want to raise my kids to be caring, confident and capable.

*Lim is CEO of POVI.

I would love to give you a heads-up that we will be running a Kickstarter campaign on Tue, May 24, 2016. We would greatly appreciate your help to be one of our early backers to make Povi a reality.

You can choose to back our project for your family, a school, your team members at work or even non-profits.

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Thank you very much! Do email me at to catch up anytime!

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