Emotion allows us to mark things in our world as good, bad, or indifferent, and thus facilitates choice. Most of what we deem wisdom is actually a result of cultivating awareness of our emotions and what we have learned from them. But how and when is this emotional intelligence acquired?
According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, emotional development begins very early in life — in infancy, when children first bond with their caregivers — and is not only significant to the formation of the architecture of the brain but has long-term consequences with the emergence of language and social skills. Early emotional intelligence lays the groundwork for academic achievement, the ability to form long-term, intimate relationships, and even the foundation of viable mental health.