Emotional Intelligence & The Feeling Buddies

At Watering Whole Holistic Preschool, we strive to teach and encourage the development of emotionally intelligent children. 

A child’s Emotional Intelligence forms before the age of 10. Studies have shown that children who perform poorly in their school-work are lacking and underdeveloped in their Emotional Intelligence. 

According to Howard Gardner, human beings have not just one form of intelligence, but actually multiple intelligences. These intelligences form part of who we are and need to be developed and strengthened in order for us to grow and thrive as individuals. One of the key intelligences we should be focusing on in early childhood development is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the “ability to recognise, understand and manage our own feelings as well as the feelings of others. It is the ability to show understanding and empathy, and it involves the ability to see things from other points of view” (Henig).

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A child whose emotional intelligence is encouraged to develop will be:

  • optimistic, confident, out-going, independent and sociable
  • able to express appropriate emotions
  • able to empathise and show affection
  • able to understand other points of view
  • able to control impulsive behaviour and manage their moods
  • self-motivated and able to set goals
  • developed in skills suitable for problem solving and conflict resolution
  • able to achieve better results in their academics


Children need to experience a sense of belonging in order to form a secure identity and sense of self. This begins with knowing, and being proud of, where they come from and having respect for all people regardless of their differences. As a rainbow nation, in a world that is full of diversity and constant change, one of the most important aspects of what unites us is our difference. Watering Whole Holistic Preschool embraces different forms of family structures and provides an open-minded and secure environment where children can play, learn and grow as unique individuals.

 Feeling Buddies Self-Regulation Curriculum 

Based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices, the Safe Place and the Feeling Buddies Self-Regulation Curriculum created by Dr. Becky A. Bailey and Lety Valero also form an integral part of the Watering Whole.

Uitilising a wonderful curriculum filled with songs, stories, discussions, art work, the safe place and the feeling buddies themselves, the children learn to not only understand their feelings, but become equipped with many wonderful calming and problem solving strategies!

“Did you know two decades of research tell us that self-regulation is a better predictor of academic success than IQ scores or entry-level reading and math skills?” (Managing Emotional Mayhem, Dr Becky A. Bailey)

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