What the School of Hard Knocks Teaches: Tips to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

I attended an Ivy League School and taught at two. However, it was the traumas and life blows I survived that taught me the most.


We all have endured some trauma or another; some others seem worse than ours, others trivial in comparison.

The truth? What shatters and shakes your world is a life blow no matter what anyone else thinks.

Here is  one that hit me when I was seven or eight.  That was when I realizing my mother had lied to me; she had convinced me Santa Claus was alive and did indeed travel around the world on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. When I discovered that was far from true, my faith in her fell apart.  Seems small and many children go through this type of life blow, but it did change me forever.

As the quote by Jodi Picoult on the above poster quote notes, you are not the same person after a life blow. Moreover, it does not matter how trivial that blow may seem to others.  You become a new you and need to adjust to a new you and a new view of life and people. The experts say you have to find a new normal.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Tip one: Know when a less recognized  trauma has visited you.  Depression and fear that interfere with you life are often symptoms of such blows. Think about events  creating major changes in your beliefs about the world and people.  Although rarely seen as such, these are often traumatic.

Tip two:  When a Life Blow hits follow the advice in this Poster Coach.

How to deal with chance gone wrong

Tip three: Practice a daily self-care program. My newest eBook Cross Train Your Brain with Twelve Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises is a good place to start.  Click here for a free download. Free offer extended to February 29th.

Parenting tipS

Tip one: Examine the traumas and disappointments of your life. Have you stayed on the side of kindness? If not, work on getting back there. It is the surest sign trauma has not defeated you.

Tip two: Do not trivialize lesser traumas when they visit your child. Listen, then ask, “How can you get past this blow?”

Tip three: When your child starts walking and talking teach rating pain and hurt skills. Learn to rate pain and hurt, then teach your children to do the same.  Start with rating the bumps and bruises that come with learning to walk.

rating hurts

Tip four:  Teach your children how to manage bad, mad, and sad feelings.  That means learning to think before acting and acting to make things better, not to hurt someone or indulge in payback.


Thank you for all you do. Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting on this post.

Your caring keeps me going.


Thank you Word Press Daily Prompt Alma Mater fjor inspiring this post. You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech. I would morph the above

I would morph the above into a speech.


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

  1. Four Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (www.emotionalfitnesstraining.com}
  2. An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
  3. The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
  4. Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
  5. Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents  (parentsarepeopletoo.com)

Thank you again for all you do.



  1. You give so much here, Katherine. Parents, teachers, and counselors could do well to copy it all and feed to themselves, children, and adults in small bites. Such helpful ideas!

    One more thing, in my toastmaster club, one of our members from Japan shared her real life experience during the tsunami. She shared her feelings and those of her family’s. We were mesmerized. I believe it helped her deal with the trauma too.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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