How Do You Parent an Emotionally Intelligent Child? With Rachael Katz and Dr. Helen Hadani

Rachael Katz and Dr. Helen HadaniLeigh Richardson of the Brain Performance Center and host of In Your Head with Leigh Richardson speaks with Rachael Katz and Dr. Helen Hadani to talk about how to parent an emotionally intelligent child. Rachael teaches social and emotional learning skills to parents and children. She is former head of the Discovery School at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and head of social and emotional learning for Early Years at Dulwich College Beijing. Helen is currently a fellow at the Brookings Institution where she conducts policy-focused research on the benefits of playful learning in both formal and informal contexts. She is former director of research at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

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Rachael Katz, MS, Ed grew up in Philadelphia PA. She went to NYU film school and got a master in education from Bank Street College of Education where she studied child development. She combined the two skills to write and direct children’s educational television. Her goal was to ensure children of all backgrounds could learn while watching TV. Additionally, she worked on educational entertainment for museums and toy companies. In the mid 90’s, she was offered an interesting job to work on a call-in radio show for Chinese children. This job brought her to China, where she lived and worked on various entertainment projects, including the award-winning Mrs. Lin and Friends. Her work for children impacted children in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

While working and living overseas she had a family and she deepened her study of a personal passion, meditation. She studied meditation and qigong with master teachers throughout the region and began to bring these practices to the children and families that she worked with and into her home. The entertainment travel schedule was tough on the family so she shifted her work into schools, where she focused on social and emotional learning.

In 2016, she returned to the US to head up the Bay Area Discovery Museum School at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in San Francisco.

Connect with Rachael Katz:

Website | LinkedIn

Helen Shwe Hadani, PhD grew up in East Stroudsburg, a small city in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. She majored in Cognitive Science at the University of Rochester with a focus on developmental psychology. This sparked her interest in early childhood development and led to her graduate studies at Stanford. After completing her PhD, she spent the early part of her career applying her knowledge and expertise in early childhood development to creating innovative learning experiences and products for toy, technology, and media companies, many of them based in the SF Bay Area.

She and her husband Dave moved to Hong Kong for his work in the late 90’s. They enjoyed traveling around Asia where she has family in Thailand and Burma. After about 2 years in Hong Kong, they moved back to Northern CA to be close to family and start their own. Her daughters are now 15 and 18.

In 2012, she joined the Bay Area Discovery Museum as the research director for the Center for Childhood Creativity, the research division of the museum. This is where she and Rachael first met! Helen's work at the museum highlighted the important role of informal education and learning outside the classroom, which is also the focus of her current work at the Brookings Institution where she conducts policy-focused research on the role of playful learning.

Connect with Dr. Helen Hadani:

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Check out Rachael and Helen's book:

The Emotionally Intelligent Child: Effective Strategies for Parenting Self-Aware, Cooperative, and Well-Balanced Kids

In the book, parents and caregivers learn all about the stages of development that children go through as they gain social awareness and emotional balance—and how parents can nurture this using the MIND framework. By shifting their thinking from an adult viewpoint to a child’s, parents discover how they can scaffold and support their child’s social and emotional learning; and ensure the development of prosocial behavior, impulse control, and perspective taking.

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Leigh Richardson is also the author of Brain on Game On, available at Amazon and on and The Brain Performance Center is located in Dallas, Texas and can be reached at 214-329-9017.

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Connect with Leigh Richardson:

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