Theory and Research

The CAPABLES™ are designed around Human Development Research

Parents can affect the frontal lobe brain development of their children,
ages 3-6, through the use of
The CAPABLES Parenting Tool &

G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™

to promote positive emotional control, reasoning, language
and decision-making skills.

Mark Greenberg, PhD.,Director of The Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development at Penn State (The Prevention Center aims to promote the well-being of children and youth and to reduce the prevalence of high risk behaviors and poor outcomes for children, families and communities and can be found at, tells us that “self-regulation abilities are the prerequisite for acting responsibly”. A child’s capacity to be Accountable and Responsible are vital components to success in their lives.  Moral teachings alone, like character counts programs, are not enough. Developing the skills to follow through are equally as important.

The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ and other Capables™ products, which you can purchase by clicking the link below, are specifically designed to aid young children (ages 30 months to nine-years-of-age.)

in frontal lobe development during a very critical developmental window. During the ages of three to six there are many changes including a rapid expansion of language and the ability to see other people's points of view. This is the time when children begin to develop self-control, and are introduced to "social problem solving". This is a critical time in a child’s life where they learn the skills to manage themselves and problems that arise.

Rather than simply reacting to problems; children learn they can actually “choose their attitude and behavior”. It is important for children to begin developing self-responsibility and accountability skills early. They need to learn life is full of options and their choices have natural consequences, both good and bad. It is important for them to think, "I can do this."

The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ is specifically designed to maximize the utilization of this critical development window in children. During this critical developmental window there are vast numbers of connections being made between the frontal lobe and the other portions of the brain. Both, language centers and the emotion centers of the brain are developing as well.

The frontal lobe is the executive that integrates emotion, reasoning, language aspects, and makes decisions based on all those characteristics, and then sends it to the motor neurons for action. It's the least genetically determined part of our self and therefore, the most likely to be modified by parental influence, what we learn and what we experience. Families, schools, peer relations, the nature of our communities, etc. all help to shape the frontal lobe's development. Using The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ can help children grow emotionally and blossom during this critical developmental window.

For too many years western psychology has failed children by focusing primarily on preventing psychopathology. Schools have focused their attention on academics and test scores, while simultaneously lowering the bar on achievement. Children need and deserve more. The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ focuses on helping children develop and strengthen:

The Capables™ system aids children in clarifying and establishing personal and familial values and is designed to create genuine and tangible self-worth. The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ aids children in strengthening their social and emotional intelligence and teaches children to give back to the world with their strengths, talents and time, while consistently creating opportunities for children to experience tangible confirmation that they are indeed, Capable of Greatness™.

 Salovey and Mayer (1990) defined Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions.” Following their continuing research, their initial definition of Emotional Intelligence was revised to: "The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth."

The Pause to Examine Feelings PAWS™parts of The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ were designed to help parents teach emotionally intelligent skills to children beginning at very early ages. The Pause to Examine Feelings PAWS™create a way for these high level skills to be taught easily and concretely in a safe and intimate exchange between parents or teachers and young children.

There is much more detailed information about how to use these simple Capables PAWS™and their “I Feel Right™” and “On the Other Hand™” Pockets in Part II of the Capables Guide.

Emotional Intelligence Competencies:
The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance. Goleman's model outlines four main EI constructs:

Goleman includes a set of emotional competencies within each construct of EI. Emotional competencies are not innate talents but rather learned capabilities that must be worked on and developed to achieve outstanding performance. Goleman suggests that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.

There is quite a lot of controversy surrounding emotional intelligence, despite the concept’s popularity in recent times. Goleman's model of EI for example, has been criticized in the research literature as mere pop-psychology (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008). Some critics argue that emotional intelligence cannot be recognized as a form of intelligence, in particular Goleman’s definition of the concept, and that it would be better to re-label the concept as a skill. This is where I do not want us to get lost in arguments and semantics.

What I want us to focus on is the fact that great people throughout history, although they may differ in many ways, color, gender, backgrounds, religions, etc., share a common trait that sets them apart. Religious preferences aside, when we consider analytically the great leadership qualities of Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, The Dalai Lama, Buddha, Mohammed, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other revered leaders who have inspired millions to grow, love, and contribute, we find they each displayed extraordinary emotional intelligence or skills. Each left different but lasting legacies of freedom, reverence, faith, service, sacrifice and love. They, respectful of others and grateful for the blessings in their lives, were able to transform the hearts and minds of others with their courage, love, and inspiration. Whether we label this ability intelligence, or a skill is not nearly as important as the fact that those who develop and use these emotionally intelligent skills leave a legacy of leadership, inspiration and good in the world.

Examining emotional intelligence as it relates to success in business researchers analyzed data from close to 500 competence models from global companies (including Lucent, IBM, British Airways, Credit Suisse, First Boston and PepsiCo), healthcare organizations, government agencies, academic settings, and religious orders to determine which personal capabilities drove outstanding performance. There are compelling statistics derived from this data that inform us of the impact of emotional intelligence on successful CEO’s. Capabilities were grouped into three categories: purely technical skills such as business planning or accounting, cognitive abilities such as analytic reasoning and traits exhibiting emotional intelligence, such as self-awareness and listening skills. The results were dramatic. Researchers discovered that emotional intelligence, or emotional skills, contributed 80 to 90 percent of the competencies that distinguish outstanding leaders. So why should we care if our children develop emotional intelligence? I believe the answer is obvious.

In his book Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman explains that from his perspective, emotional intelligence is concerned with two basic areas in a person’s life: personal competence, which determines how we manage ourselves, and social competence, which determines how we manage relationships. These skills are paramount to creating successful relationships both personally and professionally.
Researchers tell us that the amount of positive emotions like joy, love, tenderness, and accomplishment are critical to establishing the correct brain pathways in our children. Our children need to have opportunities to focus on these positive emotions much more than negative emotions.

Research also tells us that what we attend to, pay attention to, or focus on becomes our reality, and what we don’t attend to or focus on fades out of our reality. The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System™ helps children and their parents to focus on a child’s capacity for making great choices instead of focusing on their misbehavior and outbursts of negative emotion.

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Salovey, P. & Mayer, J.D. (1990) "Emotional intelligence" Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185-211
Goleman, D. (1998) Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books
Bradberry, Travis and Greaves, Jean. (2005) The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book. New York: Simon and Schuster. (ISBN 0743273265)
Boyatzis, R., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. (2000). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J.D.A. Parker (eds.): Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.