Social and emotional learning (SEL), commonly referred to by its acronym SEL, is an integral part of education and human development.
It is a process through which individuals of all age acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships and make responsible and caring decisions.
With social-emotional solid skills, people are better at coping with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.
How to make your kids learn social-emotional skills at home?
In this article, we have enlisted few learning activities to help your kids develop and master social-emotional skills.
Start a gratitude journal.
Most adults have diaries of gratitude with them. Instilling the same in your kids would be great for increasing most SEL skills: self-awareness and self-management. Ask your kids to create a gratitude diary where they write something every day to feel grateful. They can answer questions like who is the only one who makes you thankful? What made you grateful today? Etc. You can use more questions that help encourage deeper thinking and reflect on their lives. Ensure you focus on the positives.
Write a letter or draw a picture of a loved one.
When we think of positive social ties, it gives us cause to reflect and feel joy. It is likely, that even if children are sitting at home, they can think about the important people in their lives/favourite toys, so have your kids write letters or draw pictures. It will make them happier and build relationship skills and social awareness at the very same time.
Integrating artistic activities into your children's schedules can be a powerful way to learn social and emotional skills. It would help children understand who they are, what they do best. It can also be used as positive coping strategies for stress management, collaboration and relationship building.
Make a schedule or list of to-do's
To help children stay structured, create and maintain a day-to-day routine. This would help children respect a schedule, manage their work accordingly, and develop a sense of predictability and security. It's a great way to help kids make responsible decisions and manage themselves and think about previous days and the day ahead to make choices based on their convenience.
While setting a schedule, you can also discuss what to include on your day-to-day schedule with your children.
Read Bedtime Stories
It is one of the best strategies for integrating SEL into everyday learning. As you read, talk to your children about how certain characters might think and feel. Utilize the time to highlight perspective-taking, which helps individuals understand others' emotions and thoughts.
Do Daily Greetings
The practice of daily salutations is a perennial and simple strategy to keep children and adults connected.
You can do this by starting your morning with daily greetings; when your kids wake up, greet them with a "good morning" or say hello when they walk to you in the morning.
Talk About Managing Emotions
Being an excellent emotional handler is another essential skill. You can get your kids to understand its significance and have a great hold onto it by weaving it into pieces of literature or movies that you watch together as you talk about the character's feelings and needs. You might ask, "How did the hero feel when his mom left? How did he manage his emotions? Etc. You might also ask kids, "How would they react in the same situations?" and more. You can also give your children real-world scenarios and have them find a solution. This would help them not only to master their emotional skills but also to enhance their problem-solving skills. Moreover, you can help your children learn to manage their own emotions and react to certain situations.
After kids complete a task project or assignment, please encourage them to reflect on their own progress. This is a core SEL skill that can be used in any course program, such as mathematics, reading, writing, science, history and more.
Mindfulness can help children calm down before an exam, manage their emotions when they are upset or panicked, and feel happier at this time. It can also help kids learn breathing strategies, concentrate on one thing at a time, and relax their bodies. You can try mindful breathing that focuses on breathing in and out to calm the mind and body. There are a lot more different mindful exercises that you can apply.
There is a multitude of games available to help children learn social and emotional learning. You can try card and board games, and outdoor games like tag or hop-scotch offer built-in possibilities to help kids learn to take turns, cooperate, cope with frustration, and more. As you play together, focus on fun instead of winning or losing.
Set SMART Goals
It may sound different, but SMART goals are another excellent way to help kids control what they want to accomplish in life. You can have kids prepare a list stating their SMART goals for an academic area they require to improve or a social area that needs some work. Keep a check on these goals periodically so that kids can identify if their strategies are good enough or are going in the right direction not. Provide additional assistance in setting and checking the goals. You may change the approaches if required.
Besides all, you need to model the Behaviour You Seek. After all, parents are the very first teacher of children. They learn a lot from their parents. If you’re willing to help your kids learn essential SEL skills, you have to model the “right” behaviour. Whether it's apologizing when you're wrong or treating others with respect and kindness, you have to work on your actions as kids observe your behaviour and learn from you. Make sure you be as particular in what you do and what you would want your kids to do.
Do you have any excellent activity on your mind? If yes, do let us know in the comments.