Helping Everyone Thrive
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a term that is still in discovery for most parents, and surprisingly to some teachers. Many people aren’t sure what it means and why it is essential. Come to think of it, kids spend a lot of time in school to sharpen their academic skills, but are they trained to understand themselves as social and emotional beings? While some kids learn social and emotional skills naturally by just socializing with other people, but like many, SEL needs to be modeled and understood to apply profound life skills. Many kids, especially those with problematic reading cues, cannot naturally read social and emotional cues from their surroundings or within themselves. Learning SEL life tools and skills in school has shown more extraordinary academic achievement and self-worth and conferences. Social-emotional skills are natural, as they are learned through awareness, activities, and conversation builder. The 21st Century Child has higher than ever expectations to apply skills consistently, such as self-regulation, empathy for themselves and those around them, collaboration skills, and so much more. The lack of SEL skills can cause your child social isolation, depression, anxiety, and unhappiness in their day-to-day experiences at school, homes, community, extracurricular activities, etc.
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process of developing and applying emotional and social skills. Teachers primarily develop SEL skills by grouping students together for collaborative or cooperative learning. It enhances students’ self-control, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills that contribute significantly to their school and general life success. An individual with solid SEL skills can cope better with daily life challenges and thrives academically, socially, and professionally. Social-Emotional Learning skills also provide a person with better skills in problem-solving while also enhancing a person’s self-discipline level. It further provides a person better abilities to manage emotions and to cope with challenging situations. SEL is essential among kids since it gives them a good foundation of positive living as they prepare to be adults and community members.
As an SEL Educator of almost ten years, I’ve worked with public schools, private schools, charter schools, significant non-profit such as Big Brother Big Sister of America, Boys and Girls Club of America, Foster Care Programs, after school programs, private family classes, group family classes, and so much more. One theme was consistent everywhere I taught SEL life skills. Once an individual, whether it be an adult or child, learned life-changing tools, they could better manage their own emotions and inner world. There was an immediate change in the quality of life for that individual, their families, communities, and anyone they came in contact with them. SEL is a form of healing of the heart, soul, and spirit. We all long to better self-understand and work tirelessly to pass these skills to our children and future generations.
Couple SEL and Academics-We reach the Whole Child!
Why is Social-Emotional Learning Important?
SEL skills are essential to students because they help them understand and manage themselves, understand other people’s thoughts and perspectives, relate with other people, and make good choices concerning social and personal decisions. Social-emotional skills are also beneficial to kids because they help them positively affect themselves and other people. The skills also help them improve their self-efficacy, be more persistent, confident, empathetic, friendly, and committed to the school. SEL also gives children and adults a sense of responsibility and purpose in life. It also helps them to develop better social behaviors as they relate with their parents and peers. Significantly, it improves emotional distress and improves their conduct, not to mention it helps to improve their test scores, attendance, and grades.
How SEL helps your Child Thrive in Life
1. IT IMPROVES THEIR SELF-AWARENESS.
Self-awareness is the ability of a person to identify personal strengths, preferences, and values. It helps a person to understand their own thoughts, insight, and emotions. Self-awareness improves one’s understanding of one’s own values, goals, and emotions. As a result, your child will assess their strengths and weaknesses and have a positive mindset. With SEL skills, your child will also be more optimistic despite the challenges that he could be going through. Improved self-awareness will bring more awareness of personal thoughts and feelings, and therefore, your child will make more informed decisions.
2. IT IMPROVES THEIR SELF-MANAGEMENT ABILITIES.
Self-management is a person’s ability to prioritize goals, decide what should be done first, and complete necessary actions within the stipulated time. It involves mental, physical, spiritual, and social management and calls for behavior and emotional regulations. A child with self-management skills can manage stress, delay gratification, persevere through hard times, and manage stress. Such abilities help them to achieve their educational and personal goals effectively.
3. YOUR CHILD DEVELOPS MORE SOCIAL AWARENESS.
Social awareness can be described as the ability to take other people’s perspectives despite their cultures and backgrounds, understand ethical and social norms for behavior, and recognize school family and community support and resources. Social awareness helps your child to be compassionate and empathetic to people despite their cultures and backgrounds. They also develop a better understanding of their social norms both at school and outside school.
4. YOUR CHILD DEVELOPS BETTER RELATIONSHIP SKILLS.
SEL skills enhance your child’s relationship skills, which helps them maintain and establish healthier relationships with others. They will also be cooperative, be active listeners and communicate more clearly. In addition, they will become better conflict negotiators and successfully overcome social pressure.
5. YOUR CHILD MAKES MORE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS.
SEL skills help your child to make better choices about their lives both in school and at home. They learn how to maintain ethical standards, avoid risky behaviors, and maintain good care of themselves and the people around them. SEL also helps them to evaluate their actions and determine possible consequences.
Check our SEL Programs: Life Coaching for Kids and Beyond
FOOTNOTES and REFERENCES: 1. Social Emotional on WiKi 2. Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness 3. Social-Emotional Learning Program to Reduce Bullying, Fighting, and Victimization Among Middle School Students With Disabilities