AD | Partnership
Social-Emotional learning or SEL is something that you can encourage as a parent. For those who are unsure, SEL is the process in which children can develop skills such as social awareness, self-control, and other interpersonal skills that will help them in the school environment and in adult life through work and social aspects. However, it might be that you are not too familiar with how you can help your child to adapt and work on these skills that can prove invaluable in adult life.
It is said that children who have strong social-emotional skills are better able to deal with everyday challenges and that they can benefit academically, socially, and professionally. So it is ideal if you are more aware of what you can do at home to help your children become confident in these areas. It is so beneficial especially when it comes to your child’s mindset and wellbeing. Thankfully, there are plenty of SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) activities and ideas that can help your child to thrive in social-emotional learning. Here are some of the things that you could try.
Focusing on their mental health and wellbeing
Children can just as easily feel anxious and depressed in their day-to-day lives as we can as adults, and it is so important that we recognise when our children might not be feeling themselves. Recognising when out children’s mental wellbeing may need some focus. They need to learn how they can articulate their feelings which can be quite difficult for them to do. So regular discussions of feelings and exercises where you can help them to recognise emotions can work really well. It can also help them to feel that you are always open to listen to them if they have anything they might need to say.
A gratitude journal
You may be already aware that a gratitude journal can be great for adults to start thinking about a change of mindset. The practice of giving thanks for things that have gone well throughout the day can serve as a reminder to look for the good and to be more aware of things as they happen. The same can be said for children keeping a gratitude journal. It helps them with self-awareness and self-management. It can also serve as a reminder for them to be more aware of when things are going well for them and to be thankful for things rather than expect or take things for granted.
A sensory and visual jar
A sensory and visual jar is a great way for children to learn how to self-manage their emotions, especially when they are feeling particularly heavy with emotions that spark anxiety, sadness, and anger. A glitter jar is a great example of this. Getting a mason jar, filling it with water, and adding glitter is all you need to do. Children can then grab that jar when they are feeling stressed or any other strong emotion and manage to calm their emotions simply by watching and focusing on the glitter floating around as they move the jar.
Writing a letter or drawing a picture for a loved one
Having an opportunity to think about positive social connections that we have will always make us feel good and the same can be said for your children. Giving your kids the chance to think of people that are important to them, and then to articulate how they feel through a creative outlet such as wiring or drawing can help them to cement those feelings further.
This is also a great way for children to develop and build upon relationship skills and to have more social awareness. Whether it is a small note to someone, a letter they send to someone they don’t see too often, or they draw a picture for someone they love or care about, it can be a lovely way to reaffirm those emotions and to understand that actions can have a positive effect.
Routine and managing expectations
Having a routine and using things like to-do lists helps your child to be more self-aware of what is expected of them. The structure can help with your mindset as well as your children. It can also be an ideal opportunity for children to learn how to self-manage their day and the things they need to do, as well as encouraging responsive decision making.
A body reset can help
Finally, when any of us young or old experiences strong emotions, our bodies can respond, and this is when things can get overwhelming. However, a body reset is a great way to calm those emotions and realign the mindset. Simple breathing exercises can work really well here. It helps your child to be more self-aware of their emotions and to understand how to calm those emotions when things get too much.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you to encourage social-emotional learning for children.