This month at BeKids we are getting to know our BeKids and focusing on the basics of Social and Emotional Learning.
WHAT IS SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING?
SEL has five core competencies that can help kids in the classroom, in the playground and at home feel happier, build self-management skills and improve academic performance. The five core competencies include: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making.
At BeKids, we strive to ensure that our BeKids are compassionate, empathetic, and respectful of not only the other kids in the program but at school and at home. We also work with kids to be self aware - aware of their actions, their words and their behaviors. We also love when we can encourage them to be confident in positive problem solving.
You can work with your kids at home as well to develop healthy social and emotional learning skills. Here's a few tips how:
1) Make a Plan - A plan can be a big help for when emotional chaos takes hold. A simple example can be "When someone in the family is angry, they will say, ' I need five minutes,' and then remove themselves from the situation while they cool down. This teaches and highlights self-awareness for both child and parent as well as respectful boundaries and thoughtful listening.
2) Make a Commitment - Commit as a family to "fight fair". Arguments and fights will happen but it is important to "fight fair" and avoid words and actions that can leave emotional scars or damage. Actions like blaming, name calling, and criticism can be replaced with taking responsibility, listening, and a focus on solutions. Sometimes it is hard for young children to adopt habits such as these but will benefit from parents or guardian's modelling this behavior and they will adopt similar strategies.
3) Learning Opportunities - It's one thing to point out the behaviors we do not want to see but when a challenging situation comes about, it's important to ask yourself, "What skill or positive behaviors can my child learn from this?" For example if your child is continually taking your younger child's toy, the opportunity presents itself for problem solving. "You really want to play with this toy, how can we play so everyone is happy and you have a chance to play with the toy too?" Sometimes involving your child gives them the confidence to find a constructive solution.
On a large or small scale, Social and Emotional Learning has many benefits:
- Positive Attitudes - Toward oneself, others and tasks
- Enhanced self-efficacy, confidence, empathy and sense of purpose
- Positive social behaviors and relationships