In order to become well-rounded adults, it is essential that children get the best possible education. This isn’t just talking about achieving educational excellence. In fact, one of the most important skills that everyone needs to learn is social-emotional.
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Understanding Social-Emotional Skills
Social-emotional skills are the ability to understand different emotions, knowing when to offer help or how to respond in certain situations, and recognizing these feelings in yourself.
In short, it is a way to connect with yourself on an emotional level and use those emotions to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
If you develop good social-emotional skills you will be able to adapt to many different situations and find yourself capable of handling a wide array of social situations.
To fully understand social-emotional skills it is easier to consider what is included in this skillset:
- The ability to control yourself
- Can express yourself in words
- Good at listening and paying attention to others
- Take pride in what you have achieved
- See yourself positively as a productive human being
- Know when and how to ask for help, if needed
- Capable of showing affection to others
- Awareness of how others feel and how you can help
As you can see, developing social-emotional skills is critical to leading a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Teaching Social-Emotional Skills To Children
Children are very good at absorbing information. In fact, when they are very young their brains act like sponges, soaking up every bit of information you could give them. This is why it is so important to start teaching social-emotional skills from a young age.
In many ways social-emotional skills are not taught, they are learned and discovered by being in the right environment and open to new experiences. Children are generally very good at this.
The good news is that you, and your chosen early learning center, can help them move in the right direction.
- Power Words
You need to encourage your child to stand up for themselves without being aggressive. The best way to do this is to use power words, such as ‘stop’ or ‘I don’t like that’. When you demonstrate this to your child they will adopt the same approach when dealing with conflict. That is a good skill to learn.
It is important that children understand all actions have consequences. For example, if they empty all their toys out then they will have to put them all away. You need to keep a neutral tone when telling them what to do. This shows there is no conflict, it is simply a consequence of their actions.
You may be surprised at how effective this is.
- Lead By Example
Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do as a parent is to lead by example. Listen to your child and show them you are listening. Establish simple rules and follow them yourself, and when you are telling them what or how to do something, show them at the same time.
It is the best way of reinforcing the principle and helping your child develop social-emotional skills.