By Jennifer Dirga (MAA School Counselor)
What is emotional well being and how do you nurture social and emotional competencies with your child? The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning defines social and emotional learning as, “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make a responsible decision.”
Social-emotional competencies are essential for life success. At home and at school, we want children to feel motivated, be resilient, take safe risks, be able to develop self-regulation, as well as form healthy relationships with peers and other adults. These skills allow children to develop coping skills that can prevent or mitigate mental health issues. We know that children learn best and often thrive in environments where they feel safe and cared for and where social-emotional and developmental needs of the child are fostered. Social-emotional skills, like academic skills, can be taught, practiced, learned, and applied.
Social-emotional development may look different for children of certain ages. However, skills, like listening, speaking up, managing feelings, and maintaining friendships as well as problem-solving, are often skills we want children to have regardless of the age. There are simple strategies that can help foster these skills at home. Reading, talking about feelings, practicing mindfulness strategies, and asking questions can all build these skills in children. This workshop will build upon the things you are already doing and add to your toolbox to support your child’s social-emotional development.