Being a parent is one of the most rewarding journeys that one can embark on during their lifetime. Watching your kids grow up and guiding them through new experiences is inherently fulfilling. However, there is always the looming fear: have I done enough? You are in charge of setting a great example for your children to follow. Not only this but you should be teaching them the vital social and emotional skills needed to succeed in life.
Social and emotional learning (also referred to as SEL) is the process in which kids learn to apply the required skills, attitudes, and knowledge in order to regulate and manage their own emotions. This is crucial learning for any child because it fosters self-awareness, helps them create and maintain positive relationships, develops responsible decision-making skills and allows them to feel empathy towards others. Now that we have covered the basics of SEL, let’s explore the different techniques you can employ to teach your kids these crucial skills.
Set an Example
You can’t expect your kids to follow a set of morals, values and ethics when you don’t display the same behavior. This is why it is essential that you set an example for your children. This is the easiest way to teach them important life lessons. Your children will look to you for guidance so make sure that you don’t disappoint them with your actions. You can do this by complimenting other people with sincerity, letting people go ahead of you in the queue, or simply by forgiving those who have wronged you. Whatever you wish your child to do, make sure you do the same.
Emotions are a complex area to explore, therefore honesty, transparency and good communication are key characteristics that you should instill in your children. Rather than getting frustrated when your kids are upset, try to open up a conversation. Why does this bother them so much? How can they regulate these emotions? Try and identify what led them to feel this emotion, then help them manage their response to this emotion. Be honest with them and let them know that no topic of conversation is out of bounds. They should be able to come to you with any issues or queries that they may have.
Children will always need some guidance when it comes to social and emotional skills. Who better equipped to teach them than their own parents? There are a ton of social emotional learning materials available online which can help you do so. From board games to affirmations, there is a wide range of activities that can help you teach these skills. Creativity is another great outlet for children that will help them with social emotional learning. You can ask your children to draw or tell a story about how they are feeling. They may not have the vocabulary to verbalize their feelings, but they can still express themselves through art.