Young children are starting to express their feelings, concerns, and independence. Children can learn healthy self-regulation, communication, and decision-making with social emotional learning, also known as SEL.
What is Social Emotional Learning/SEL?
Social Emotional Learning is the process of understanding and managing emotions, relating to others, building positive relationships, developing social awareness, achieving goals, and making responsible decisions.
SEL has benefits in the classroom as well, including:
- Responsible decision-making
- Stress management
- Self-regulation of emotions
- Enhanced focus in a classroom environment
- Positive attitude in school
- Positive social behavior
- Greater academic achievement
- Reduction of behavioral issues
The benefits of Social Emotional Learning in early childhood extend into a child’s later life, as well. Research has found that SEL education in the formative years leads to a greater chance of a student getting a college degree and gaining employment. In addition, healthy communication skills are vital to success in many areas of life.
Examples of Social Emotional Learning activities
Here are some ways healthy social and emotional learning can be developed in young children:
- Play time in groups that require social interaction and problem-solving
- Cooperating with a partner on a project
- Teaching a child how to identify their emotions
- Discussing a child’s feelings respectfully and honestly
- Modeling appropriate emotional regulation
- Giving specific praise without comparison to other children
- One-on-one activities and attention
- Reading together and discussing the books
- Encouraging empathy towards others
- Encouraging independence in safe ways
- Asking a child to talk about their feelings when they’re upset
- Reviewing concepts of respect and emergency protocols
At My Place, we demonstrate how to interact with others in a respectful way, discuss safety and privacy, and encourage organic engagement between students. Social Emotional Learning gives students the tools they need to be safe and create healthy relationships at school and beyond.