Ways to Promote Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills at Home
When SEL is reinforced at home as well as in the classroom, students are more likely to acquire the skills they need. Here are a few examples of things you can do at home:
• After your child has accomplished something exciting, congratulate him or her for the hard work and effort they put in to reach that milestone rather than for the actual achievement. This supports self-awareness and an understanding that success isn’t just luck, it’s something that you work towards.
• Work with your child to establish a daily routine for getting homework done, completing chores or other important tasks. Acknowledge that it’s often frustrating when you want to do something fun but have to wait and complete something that’s necessary first. This builds skills in self-management and responsible decision-making.
• When reading a book or watching a movie together, talk about what the characters may be thinking and how they may be feeling based on what’s going on in the story. This promotes reflection, builds proficiency with discussing emotions and supports social awareness.
• Discuss different situations, both positive and not-so-positive, that have happened at school or your community. Ask open ended questions such as “What did you say? What happened next? What else might you have done at that moment? Why do you think that was the outcome?” and brainstorm together ways that your child might react in these situations. Focus on coming up with specific appropriate strategies, such as phrases that could be used to ask for help from a teacher, or actions that could be done if they see a friend who seems sad. This supports all areas of SEL and specifically aids with relationship skills.Research shows that when students have higher SEL competencies, they achieve higher reading and math test scores and have lower rates of suspensions and absenteeism.