What is social-emotional learning and why is it so important?
Your child’s ability to learn depends on their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. Dealing with stress, anxiety, peer pressure, isolation, or emotional trauma drains them of precious mental energy that could be applied to learning.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is how kids develop the skills to manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, set and achieve goals, and build strong, caring relationships.
The five core competencies that make up SEL include:
Self-awareness: recognizing emotions, strengths, and limitations; cultivating a growth mindset
Self-management: regulating behavior, initiating tasks and achieving goals
Social awareness: relating to others, showing empathy, appreciating diversity
Relationship skills: forming strong and collaborative relationships and dealing with conflict effectively
Responsible decision-making: understanding the consequences of personal behavior
MINDFULNESS AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING
What is mindfulness and how does it increase social-emotional skills?
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing our attention to the present moment - without judgement.
Once we notice our feelings, emotions, and sensations objectively, we can respond to people and situations intentionally. We're less likely to react from fear, frustration, or anger. This ability to pause and choose a wiser response cultivates both social and emotional intelligence.
Through practicing mindfulness, students strengthen the skill of focused attention. Mindfulness also boosts confidence and develops inner resilience as students shift attention from disempowering thoughts to empowering ones.
According to MindfulSchools.org, nearly 1 in 3 adolescents will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by age 18.
While stress may seem “normal” these days, with practice, we can all learn to manage it better.
Whether you’re a parent, student, or teacher, mindfulness can help you become calmer and more compassionate - with yourself and others.
The benefits of mindfulness can be experienced through meditation, breathwork, mindful games and play.
Learn about the ABCs of Attention, Balance and Compassion
in this insightful TEDx Talk by Susan Kaiser Greenland:
MINDFULNESS & SEL RESOURCES
Growth Mindset, The seminal TED Talk by Carol Dweck
Grit, A powerful TED Talk by Angela Duckworth
Social and Emotional Learning: Why it’s so essential for students
Mindful Schools: www.mindfulschools.org (for educators and parents!)
Kid-specific mindfulness activities from a well-respected mindfulness educator.
Mindfulness for the whole family: UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center