Conversations with the Parents: Importance of Social-Emotional Learning
Parents, not only are you the guardians but also the best teachers for your kids. Through proper conversational training, you can learn what goes on in your child's head and cater to all the emotional and social hindrances.
On a busy Saturday morning, Mrs. Alan was sitting in the lounge with a pile of books in front of her as she clicked across her screen. Her 8-year-old son sat across the glass table, trying to finish his homework. He looked at his mom, enjoying her time playing on her phone, this started frustrating him.
Child: This is so not fair! I don't want to study.
Mother: I don't want to hear any excuses, please go ahead and finish your work.
Child (looks at his occupied mom): No, I don't feel like doing it, I really don't want it. You are on your phone. Why can't I be on mine?
Mother: I am your mother, I can do what I want. You don't have a choice, you have to finish your homework.
The child throws the book on the floor and stomps out of the room while crying. Mrs. Alan was caught by this over-expression of emotions on something so trivial. She kept on wondering, why did he react in furry? What just happened?
This scenario is a norm in various households that causes a rift and over-exaggeration of emotions. As parents, we tend to ignore that our children have emotional needs that do surface and require a response. If your child is non-verbally asking for your attention and affection then never shove “because I am your mother” and stand on them because, at the end of the day, they are your children too.
Often, in stressful moments, we start vowing to not hurt our kids anymore or to act differently, but as humans we all make mistakes, so it is important to prioritize emotions and act emphatically. Think about how the outcome can be different if you react differently.
If your child is no longer able to reach out to you about social-emotional learning, start a conversation. Start indulging in the lives of your child and help them open up from home.
The power of words can change a person, sometimes just being understanding can improve your child's psychological well-being.
A few emotional-coaching phrases that you should use to empower children through overwhelming situations and hone their emotional intelligence are as follows:
1. It’s okay to be upset — just let it out
Hard feelings are difficult to contain, they bubble up and the child starts suffocating. A child should accept their feelings as normal, they should be allowed to be upset, sad, angry, and frustrated. Start an open discussion with your child, and teach them ways to openly express their feelings in a socially acceptable way.
2. I hear you — I’ll stay with you— I’m here for you
It is important that your child never feels alone, they should know that no matter what happens the parents will give support.
3. It's okay to feel this way, but it won't last forever. The hard time will pass, and you will feel better soon.
You don’t have to dismiss the way you are feeling, instead teach the kids to learn to realize their feelings and change for the better. Children mostly don't take things to heart and easily forgive. For example, one second, they would fight with their siblings and in the next, they would play together.
4. Take breaks, take a breath, sit down, and pause.
Teach your child practical tools to handle emotions, self-regulation should be started early on. For example, breathe in and out for 5 seconds, and remove yourself from the situation. Find a relaxing spot and calm down.
5. Don`t worry, you’ll remember next time…
During tough times, support your child, and praise them even on small milestones. Tell them that you knew that they could do it, you count on them. Through these emotional-coaching techniques, the child starts growing their emotional intelligence and empowering them to tackle hard emotions.
Ways to bring SEL at home
Home is the prime source of socialization as parents start incorporating the following strategies to inherent SEL in their children.
Self-Awareness: Teach your child to understand their emotions, personal goals, and values. This includes developing a positive mindset toward every emotion.
Self-Management: Facilitate your child with self-management skills to regulate their emotions and behaviors. Through encouraging delayed gratification, impulse control, perseverance, and so on.
Social Awareness: Your child must have the ability to understand and feel compassion for everyone.
Relationship Skills: Maintaining healthy relationships and rewarding acts of kindness leads the kids to make strong connections.
Decision-making: teach them constructive ways to make personal and social relations across diverse settings.
To sum up
You solely influence your child, if you want the child to listen then be attentive to their needs and be the role model as the child learns through imitation. You must understand why they feel the way they do. It is important to answer all their questions without making them feel dumb or ridiculed as it can target their self-esteem. Thus, it is important that as parents, you are vigilant and patient toward the child.