Say you find yourself at another family get together.
The talk starts of which cousin knows what and how this cousin is advanced, and ultimately the conversation turns into a comparison game. Letter and number identification, who’s peeing in the potty, gah it just turns overwhelming really fast!
Of course, you’re proud of your nieces and nephews but you can’t help but think about your own kids. For me, I know I’m the oddball of my group. While I do recognize the importance of academics, I choose to focus on or boast about their problem-solving skills and when they self-soothe on their own. Again, not taking away the importance of academics overall, just shedding some light on other areas your children could be excelling at which are extremely important to your child’s early childhood education.
Social Emotional Learning happens in everyday instances from the moment a child wakes up, to when they lay their head down. (Which let’s be real is typically about an hour after you start the bed time process…)
Let’s start with explaining exactly what social emotional learning is. SEL refers to the process of developing and using social and emotional skills. Kids aren’t born knowing how to manage their emotions and get along with others.
- The first reason I focus on social emotional milestones is a kind child is more important to me then a genius. I want my child to welcome others and befriend all. I believe when we focus on teaching our children to be kind, the academics and respect will follow in line at the right time. When a child is kind it radiates off them and allows others to feel welcomed. It welcomes diversity with your child and builds confidence with in them. “When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.”-Harold Kushner
- Social-emotional learning helps kids work on things like coping with feelings and setting goals. When a child is welcomed to embrace their feelings, they become confident within themselves. Even bigger than a child embracing their feelings is knowing how to deal with feelings. Self-soothing and coping skills allows a child to problem solve and work out socially acceptable ways to deal with how they are feeling. Social-emotional learning boost confidence and encourages a child to set goals and dream big.
- It also helps kids develop interpersonal skills and conflict resolution. Social-emotional learning can help reduce bullying and disciplinary complications. We want our children to be independent and be able to work out problems and work well with others. Children have to be introduced to the concept of problem solving and teamwork just like they have to be introduced to academics.
So the next time you’re at a family dinner and the comparison conversation starts, just keep these important life skills in the back of your mind! Every child matter and academically learns at their own pace.
Thanks for reading,
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher