As parents, we know that there is more to raising a child than reading, writing, and learning math and computer science. Raising a child means that parents and school must work together to create a safe and supportive environment and help children to understand themselves, understand others, develop the ability to collaborate, work in teams to achieve a goal, develop empathy and make responsible decisions And the foundation for learning these skills begins in Early Childhood. Parents increasingly recognize the importance of paying attention to the holistic development of their children.
CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning), an organisation that has been doing research for the last 25 years has a CASEL 5 model that explains this well. CASEL has identified five core Social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the way that children learn skills necessary to:
- Understand and manage emotions.
- Set and achieve positive goals.
- Feel and show empathy for others.
- Establish and maintain positive relationships, and
- Make responsible decisions.
Research has shown that Social-emotional learning (SEL) has a positive impact on children, including better academic performance and improved attitudes and reduced stress.
These competencies apply to being successful anywhere and in any circumstance. If one has these competencies, that is the kind of person you want to be friends with, that is the kind of person you would like to collaborate with for study or business. SEL has proven to have a lot of benefits for children, including improvement in school performance, emotional and mental wellbeing, and healthy relationships and friendships.
It is important that a child learns to be self-aware, being able to identify their emotions and deal with them, which parents will first need to model for them. When parents are modelling this behaviour for their children, they are building relationships with one another, which ultimately impacts how they work with one another as adults. We need to be able to help them identify what they are feeling and have the confidence to express themselves without fear of unpleasant consequences. We need to ask questions like–are we letting our children manage and express their emotions, handle and resolve conflict, and manage stress.
Concisely creating a safe environment where the social and emotional competencies of parents/caregivers and/or members of a family are displayed through experience creates a model for a child’s social and emotional growth.
For more resources for toddlers and preschoolers visit ProEves.