One of the frameworks for understanding the emotional needs of children (and all of us) was created by Maurice Elias, Ph.D. He, along with others, have defined Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Below is a simple framework, created by Dr. Elias, of the tasks that children need to allow them to feel successful personally, socially, academically too. Our children and our students take their cues from us too. As we learn so do they.
In this overview of five basic categories and strategies, I have used some of the words from Dr. Elias as well as from his work in the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. I have also been lucky enough to learn about this topic from Dr. Joanne MacLennan from the College of Saint Elizabeth. She works closely with Dr. Elias to infuse the elements of SEL into teacher and counselor training programs.
I have added some tasks that I see as important in my work with students who are in Pre-School as well as those in Graduate School. Of course, there are many more tasks for children and for all of us, but this simple framework offers a good stepping stone from which to begin.
Best Wishes for a Great Day!
Social and Emotional Skills Include:
• Ability to recognize an emotion as it is happening
• Ability to recognize the emotion before it is happening and be able to label it
• Ability to recognize that several emotions can take place at once and to know how to see help to understand them and define them
• Ability to label the emotion itself (anger, sadness, jealousy, happiness) and to not label it as “good” or “bad”
• Ability to monitor the emotion(s)
• Assertiveness and being able to voice one's opinions, wants and needs
• Maintain a healthy self-respect and positive self-image
Self-Management (Managing Emotions)
• Ability to regulate one’s emotions
• Ability to "self-soothe" and choose healthy options for feeling better
• Ability to delay gratification and work towards a goal
• Ability to control impulsivity, acting out, etc.
• Ability to choose tools that will help them to face, express, regulate and attend to their emotions
• Optimism to know that they have the ability and the tools to change how they feel
• Self-efficacy and responsibility to make the right choices
• Ability to be resilient in difficult situations
Social Awareness (Understanding Others)
• Ability to recognize and label emotions in others through verbal and non-verbal interactions
• Ability to understand reasons for emotions in others
• Empathy and compassion for others – ability to validate others’ emotional experiences and respond appropriately
• Ability to have empathy but not take on the emotions of others
• Navigating individual friendships as well as group situations
• Ability to establish rapport
• Cooperation and the ability to compromise
• Trustworthiness and respect for others
• Leadership being able to lead in a positive way and to understand one's own style of leading
• Ability to resolve conflicts in a positive manner
• Infusing elements of Character Education that lead to positive and healthy relationships.
• Understanding their ability to have a positive impact and that their presence matters
Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Ability to understand emotional states for problem recognition
• Ability to identify the consequences of one’s actions
• Ability to use problem-solving steps.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning - Tools for Families - http://casel.org/in-schools/tools-for-families/
Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning - What is SEL? - http://casel.org/why-it-matters/what-is-sel/
Wings for Kids - http://www.wingsforkids.org/experience/hot-wings
Helping Children Cope with Stress - www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs457.pdf
Educators for Social Responsibility - www.esrnational.org
21st Century Skills -www.p21.org