Throughout our lives, we experience a wide array of emotions. While we might not always be able to eliminate these emotional triggers, for ourselves and for our kids, we can learn the skills to understand and self-regulate our emotional responses. That’s what social and emotional learning (SEL) is at its core.

Here at Sanford fit, social and emotional learning shapes the educational content we create for you and your kids. Every lesson we develop is aligned with SEL competencies like interpersonal communication and decision-making.

Promoting emotional health is not always easy. Ensuring that our audience, whether that is you or your child, understands how feelings and emotions work is key to successfully equipping you to manage the emotional health of yourself and others. We believe that your feelings and emotions put you in a mood, which ultimately influences your choices. When we create online lessons and resources, it is our priority to teach kids that there are no bad feelings, bad emotions, or bad attitudes. It’s a matter of being able to identify and manage your emotions and noticing how they influence your choices.

Taking other peoples’ points of view into consideration is also key to promoting positive experiences when promoting social and emotional learning.

Dr. Emily Griese from Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, SD, says that at about six years old, kids have the ability to see other people have different perspectives than they do. Between the ages of ten and eleven years old, they develop a sense of empathy.

“Prompting perspective in children early on gives them the ability to take a step back. Rather than coping in inappropriate ways (i.e. acting out or eating unhealthy foods), it can help them understand their roles in situations and how to better overcome challenges.” – Dr. Griese

So what can you do to help your child develop stronger social and emotional learning skills? Start small and focus on communication.

Misbehaviors and tantrums can be difficult to navigate. After a challenging experience, circle back and discuss what your child experienced:

Acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings and emotions. Taking time to reflect on experiences with children allows them to feel heard and discover coping strategies they can practice moving forward.

Social and emotional learning is an ever-changing topic, which means it can be hard to navigate with your family. Give yourself some grace and know that for as long as we’re learning, you will be too.