Relationship skills include our abilities to listen, collaborate, and problem-solve with others. These skills are helpful for constructing positive and healthy relationships with others.
To improve relationship skills with your little one, foster a space for them to engage in types of play that guide them to practice collaboration, role-playing, and social interaction.
Making decisions consciously and considering the outcomes of your actions are big parts of responsible decision-making.
To practice this skill with your little one, communicate the reasoning behind the choices you make. One example could be: “I decided that I would share with my sibling because I thought about how it would make her feel welcome.”
This skill is relevant not only in school and education but also in everyday interactions and communications with others, and if strengthened, is helpful in social situations. The ability to regulate our emotions, thoughts, and behavior is vital to cooperation and communication. It also helps us create and accomplish goals!
To foster this skill with your little one, practice strategies of emotional regulation, such as counting to ten when upset, breathing in and out slowly when overwhelmed, and creating spaces where your little one can express big emotions.
Building self-awareness is important because it is related to how we recognize and reflect upon how our emotions, thoughts, and backgrounds may influence the way we think and act. When we are self-aware, we are able to engage with others thoughtfully and are more in tune with our feelings.
You can model this skill for your little one by verbally acknowledging your own emotions and thoughts, and explaining how those things might impact the way you act or want to act. One example is saying, “When I spilled the paint on my clothes, I was upset. Because I was upset, I wanted to stop painting.” You can then brainstorm solutions, asking your little one for their thoughts on situations and talking about how they would feel in different positions.
An overarching part of CASEl’s SEL framework is school-family-community engagement, which means that the support community programs provide is important too. Greentrike Out-of-School Time Intermediary (OSTI) is one connection that displays a crossover of spaces for children and families to access culturally responsive, play-centered, and learning-focused programs within educational systems.
One example is how SEL is tied into Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) programs within Tacoma Public Schools’ Beyond the Bell and Club Beyond. A tool we use that nurtures self-regulation and self-awareness is our Emotion Check In, which assists children in identifying and expressing their emotions. From this point, children can communicate with others if they are experiencing big emotions.