Growing up can actually be difficult. As the bodies and the brains of our young ones change rapidly, it becomes tricky for them to grapple with the new ideas and influence that would shape who they will be in the future. In today’s time, kids are becoming more conscious about everything, from how they look to how they can create a social image. Although at some point it could be good, such constant approaches have been leading to issues like anxiety and depression among the kids. This makes it highly essential to help the kids deal with all those bundles of feelings.
Social-emotional learning is the process that has gained a lot of popularity these days. It focuses on developing and using social and emotional skills in the right way. It has been found that the students with strong social-emotional skills are well-equipped for managing their daily challenges, building positive relationships with others, and even for making informed decisions. It can be stated as the skill set which is used for coping up with feelings, setting goals, making the right decisions, and even to feel empathy for others. This makes it important that the social-emotional learning skills should be taught to the students from preschool to all the way through adulthood.
Key Areas of Social-Emotional Learning Skills
There’s no denying the fact that the social-emotional learning skills are essential for the kids these days to help them deal with their feelings in the right way and for staying optimistic in life. While focusing on these skills, there are 5 key areas that have to be covered. These areas are as follows:
- Self-awareness: It is an important aspect to be focused as the kids should be able to know their strengths and weaknesses so that they can work on improving it as they move towards their goals. It also relates to having knowledge about emotions and developing a growth mindset by dealing with those emotions while staying goal-oriented.
- Self-management: It deals with managing emotions, controlling impulses, and setting the right goals. Self-management among the kids helps in controlling their reflexes and allows them to make the right decision, instead of rushing with any option.
- Social awareness: By being socially aware, the kids learn to see things from the perspective of other people. This is how they learn to show empathy towards others while working with people and appreciating diversity.
- Relationship skills: Having relationship skills among the kids helps them to get along with other people in a good way. It helps them in maintaining effective communication among each other. Along with this, kids also learn to cooperate with others and finding solutions to avoid conflicts.
- Responsible decision-making: This includes thinking about the consequences of personal behavior. A person with responsible decision-making skills will be able to analyze any situation in a proper way and think about a suitable solution for it.
Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning Skills
There are much research conducted that states that social-emotional skills like helping the people and cooperating with others become the foundation of thriving in life. The students who have these skills get along better with their peers. Not only this, but kids who are efficient with these skills also show excellent performance in their academics too. To emphasize more on its importance, here are some of the most prominent benefits of social-emotional learning skills:
- Improves school and class climate: The kids and the young adults always need to feel respected, safe, and supported that would help them keep motivated to do their best. A classroom which has incorporated the social-emotional learning would encourage all these factors, thus creating a more positive learning environment for the students.
- Teaches problem-solving skills: The students need to be efficient in problem-solving skills, not just in academics but also in their lives. Social-emotional learning carries a huge benefit here as it focuses a lot on managing the situations and dealing with the problems. It makes a person capable to understand each situation and come up with the right solution for it.
- Minimizes behavior problems: In many cases, due to the skill deficits, the students go through behavior problems. But when with the social-emotional learning skills, the students know the measures for problem-solving, cooperating with others, and managing the emotions, the students’ behavior can be seen to improve a lot.
- Helps the students to set their goals and meet them: Creating specific and measurable goals is a big part of self-management which is important for the students. When the kids have efficient social-emotional learning skills, they become capable of setting their goals and even work hard in order to achieve their goals.
- Gives the students space to talk about mental health: Sometimes there’s a lot inside the mind of a student that he/she can’t deal with. But in most cases, the students are not capable of talking about their mental health. Talking about social-emotional learning provides the kids and young adults with a chance in which they can open up about their thoughts, feelings, and need. This is a good approach as it can help the kids to stay away from mental issues like anxiety.
- Encourages empathy: When we talk about the foundational social skills, empathy always has an important role to play in it. With social-emotional learning, students become able to show empathy towards others that further helps in maintaining good relationships with their peers.
- Teaches collaboration and teamwork: In order to be successful, the kids these days need to be able to work well with others. It is the social-emotional learning that helps the kids to work collaboratively with others, finding ways to solve any kind of disagreements.
Social-emotional learning skills can be considered as highly intuitive and essential for students. However learning these skills is usually possible through observation, experience, and direct guidance. Students should keep getting the right knowledge about these skills from their parents, teachers, or mentors, to that they can know the skills to work on.