Social and emotional intelligence is how adults and children manage their emotions when faced with a differing of opinion and behavior. In addition, social and emotional learning (SEL) teaches people to show empathy for others, set positive goals, establish positive relationships, and to take responsibility for decisions.
Has there ever been a time in recent history more suitable for teaching SEL to the masses?
Start SEL Early and Often
Young children need to develop social and emotional intelligence just like they need to develop their academic skills. Proper social and emotional skills usually do not just happen naturally. If we don’t cultivate these abilities, we could all be left with children like the boy on The Problem Child movies, or even worse, the kids from Lord of the Flies. Poor Piggy!
It can take time and some serious educating, but with the right guidance and instruction, even the toddlers that display the worst of behaviors can be taught to start acting accordingly.
Start using a few of these SEL activities with your own children and watch the positive changes that occur.
Anger Control Activity
When a toddler displays anger, it can be quite terrifying how they can go from calm to furious within seconds. With a couple of simple activities, you can teach them to think before they can act. For instance, before they can even say one angry word, they must watch a small ice cube melt completely. Or perhaps they could run a couple of laps around the house. It may seem silly, but it gives them a chance to reflect.
Empathy is the ability to understand the emotions another person is feeling. If your toddler can show empathy, there is a very good chance they will turn into a kind adult. With a few laminated faces that display emotion, you can ask your toddler how people may be feeling. And if the person is struggling, how they can make them feel better.
Play Well With Others Activity
Provide playing time with other toddlers. Allow them to approach new toddlers to ask them if they would like to play as well. When conflict arises, and it usually does at some point when toddlers play, coach them through how to improve the situation and what their options are.
While these are just a few possible activities to broaden your toddler’s SEL skills, you can find hundreds more on Pinterest.