At the Meeting House, we pride ourselves on being able to translate the theories of social-emotional learning into practical teachings that make sense for kids in the real world. Social-emotional learning is only valuable if kids can then apply it in their lives outside the classroom or our program, and just like anything else, practice makes perfect. With that in mind, every week our Clinical Director, Jackie Covell, has been sharing tips for parents on ways to practice the skills kids are learning at the Meeting House. We’ve compiled the best tips from throughout the year, and share them below as our end-of-the-year gift, and a reminder to keep up the social-emotional skills development over the summer!
Top 10 Tips
Practice flexibility. Introduce a new food at dinner or rearrange your weekly schedule of meals, rearrange a piece of furniture or the way toys are stored in your home, or surprise your child pleasantly with a sudden change in plans.
Praise your children for doing good things twice as often as you correct them!
Remind children that if they set up win-win situations socially, it is most desirable. Examples include taking turns choosing what to do, rotating seats in the car, at the table etc.
Raise your own level of physical awareness about your body posture throughout the day
Kids these days have so many "have to" directions in their lives....whenever possible, provide choices. This can be as simple as dinner choice or restaurant ideas, all the way to selecting what to wear. It builds children’s self-esteem to feel their parents value the choices they make, so it’s important not to second guess their decisions.
Whenever possible pair a touch on the shoulder, a hug, or high five with your child when they have done something good. This will reinforce the message about positive physical contact and increase the likelihood that whatever they were doing, will happen again!
Practice giving multi-step directions in the home. Give 2-3 part directions and see what happens. If that’s too easy, add details. Too difficult? Have your child first repeat back to you for understanding.
When entering a school, elevator or subway car practice letting people out first before entering.
On the staircase, practice staying to the right side going up and down.
When people are engaged in conversation, walk around them, not through, in order to get where you are going.