An interesting phenomenon that many parents have noticed is that there is a lack of social-emotional learning (SEL) happening in schools today. Children don’t play quite the way they used to in the earlier years of public schooling.
This is interesting, as schools are becoming more and more diverse, so we would expect the opposite to happen. While there are weekly or monthly activities that some guidance departments plan to help encourage students to grow socially and emotionally, they don’t go far enough and they are the first things to be eliminated when there isn’t enough time.
Parents have to take some of this learning into their own hands in order to raise children who are citizens of the world and able to connect to other people. Not only does this help them to succeed in their personal lives, but it can also help them to succeed in school and in their careers. Knowing how to talk to other people is an important part of the growth that we all need.
So how can you foster social-emotional learning in your family? Here are four different activities to do together:
Give Your Child Responsibilities When You Are Cooking Or Cleaning
Time gets short and we tend to just rush through certain things like cooking dinner or cleaning the house. But what if you make it a family activity? Not only will the work get done better, but you will also be teaching your child responsibility, accountability, and teamwork.
This is an activity that can be scaled for your children’s ages. A seven-year-old may not be able to cut up the vegetables safely, but you can have him put the ends into the compost bin and set the table for dinner. You need to show your children that they are parts of a whole and that the work they do contributes to the overall success of the family.
The same thing can happen when you clean: ask your child to pair socks when you are doing laundry, have them sweep the floors, or get them to clean the dust bunnies out from underneath the sofa.
You have to make this feel different from doing chores – you need to do it together as a family. Have everyone working in one room, play some music to dance, or just talk to each other. You will quickly see how this can raise the potential of your child in almost all areas of their life.
Journaling Helps To Reinforce Emotional Management
Daily journaling has been touted by everyone from Michelle Obama to John D. Rockefeller as a way to help manage emotions and understand yourself better. How can you make this a family activity? As children age, they may be more likely to take to writing by themselves, but younger children are better at sharing their thoughts and feelings verbally.
A simple way to do this is to use dinner as a time to reflect on the day. You can start by having everyone say their favorite thing about the day and their least favorite thing. When you do this daily, your children will expect it and have something prepared when they sit down to dinner. For older children, you can have prompts written on popsicle sticks and have someone pull one right before dinner.
Perform A Random Act Of Kindness
In today’s world, kindness matters, but it isn’t always the default. When you have some time, do something together that benefits someone else. Go through toys or clothes and donate the ones that no one plays with anymore, get together to rake leaves in a neighbor’s yard, write positive notes in chalk around your neighborhood, or hide face-up pennies all over to give people “good luck.”
Use MindFinity As A Quick Way To Spend Time Together
If you want to know more about your child’s headspace and understand how they think, watching them learn is a privilege and a treat. By taking just a few minutes every day to work with your child, you will be able to see them connect the dots and come to conclusions through activities that you can do together.
MindFinity will have you dancing, drawing, singing, and more with your children. You will see them grow and understand how they work through things that they may not understand, which can help you to support them when they go through emotional or social struggles.
MindFinity is a great tool for younger children and their families to have fun learning together for just a few minutes every day. For more information, reach out to our team today to get started.
These are just a few of the activities that you can do with your family to encourage social-emotional learning. Once you start looking for opportunities to help your child grow in this way, you will easily be able to do it without making it feel like work.