Tag Archives: Social Skills Development

Kindergarteners Talk About Mindfulness in ‘Just Breathe’ Short Film | Mindful

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Kindergarteners Talk About Mindfulness in ‘Just Breathe’ Short Film | Mindful.

Please take a moment to be inspired! Click on the above link to watch a video at http://www.mindful.org

Got Emotional Intelligence?

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EIMy family and I practice our EI skills regularly.  This is something I encourage you to take time for. Please be sure to do a “self-check” before your try to teach it to your kids or the people in your life. Expecting your children to learn and use these skills only works if you “Lead By Example”.  We are role models to everyone around us.  Trying to improve and strengthen your emotional intelligence will help your children or the people you are closest to.  The following is practical information to begin learning and strengthening your Emotional Intelligence.

 

“Emotional Intelligence is the set of abilities that helps us get along in life with other people in all kinds of situations.”  ~Maurice H. Elias, Ph.D.    Rutgers University

Emotional intelligence is a wide range of skills that children (and adults) can develop and improve.  Developing and improving these skills are critical for emotional well-being and life success.

The following are social and emotional skills to focus on:

  • happiness and optimism
  • self-regard (self-compassion)
  • emotional self-awareness
  • assertiveness
  • independence
  • self-actualization
  • empathy
  • social responsibility
  • interpersonal relationship
  • flexibility
  • problem solving
  • stress tolerance
  • impulse control
  • conflict resolution

Please note, happiness and optimism are at the top of this list.  It is my opinion that they should be.  If we focus on happiness and optimism we will be strengthening many of the other skills on this list. “My Happy” is full of ideas to strengthen your happiness and optimism.  Many of my posts discuss self-awareness. We need to be aware of our thoughts and realize we can control them and choose to be positive. Using positive thinking can improve other skills.  Take flexibility for instance. I realized that I have difficulty with this at times. In fact, I can really get annoyed  when plans change at the last-minute.  My initial reaction was to become upset and react negatively (grumpiness, I know, hard to believe..ha ha).  After realizing I did this, I had more control over it. Now when something happens that forces me to be flexible (when I don’t want to) I still may initially react negatively, but I can usually catch myself and change my attitude. 🙂 My improvement happened as a result of  practicing positive thinking which contributed to my being a more flexible thinker.

Learning and improving these skills is important for everyone. Not only does it improve your social and emotional well-being, it leads to a more successful life.  This is a topic that I have wanted to share with others, especially caregivers because I know the value of these skills for children. Not only does it help children do well socially and emotionally, it increases learning potential.

As I continued my research in this area, I found CASEL. The Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning, based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, seeks to enhance children’s success in school and life by promoting evidence-based social, emotional, and academic learning as an essential part of education from preschool through high school. I am looking forward to someday having SEL in schools world-wide.  Website: http://www.casel.org or check them out in my twitter feed!

Books to read:

EI Goleman         EI parenting

more to come…..

 

 

“Live and Learn” or Should I Say, “Blog and Learn”?

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Blog and LearnHello Readers, I was very proud of sharing the “Social Thinking” post, finally. It is one of the reasons I wanted to blog.  I carefully write as I explain my opinions, because I truly want to reach out to any family who may benefit from the things I have.  I learned however, I need to be more specific with my wording.  What I found with all kinds of wonderful, unique children is that they will appreciate being treated with respect, kindness, honesty, and genuine care for their well-being. With that said, I thought “You Are a Social Detective” helped children to feel good about themselves and showed them that they have the tools to develop their social smarts.  If I say something is good for all children (like the “You are a Social Detective” book) what I mean to say is, it’s something I found useful and you might want to give it a try with your child. Of course, it is possible that your child may not like it or find it useful.

As I continue learning in these areas and about blogging, I will surely grow and be able to “Live and Learn” and “Blog and Learn”. Does that make sense? I was fortunate, for many reasons, to be listening to a presentation the other day as a parent shared that her son did not like the language “expected and unexpected” in the works of Michelle Winner Garcia (complete coincidence ). I wanted to share this opinion on my blog because it would have been a welcomed comment on my blog post, “Social Thinking”.

I then realized it would be helpful to add this post.  If you do try this book and your child does feel that way, it could be a good conversation starter. Also, some children, especially older children, may not like this kind of book if they feel it doesn’t address their needs. My experiences using this book have been with children 10 years old and younger. (I should have said this in the video or in the post.)

I also want to express that I know some children have more challenging needs for help with their “social smarts”.  Thankfully, today there are many more resources for parents. Always share your concerns with your pediatrician. Usually they can advise you if your concerns about your child may need to be checked out by a specialist. They can also direct you to the specialist that is best suited for the concern. There are many doctors, therapists, social skills groups, early intervention programs, and more that are there to help you. If your child is of school age, you can also share your concerns with their teacher.  I think when your child has difficulty with social and emotional issues, it may seem complicated to know who to turn to for help.

It is so important though, whether your child is having difficulties or not, to guide our children as much as we can to help them increase their social smarts, emotional intelligence and happiness! Thanks again for your patience as blogging is a new learning experience for me. I am trying to stay positive, helpful, honest, reach out to whomever my blog resonates with, show you things I found helpful as a teacher or parent,  and learn from my readers. Thanks for reading!

Social Thinking

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Michelle Garcia Winner, MS, CCC-SLP is the founder of the concept of teaching “Social Thinking” to promote social skills and the author of several books related to the subject.  She is also a national and international speaker on Social Thinking.  Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP is a faculty member of San Jose State University and is interested in treatment research related to children and adults with social cognitive challenges.  Together they wrote the book I will present in the video below.  I have used this book and felt that it would be helpful for all children, beginning at a young age. This is such a wonderful approach to teaching social skills because it is POSITIVE and empowering to all children. There are many books and materials regarding social thinking that I will also be sharing.

Happiness for our children includes feeling comfortable in the world around them.  Discipline comes from the Latin word “disciplinare” which means to teach. As parents we are our children’s first teachers. It is important to teach social thinking beginning at a young age. There is no question that everyone can benefit from being taught social thinking! This is such a positive approach to addressing your own child’s behaviors, giving your child an understanding of how their behavior affects other people, or how other people’s behavior affects them. Also, it teaches that social smarts are just as important as academic smarts!

Hopefully, I have sparked your interest to watch the video as I explain “You are a Social Detective!” written by: Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke, Illustrated by: Kelly Knopp

social detective

 

Thank you for watching the video. I hope you see how useful this book can be with teaching children about social thinking. If used in the home, children will have a better understanding of social thinking as they begin school and for the years to come. This book and others like it should be read to the child repeatedly.  This will increase their understanding and they will be able to use what they learn from it.  This is not an answer to all social learning needs of our children, I think it is one step in the right direction. The website to view this book and learn more about Social Thinking is http://www.socialthinking.com

Thanks again for watching and have a happy day!