Should social and emotional skills be taught?

Two ladies socializing

Social and emotional learning is all about understanding how to solve problems, how to manage feelings, and how to manage friendships. All these are important life skills that support the wellbeing of a child by promoting positive mental health throughout their life and career.

Social and emotional skills support children’s capacity to cope with difficulties thus preventing mental health problems. Children, who have developed good social and emotional skills find it easy to relate well to themselves and others; they possess the ability to resolve conflicts well. They also feel good about themselves and everything around them.

Social and emotional learning provides handy skills that all children can easily learn and apply to everyday circumstances. Learning skills such as conflict resolution, effective communication, self-awareness, and conflicts resolution can prevent the development of mental health complications to those children who are most vulnerable in any environment. Teaching children social and emotional skills can help to uphold their resilience.

How should social and emotional skills be taught?

School-wide classroom teaching is a way of social and emotional learning that allows teachers and students to share a general understanding of what it is all about. Importantly, it is not just being taught about emotions and relationships, but also the handy skills that children can relate to, across a wide range of challenging situations at school, home or in other surroundings.

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School-wide classroom teaching that is often offered regularly capitalizes on the benefits of learning these skills. It has some advantages in that, opportunities for learning are well coordinated across the school and children can continue to advance their skills at different levels depending on their age and experience.

Children can learn social and emotional skills more effectively when it is also reinforced at home. Much of the social and emotional learning programs include components that involve the family and community in promoting these teachings. This approach gives the parents and carers the chance to understand and learn about the particular approach the schools are using. This way, parents can fully support their children’s social and emotional learning with ease. By this approach, school-based social and emotional learning benefits everyone; students, schools, and families.

Why social and emotional skills are Important

These skills are important to children during their development. They assist them to achieve positive outcomes in life. These skills improve students’ academic learning and motivation to cooperate in the school’s activities. Combining social and emotional skills with academic development can create a high-quality learning experience for students. It also provides an environment that empowers the students to be effective contributors to their daily learning in the classroom today and also in their future workplaces and communities.

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Since children are taught how to cultivate positive relationships in social and emotional learning, schools can use this as a strategy to reduce cases of bullying and gender violence in schools. As a result, students will improve in caring, respect, and responsibility at home and in school. If children are taught good strategies on how to recognize and respond to emotions, they may less or not likely to act out of frustration or disappointment in a difficult situation at school or anywhere else.

According to researchers, students who receive social and emotional interventions in their early childhood and continue throughout their learning life demonstrate remarkable and measurable benefits later on in their lives. Social-emotional learning is a powerful education mechanism that can instill long-term social and emotional resilience in students and this can help them address trauma throughout life.

 Developing an education system with good social-emotional learning in schools will eventually produce more socially responsible citizens. These citizens are better prepared to work in cohesion with everyone to build better communities and ultimately, a better nation.

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