Emotional Health in Children
18 June 2020, 2:52PMBack to all news
18 June 2020, 2:52PMBack to all news
How do we know that a student is thriving at school? In the past, student grades and test scores have been the key measures of academic success. But these days, students also need to know how to set and pursue goals, understand and manage emotions, cope with setbacks, show empathy, collaborate, engage in positive social relationships, and make responsible decisions—a skill set called social and emotional learning (SEL). Research has shown that social-emotional skills are crucial for children to become successful both socially and academically.
Like all of us, children want to feel good, and like all of us, that’s a challenge. They disagree with their friends, are teased, miss out on the team, fail an exam or things are happening in the world that they don’t understand. As children experience these situations, it is our responsibility as parents and educators to teach them how to handle these emotional reactions and develop intelligence.
What does emotional health look like in children?
An emotionally healthy child is aware of their emotions and equipped with the skills and strategies to deal with them. Learning how to recognise, express, and regulate emotions is an important skill for everyone, regardless of age or ability level. An individual who is motivated to learn, able to relate to others, capable of calming him or herself, or be calmed by others, will be ready to learn and experience success in school and in life (Yates et. al, 2008).
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning has identified five core skills that are widely recognised as critical social-emotional skills:
This is the ability to accurately recognise one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behaviour. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
Examples of questions someone who is self-aware may ask:
This is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviours effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
Examples of questions someone who has good self-management may ask:
This is the ability to take the perspective of and empathise with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behaviour, and to recognise family, school and community resources and supports.
Examples of questions someone who has good social awareness may ask:
This is the ability to establish and maintain healthy rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
Examples of questions someone who has good relationships skills may ask:
This is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behaviour and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
Examples of questions someone who is a responsible decision-maker may ask:
Mrs Tracy Rogers
Deputy Principal Pastoral Wellbeing
Yates, T., Ostrosky, M. M., Cheatham, G. A., Fettig, A., Shaffer, L., & Santos, R. M. (2008). Research Synthesis on Screening and Assessing Social-Emotional Competence. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. Retrieved from vanderbilt.edu/csefel.