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Showing posts from March, 2018

Teachable Moments for Social-Emotional Skills

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how adults can support social-emotional wellness for children by taking advantage of teachable moments to talk about emotions, listen to children's ideas and questions, and explore social conflict and resolutions. So what exactly does a teachable moment look like? At school it can look like five 18-month-olds trying to fit within four square feet of the climber, two children attempting to go down the slide at the same time, a child wanting to use some materials that other children are using already, or everyone wanting to talk at once during circle time. At home they might be times when your priorities clash with your child's or when siblings have to negotiate over parents' time and attention.

As adults we can often see solutions to such problems immediately and it might be tempting for us to just implement our solution and move on, but since our goal is to help children develop social and emotional skills we have to take a different appro…

The Social Skills of Meal Times

I recently spent time with the pre-k class during lunch when we were eating vegetable soup, grilled cheese, veggies, and tea. There were many requests to "Please pass the green beans" and "I would like more soup after you're done." I also heard children saying, "There are two sandwiches left, how about I have one and you have the other?" Of course, there were moments of sadness when someone took the prized tomato but with a little support and discussion we were able to handle it, find a solution, and move on. There were also moments of encouragement for children to try new things. The support from the other children was impressive.

At a recent parent meeting, we discussed the importance of teaching social skills. For children to be able to navigate a busy table full of people, food, and some ridiculous joke telling, is quite a skill. These skills will follow them to kindergarten, when you take your family out to dinner to a busy restaurant, or at a l…