Christmas is almost here. It’s the season of peace and yet the world doesn’t feel like a very peaceful place.

That’s why I decided to dedicate this blog post to peace and efforts to each children about peace in elementary school. The earlier the better in my book.

S.E. L. (social and emotional learning) is as important as ‘reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic.’  It’s a process through which children become more aware of their feelings and how to relate to others in a more peaceful way.

Children may feel left out, be angry with a parent or embarrassed by being the tallest one in class. These feelings, and so many others, are very important and should not be ignored.  They may interfere with the ability to learn too.

S.E.L. acknowledges that everyone experiences a full range of emotions — positive and negative feelings. The process teaches children tools to take a step back and think when confronted with conflict. It also teaches empathy and kindness and introduces the idea of shared responsibility.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between supporting emotional and social skills with improved outcomes in student’s lives (such as having full-time employment, receiving public assistance or being arrested as a juvenile).

S.E.L. has five goals for children:

  • Self awareness – the ability to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings
  • Self-management – the ability to control your own thoughts and behavior
  • Social awareness – the ability to empathize and recognize social cues
  • Relationship skills – the ability to communicate, make friends, work through disagreements, understand peer pressure and cooperate with others
  • Responsible decision-making – the ability to make healthy choices for yourself while weighing the consequences to others

Teaching children about personal confidence and problem solving skills – how awesome! Just reading this list gives me hope for a more peaceful world!

Wishing you a joyous holiday.

Jeanette

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