What is Social-Emotional Learning and How Can it Help Kids Succeed

Parents and educators often have to deal with some kids who do not actively participate in their surroundings while others who seem to have aced social presence. The reason behind this dichotomy is different social-emotional learning. Social-emotional understanding makes kids capable of overcoming difficult situations while the lack of it creates a sense of fear and insecurity among children.

Let's take a look at what social-emotional learning consists of and how it can help kids develop capable personalities.

Defining social-emotional learning

Social-emotional learning is the process of developing a self-aware, empathetic mindset that allows kids to manage emotions, set positive goals, maintain relationships, and make responsible decisions. A kid who has developed good social-emotional skills will have not only good academic performance but also an active social lifestyle.

Social-emotional learning comprises several skills that make it easier for kids and adults to apply the knowledge they have acquired to have a positive outlook.

  • Self Management

  • Relationship Management

  • Self Awareness

  • Responsible Decision Making

  • Social Awareness

How can social-emotional learning be affected

How we develop and how we perceive the world depends significantly on the experiences we have been through. According to research, the experience can change connections between neurons, which means our brains are more malleable than we were led to believe. Taking the right action and training our minds properly, we can establish new associations with places, people, and objects.

Simply put, what we hear, see, do, and experience can determine who we become when we grow up. Therefore, indulging in knowledgeable and positive activities, following proper sleeping habits, and nutrition is vital when it comes to social-emotional growth.

How can educators influence social-emotional growth?

Teachers play an integral role in the development of kids. It is only natural that the teachers decide a major part of the kids' social-emotional growth as well. Educators should take it upon themselves to not only acknowledge the kids' achievements but also guide them through failure and hardships.

While acknowledging kids' achievements, teachers should use encouraging compliments to boost their confidence. Similarly, while criticizing something, teachers should persuade them to do better rather than denouncing their work. As an educator, one should aim to make children strive for better results and not be wholly satisfied with what they have done so far.

Just as constant criticism can discourage kids from trying something new, regular compliments about their achievements make them not want to take risks and stay in their comfort zone.

According to research, children who are more developed in social-emotional skills tend to

  • Show higher consciousness and perform better in day to day activities

  • Project confidence in their actions and are better behaved

  • Demonstrate great academic performance

How social-emotional learning can be beneficial to students

There are many ways social-emotional skills can help kids throughout their lives. Some of these benefits include:

  • Having an unprejudiced approach towards life

  • Being able to perform well with or without pressure

  • Emotional stability

  • Sociability

  • Ability to collaborate and correspond with others

Better academic performance

A student with good social and emotional stability is more likely to perform well in the academic career. Having good social-emotional skills allow kids to remain calm and confident in their abilities, even when faced with difficult situations. The skill leads to having good performances under pressure and ultimately to good grades.

Better social interactions

With social-emotional exercises, children grow to understand vital social elements such as compassion, empathy, fellowship, relationship, friendship, moral values, and more. It helps them develop a positive outlook of the world and makes them want to be an active and giving member of society.

Improvements for children with early identified issues

Social and emotional learning has proven to be extremely beneficial for kids who have had behavioral problems from an early age. With proper training and practice, special-ed kids can perform better in their day-to-day tasks, have a positive outlook, and maintain healthy relationships with people around them.

Redeems aggressive behavior

Social-emotional learning is based on positive social and emotional elements, it creates a sense of sensitivity in children towards other people and situations. As children grow empathetic and compassionate, they tend to become less aggressive and more accepting. According to a study, children who become experts at SEL showed 10 percent lower psychological, behavioral, and stress issues as they grew up.

Emotional stability

Since depression, anxiety, stress has become a part of modern society, it is challenging to avoid them when faced with difficult situations. Social-emotional skills help us avoid situations where we end up anxious, stressed, or depressed. As mentioned above, SEL aims to develop mental and emotional stability, so even in the face of challenging situations, one learns to remain calm and confident in their abilities.

Positive social conduct

This should go without saying. When children master social and emotional skills, they find it easier to get along with others. With the help of self-awareness, sociability, and a positive outlook of the world, kids establish, maintain, and reciprocate positive and long-lasting relationships. Social-emotional learning also helps kids understand their friends and family better so they can grow better, intuitive connections with people around them.