Family sel newsletter December 2020

Meeting our Children Where They Are

One of the most powerful ways to support our children’s social and emotional needs is by meeting them where they are. Children often face challenges that they do not know how to handle. We can aid them by being patient and, when they are developmentally ready, by teaching them skills. No two children are the same. Remember to treat each child as an individual, observe and respect their differences to help them grow.

One of the best things parents can do is to continue to learn about the ages and stages of children. Staying on top of what is typical of children at different ages will assist you in successfully meeting their needs.

Here are some specific steps you can take to begin meeting your children where they are:

1. Listen attentively to your child by leaning forward, making eye contact, and asking questions about what they are telling you.

2. Take some time to think about how your child might be feeling or thinking. Here are some questions you can ask: 1. How might your child be feeling? 2. What is my child's behavior trying to tell me?

3. Respond in a way that acknowledges your child's feelings. Do this without suggestions, advice, or criticism. The message sent should be "I am interested in what you are feeling and thinking because I care about you."

Managing Expectations

When working with your children, it is important to have expectations that meet them where they are academically and socially. Because successful achievement leads to well-being and success with later tasks, setting realistic expectations is essential. To learn more about how to create developmentally appropriate expectations, click here!

December SEL Theme: Empathy

Empathy is when you are able to understand how someone else might be thinking or feeling about a situation. Empathy is like standing in someone else's shoes and trying to imagine what they might be going through.

Books that Teach Empathy

Books are a great way to learn about empathy. They can provide stories, guidance, and teach children why it is important to understand the feelings of others. Here are a few examples:

Empathy Virtual Classroom

Use this link to access the Empathy Virtual Classroom. Then, click on any of the pictures to learn about empathy and practice empathic responses.

Dinner Table Topics

  1. What does empathy mean to you?
  2. How can you demonstrate empathy to others?
  3. What does it mean to stand in someone else's shoes?
  4. How can you tell when your sibling(s) is upset? What can you do if ___ is upset or sad?
  5. Do you think our dog/cat can empathize? How can you tell?
  6. Share a time when someone empathized with you? How did it make you feel?
Created By
Elizabeth Gianulis