Family SEL Newsletter January 2021

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is an excellent opportunity to pause and reflect, practice gratitude, and set resolutions or intentions. When doing so, encourage your children to join you so you can hear what matters to them and support them in their pursuit of new goals.

As you reflect on the past year, you may also acknowledge that it was a tough one that included major disruptions to daily life. One of the challenges that we have all faced, is social isolation. For our children, this has meant more time on devices and less time with extended family, friends, teammates, and classmates. As a result, many of us may have concerns about our children's social skills. Please see below for resources and tips on strengthening relationships.

SEL Theme for January: Strengthening Relationships

Tips for Strengthening Relationships with our Children

  • Spend one-on-one time with each child. Make sure it's attainable--30 minutes a week engaged in an activity of their choosing, can make a huge impact!
  • Swap a family movie night for a family game night
  • Cook together--it may take longer and be messier, but the memories will also be grander.
  • Get outside and go for a walk. Besides getting some much needed fresh air, the conversations you can have away from distractions are priceless.
  • Learn a new skill together or let your child teach you a new skill.
  • Share one of your favorite childhood books with your child and read a chapter before bedtime.
  • Eat meals together with the television off (scroll down for SEL conversation topics to have around the table).
  • Make something together--you can make a craft, build with Legos, plant a garden, or even make a fort.
Strengthening Friendships

Books that Teach the Importance of Friendships

Directly Teach Friendship Skills with Harmony at Home

Sanford Harmony is a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that many of our schools are using to teach students SEL skills. To access friendship activities that you can do at home using this curriculum, click here.

Virtual Classroom: Strengthening Relationships

Use this link to access the Strengthening Relationships Virtual Classroom. Once in the virtual classroom, just click on pictures to access different activities.

Friendship Dinner Table Topics

  1. What qualities do you look for in a friend?
  2. There’s an old saying that goes “in order to have good friends you have to be a good friend.” What does that mean. Do you think it’s true?
  3. What’s the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?
  4. What is a “best friend?” Is it possible to have more than one “best friend” at the same time?
  5. What do you do if you want a person you have just met to become a part of your group, but the others don’t want to have anything to do with this new person?
  6. What are the benefits of having friends who are different from us?
  7. How can you show someone that you care and are "hearing" them?
  8. Sometimes we disagree with our friends or family. How do we disagree respectfully?
Created By
Elizabeth Gianulis