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    Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 
    SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful. Social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker. Many risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying, and dropping out) can be prevented or reduced when multiyear, integrated efforts are used to develop students' social and emotional skills.  
    This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Effective SEL programming begins in preschool and continues through high school.
    - Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

    We have provided some useful information below and links for parents and families regarding social emotional learning.

    1. Focus on strengths. When your child brings home a test, talk first about what he or she did well. Then talk about what can be improved. Praise specific strengths. Don’t just criticize things that were done wrong.
    2. Follow up with consequences for misbehavior. Sometimes, parents say things in anger that don’t curb their behavior in the long run. Decide on consequences that are fair, and then carry them out.
    3. Ask children how they feel. When you ask your child about his or her feelings, the message is that feelings matter and you care.
    4. Find ways to stay calm when angry. It’s normal to get angry or irritated sometimes. Learn to recognize “trigger situations” and do something about them before you lose control. Try taking deep breaths for a few moments. Consider having a “quiet area” where people can go when they are upset. Or you can just stop talking and leave the room for a while. Sit down as a family and talk about what everyone can do to stay calm.
    5. Avoid humiliating or mocking your child. This can lead to a lack of self-confidence and, in turn, problems with schoolwork, illness, and trouble getting along with friends. Criticism and sarcasm also hurts the bond of trust between children and parents. Give children the room to make mistakes as they learn new skills.
    6. Be willing to apologize. Parents need to be able to apologize to their children if what they said was not what they meant. Calmly explain what you really wanted to say. By doing this, you’re being a good role model. You’re showing how important it is to apologize after hurting someone.
    7. Give children choices and respect their wishes. When children have a chance to make choices, they learn how to solve problems. If you make all their choices for them, they’ll never learn this key skill.
    8. Ask questions that help children solve problems on their own. When parents hear their child has a problem, it’s tempting to step in and take over. But this can harm a child’s ability to find solutions on his or her own. Examples include, “What do you think you could do in this situation?”
    9. Encourage sharing and helping. This teaches children that what they do can make a difference in the lives of others.


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