Fostering social and emotional development in kids ages 8-11 is incredibly important. Read some expert tips on how to help your child.
Self-awareness is knowing your emotions, strengths and challenges, and how your emotions affect your behavior and decisions.
For example, instead of saying, "I’m happy we all get to spend the weekend together," try using a word like "grateful" or "thankful" or "glad."
When discussing a character in a book that you are reading, you can say, "The character reminds me of you -- people like to talk to her because she is a good listener!" or, "The character reminds me of the time when you were nervous because you didn’t have any of your old friends in your class. Can you relate to the character?"
Self-management is controlling emotions and the behaviors they spark in order to overcome challenges and pursue goals.
"I know you’re having trouble studying for that math test. Maybe you can ask one of your classmates to study with you." If they're upset about something, you can suggest, "It looks like you’re worried about something. Why don’t you go outside and play or take a break and we can go for a walk together?"
"When I was your age, I wasn’t good at sports at all, but I really wanted to be on the soccer team. I didn’t get chosen the first year, but I practiced, and practiced, and I got a spot on the team the next year. What are some goals you want to accomplish?"
"If you want to be a doctor, you need to go to college and medical school before you get help patients. Maybe we should watch some movies about doctors and medicine so you can get an idea of what it’s like."
"I know you really wanted to watch TV right after school, but it shows a lot of responsibility that you picked up your room first. I’m proud of you for waiting."
The ability to interact meaningfully with others and to maintain healthy relationships with diverse individuals and groups contributes to overall success.
"How’s your friend Carlos doing? I haven’t seen him come over to the house lately. Are you still hanging out with him? Have you met any new friends in class recently?"
"You should always trust to your friends and expect the same in return. If your friend Travis lied to you, what do you think you should do? Have you ever lied to him? What did you do to make it better?"
"You made really good eye contact with me and you seemed to be very interested in what I had to say. People like it when you pay attention as they speak, and that’s why you need to listen actively when others talk. Why do you think listening is important?"
"What would you do if your friend started calling a classmate hurtful names?"
You can say something like, ‘Our classmate was hurt by what you said. How would you feel if he did that to you? Maybe you should say that you’re sorry.’ "
Responsible decision-making is the ability to make choices that are good for you and for others. It is also taking into account your wishes and the wishes of others.
If they have an issue with a friend, you can say, "Would you like to talk to your friend and ask him what you did to upset him, or would you rather give him some time to cool down? I will support you in whatever you decide."
For example, if your child is falling behind on their homework, you can say, "Why don’t you set aside time after dinner to continue working instead of hanging out at your friend Jenny’s house tonight?"
Research shows that those with higher social-emotional skills have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. Like any math or English skills, these skills can be taught and grow over time.