Kid Connection is a Tier 2 Intervention Program that provides TK-5th grade students an opportunity to learn and practice the 5 competencies of Social Emotional Learning in a small group setting. Research indicates that students who are taught social-emotional learning skills show academic gains, improved classroom behavior, are better able to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, and have more satisfying relationships with others. The 5 Social Emotional Learning competencies are:
Responsible Decision Making
During their weekly half-hour Kid Connection session, small groups of students meet with the Kid Connection Specialist in a dedicated Kid Connection room. The sessions are held during the school day. Examples of specific lessons taught and practiced include being aware of emotions, managing emotions, taking a deep breath, being mindful, beginning a conversation, joining a group, taking turns, resolving conflict, maintaining friendships, and making a responsible decision. Over the last 30 years, Kid Connection has supported the social-emotional development of thousands of students in the LVJUSD. For more information regarding The Kid Connection, please contact:
Michelle Smith, Kid Connection Specialist, Croce
Liisa Hanninen-Danner, PhD, LVJUSD Wellness Coordinator
Parent Tips: Being Aware of Your Emotions
Being able to identify and label one’s emotions is an important part of developing self-awareness. To help your child practice and learn to identify and label his/her emotions:
- Talk with your child about how people on television, in books, and in magazines may be feeling, based on their facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. For example, if someone is happy, their mouth may be turned up and they may be smiling, their eyes may be bright. If someone is angry they may have a furrowed brow, their eyes and lips may appear tense, their voice may be deep or loud.
- In front of a mirror, practice expressing various emotions with your child.
- Talk with your child about your facial expressions and body language and how you’re feeling.
- Talk with your child about his/her facial expression, tone of voice, and body language and help him/her to label the feeling.
- Print or download a Feelings Chart from the internet. At various times during the week, review the chart with your child and help your child to label how he/she is feeling. Have your child say, draw, or write how he/she is feeling, “I feel _____.”
Parent Tips: Mindfulness and Calming Breaths
- To encourage your child to develop a healthy, mindful lifestyle, try to reduce multi-tasking, be present in the moment and model mindful behavior for your child.
- Ensure that your household follows a daily routine that includes a regular bedtime and wake time, daily exercise, and healthy meals.
- Practice deep breathing with your child. Inhale slowly from your belly up to your nose; exhale through your mouth, all the way back down to your belly. Pretend you are smelling a flower when breathing in and slowly blowing out a candle when breathing out. Inhaling takes about 3 seconds, exhaling for 4 to 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Parent Tips: Dealing with Anger
To help your child learn to deal with anger:
- Explain to your child that anger is a natural emotion that everyone feels at times.
- Talk with your child about times you have felt angry (Don’t do this when you are feeling angry)
- Help your child to identify times they have felt angry. How did their body feel?
- Brainstorm strategies your child can use when feeling angry (counting to 10, breathing deeply, labeling his/her emotion, walking away to take a break, drawing a picture, writing in a journal).
Parent Tips: Listening
Being a good listener supports our relationships with others, participation in sports and other activities, school successes and many other areas of our lives. To practice this skill at home:
- Model good listening behavior for your child (e.g., look at them when they are talking, pay attention and be engaged)
- When it is time for your child to listen, remind them of the steps involved:
- Look at the person talking
- Be quiet so you can hear
- Focus and pay attention to what is being said
- Show that you are interested and engaged (nod your head, smile)
- When it’s your turn to talk, ask follow-up questions
- Provide positive feedback to your child for being a good listener.