Kid Connection Videos
Tips for Parents: Learning & Practicing SEL Skills at Home
Following Up on Skills Learned and Practiced in The Kid Connection
In The Kid Connection elementary school students learn social emotional skills that support their meaningful participation in the classroom, on the playground, and in their lives outside of school. During the school dismissal period Mrs. Trish, our Kid Connection Specialist, will be offering a series of brief, 5-minute videos for our students to learn and practice social emotional skills at home.
Supporting Your Child’s Emotional Regulation—Self Control
Help your child to identify the signals their body sends to them when they’re upset. Ask questions such as: Do you feel tightness in your chest? Do your shoulders become tense and scrunch up? Does your face feel warm? Do your eyes squint? Does your brow furrow? Do you talk loudly or shout?
Practice taking Brave Breaths with your child. Inhale slowly from your belly up to your nose; exhale through your mouth, all the way back down to your belly. For some people it helps to pretend they’re smelling a flower when breathing in and blowing out a candle when breathing out. Inhale for about 3 seconds, exhale for 4 to 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Talk with your child about options for dealing with emotions in positive ways, e.g., talk to an adult, walk away, draw a picture, write in a journal, take Brave Breaths.
Support your child’s choice of options discussed and help them move on.
Dealing with Boredom
Help your child deal with boredom by working together to create a list of activities to do when bored. Post the list and when bored, have your child select and do an activity from the list. You can turn the list into a fun activity, itself, by having your child make a paper chain of the activities. Or write all the ideas on small, separate pieces of paper and put them in a Boredom Jar. Have your child label and decorate the Boredom Jar. When your child says “I’m bored,” have them select and do the next idea from the paper chain or an activity from the Boredom Jar. Provide positive reinforcement to your child for selecting and doing an activity to alleviate boredom.
Ideas for activities may include: draw a picture, play a board game, do 25 jumping jacks, make a card for an elderly relative or neighbor, build with Legos, write the grocery list, create a recipe and make it, visit a local attraction online (The Oakland Zoo is offering virtual tours and learning opportunities during the school dismissal), listen to music and dance, call or Skype a relative, build a fort out of sheets and blankets, have a Tea Party.
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 _____.”
Expressing Your Emotions
The first step in expressing your emotions is to understand and label how you feel. Encourage your child to take a deep breath and think about how he/she is feeling. What is your child’s facial expression, tone of voice and body language communicating?
Have your child label his/her feeling, “I feel ________.”
Talk with your child about healthy ways to express emotions (Talk about how he/she is feeling, draw a picture or write in a journal about how he/she is feeling, take a break, do some deep breathing, get some exercise, get involved in an activity). Model healthy ways of expressing emotions.
Remind your child that there aren’t “bad” emotions. Everyone feels angry or sad at times. We can learn healthy ways to express our feelings. Provide positive feedback when your child expresses emotions in a healthy way.
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 he/she has felt angry. How did his/her body feel?
Brainstorm strategies your child can use when feeling angry (count to 10, breathe deeply, label his/her emotion, walk away, draw a picture, write in a journal).
Setting a Goal
To follow up with your child about setting a goal:
Talk with your child about achievable goals and brainstorm ideas (for example, making his bed every morning for the week). Have your child write down his/her goal and post it where he/she will see it regularly.
Discuss strategies to help your child reach the goal (for example, post a note reminding your child to make his/her bed each morning, have a chart with the days listed so that your child can make a check each day after making the bed).
Provide positive feedback for small steps and for reaching the goal.
Being a good listener supports our relationships with others, participation in sports and other activities, school success and many other areas of our lives. To practice this skill at home:
Model good listening behavior for your child (e.g., look at him when he/she is talking, pay attention and be engaged).
When it’s time for your child to listen, remind him/her 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.
Solving a Problem
Help your child to identify problem situations. “When ______ happens, that is a problem.”
Model Problem Solving language: e.g., “Let’s work together to figure out how to deal with this problem.” “We can come up with a solution to this problem.” “We can solve this problem.”
Brainstorm problem solutions with your child. Have your child choose a solution and follow up with it.
Debrief with your child. Is the problem solved? Would you handle it differently next time?
Mindfulness & Calming Breaths
To encourage your child to develop a healthy, mindful lifestyle, 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 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’re smelling a flower when breathing in and blowing out a candle when breathing out. Inhaling takes about 3 seconds, exhaling for 4 to 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.