Below are 5 tips to increase SEL (Social Emotional Learning) in your day. These habits help start your morning on the right foot. By starting with a positive mindset, we can have better control over our emotions and reactions throughout the day.
- Create a calm, positive environment to start the day: Have your students or children visualize what brings them joy or excitement about this day. Ask them what they are looking forward to? Ask them to play out the situation and talk about positive emotions.
- When speaking with the child, use positive affirmations with transition statements: You want to say, “ Wow Hunter, I am so proud that you did your homework without me asking. You took some initiative, I am impressed! Share daily the strengths that your child or student holds. We often have students and professionals use “I AM” statements. I am strong, I am intelligent, I am supportive, I am enough, I am worthy, I am loved…Try it for yourself and see the difference it can make. Write it down, narrate it in your head, or speak it out loud. In middle school, we make it a game and over time, they associate their “I AM” statements to who they are. Make it positive, uplifting, and powerful.
- Use the child’s name when speaking to them: Use their name as much as you can. When we hear our name tied to positive words, kindness, or recognition, we feel valued and heard.
- Refrain from using your phone to use your limited time with your children or in the classroom: Be present and mindful of the people around you. Being on your phone creates a wall between you and the people around you. When talking or listening to someone, don’t be on your phone. It fuels disconnection.
- Try planning one fun activity a day that would bring you joy so you model how to bring little sparks of joy in your life: This is great so students and children can remember to play and find joy. For us adults, we often forget. So put it in the calendar and make it simple. You can walk your dog, watch a show, take a nap, sit outside, pet your cat, meet a friend, try something new, give a compliment, or ask for a hug. Little sparks of joy is all we need to re-balance. So make a list and try to do one thing a day. It can take one minute or an entire day. Just make a list then share it with your students or children so they can create a Spark of Joy List. We challenge you to this joy quest!
These habits have not only helped my students but they really have given me a new perspective. I use “I AM” Statements all the time and I love my Spark of Joy List. I find that by practicing these habits, I can see how I feel differently and how I can shift my thinking when I am struggling.
Feelings fuel our behaviors and thoughts. To gain more control and manifest positive emotions we need to think differently and learn how these emotions feel and affirm them. I love to teach about emotions and I use our Fetch the Feeling Cards. The cards are always in my backpack, so I can grab them anytime when running a program. They help fuel better discussions and talk about different emotions. Often I ask how do you get from fearful or angry to happy? What needs to happen, how can you think differently, and what do you need to do? Fetch the Feeling Cards are a must for SEL development and programming.
Until Next Time…
Kortney Peagram, Ph.D
Owner and President Bulldog Solution & Peagram Consulting
Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash