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 Social Emotional Coaching / Learning

What is Social Emotional Learning?


Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for children to become their best selves in school, work, and life.

Children who develop strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving, self-discipline, impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.

Extensive research shows a correlation between the skills taught in SEL programs and academic achievement, positive behavior, and healthier life choices.

Why is SEL so important?

Children aren’t born knowing how to manage their emotions, get along with other people, or cope with stress. It is normal for children to have BIG emotions, however, they need to be taught the appropriate tools to manage them effectively and cope with the stress within their little worlds. 

SEL helps us lay the foundation for children to grow into positive, responsible, and self-aware adults.

What are the 5 components of SEL?


A huge part of self-awareness is introspection — being able to self-reflect and, in the process, honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. It also involves monitoring and being aware of your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and stress levels in any situation. Without self-awareness, it’s challenging (if not impossible) for someone to learn and grow from their mistakes. SEL helps children develop this essential life skill.

Social Awareness

Social awareness teaches children the ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Sometimes that person may be from a completely different culture than theirs. It helps them to feel empathy and compassion, even though they have different backgrounds. Empathy goes beyond just culture, it helps kids understand why their friend is crying, why that friend may be hurt or angry, or why they may be silly or happy and how they can help support them.


Impulse Control

Impulse control helps children to stop engaging in behaviors that may be harmful to them or the people around them. Children who struggle with impulse control may have outbursts and often fight with other kids. They may also have a tough time delaying gratification because they haven’t learned how to take control of their emotions and thoughts. We can refer to this as “self-management,” which can be supported with SEL.


Relationship Skills

SEL helps children establish and maintain healthy relationships with others. These skills teach children how to resolve conflicts, communicate effectively, and determine when (and how) to ask for help.



Making good decisions, including prioritizing, is something that many people (including adults) struggle with. It includes weighing your pros and cons, considering your wellbeing and others’, and making sound decisions based on all of this information. The younger children are when they begin to understand this important skill, the more time they have to develop it before the challenges of adulthood begin.

What are the benefits of SEL?

More Positive Attitude

Social-emotional learning helps children develop a more positive attitude toward themselves and the people around them. This includes having empathy, confidence, and persistence.


Help Navigating Adult Life

While the focus at the moment might be on helping your child have better experiences, SEL skills do not end in childhood. Children carry these skills well into their adult lives to help them effectively solve challenges they may face in their relationships, friendships, or work. These are all crucial elements of living a healthy and balanced life.


Better Grades

It’s now well researched that social-emotional learning positively impacts kids, including their academics. That’s likely because SEL helps children learn how to solve problems, cope with emotional stress, and overcome peer pressure. While academic performance is not the most important benefit on this list, it’s worth mentioning.

Increase in self esteem and self worth

When a child has not learned the five essential components in the SEL framework, there is typically a child who has little confidence in oneself and low self esteem. SEL gives children the tools to work towards independence and growth which naturally impacts their self worth.

What curriculum do you use?

Our primary curriculum is the Kimochis SEL curriculum. Kimochis has been highly researched and kid approved! We also utilize A Little Spot of Emotion and various other resources to provide a well rounded holistic approach.

What can I do at home to foster my child's emotional intelligence and SEL?

Incorporating SEL is natural fit for many activities children love. Children find purpose in being helpful and encouraging others. At home activities could include drawing a picture or writing a letter to a loved one, draw or write a gratitude journal, initiate conversation encouraging your child to share positive things about their day, make to-do lists, practice exchanging compliments with your child, create a fun story together, practice breathing exercises such as belly and teddy bear breathing. It is also important that you teach children to name their emotions. Visual cues such as character emotion charts are a great tool to utilize at home. 

We find children love this chart from A Little Spot of Emotion:

Additional information:

A Little Spot of Emotion
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