Discovery Mind Newsletter Autumn 2019
Supporting the Emotional Wellbeing of Our Thinkers
Here at DM we recognize that the social and emotional wellbeing of our young learners is foundational to all other developmental domains. If children start Kindergarten in an emotionally supportive environment, they will acquire the love of learning necessary for success in all areas of school. As our young learners develop, their emotional experiences literally become embedded in the architecture of their brains; therefore great care should be given to children’s emotional needs.
Our teachers promote the children’s social and emotional well-being by establishing trusting relationships, created when teachers express warmth, affection and respect. At DM we place a huge emphasis on developing our children’s social and emotional well-being and are richly rewarded with happy, engaged learners who are resilient, can resolve conflicts, share and take turns and express their emotions in productive ways.
When children’s emotional development is nurtured and reinforced, they’re more likely to feel good about themselves. And, those positive feelings are enabling, so they can focus more fully on learning, interacting, creating, and succeeding. Helping children build upon their essential emotional capacities will enrich their lives and empower them—motivating them now, and into the future.
Children who have a positive perspective about the ups and downs of daily life are better able to stretch themselves cognitively, creatively, productively, and socially. Those who are able to manage their emotions are stronger for it. They’re ready to welcome learning experiences. To ask questions. And, to discover new, creative, and comprehensive ways of thinking about the world around them.
Practical Tips for Parents
- Be aware. Pay attention to children’s reactions and behaviours (such as acting out, depression, aggression, procrastination, arrogance, or introversion).
- Identify causes. Help kids recognize the causes that underlie the feelings they’re experiencing.
- Communicate. Talking about emotions with others can be an effective way to deal with them.
- Value self-reflection. Model and reiterate the benefits of thinking things through.
- Encourage resilience. Help children develop the ability to deal effectively—and creatively—with setbacks, and also with changes and transition times.
- Foster relationships. Because relationships with family and friends affect the way we feel, it’s important to encourage children to forge solid connections, to learn about give-and-take and conflict resolution, and to develop and use strategies that will keep interactions on an even keel. Parents can help children hone these skills by ensuring they have ample opportunities for active play, sharing, appreciation of diversity, consistent routines, collaboration, role-playing, and lots of peer and family connectivity.
- Consider self-esteem. Children often face uncertainties, have to cope with competitive environments or situations, or meet difficult expectations. Reinforcement and encouragement from parents can go a long way toward strengthening children’s self-esteem, and instilling feelings such as optimism and relief.