Children’s social and emotional health is so important. Children with advanced social and emotional health tend to have more motivation to learn and a positive attitude towards school according to research. Educators in the learning environment can promote children’s social and emotional health by establishing a trusting relationship and teaching social and emotional skills intentionally.
Books that encourage Social and Emotional Health of Children
There are many children’s books that support children in this area. It identifies different emotions and situations in visuals and teachers are there to read it for them. Asking questions and comments for children to relate to the story and think deeply about their own experiences to connect to the theme are great ways as well. Some of the great books are The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, which is a great book about sharing things, and Hands are Not for Hitting by Elizabeth Verdick, which is another awesome book that portrays the ideas of keeping our body to ourselves. Supporting children to talk about their experiences is critical so they can re-think how and what they felt and other children can also give ideas and relate to them as well.
Building relationships to strengthen emotional health in Children
The spark of learning can start with a relationship. Having a positive and caring relationship with children will spark wonders for all. They are more likely to ask questions, solve problems, be willing to learn, and stay close with ones that they trust and feel comfortable with. Building the relationship with each and every child is a challenge because not all children are the same and teachers are not always available for all children every time. When there is a chance with an individual child or group of children, show warmth and affection by facial expression, body language, gentle touches, and sweet comments. Some children love gentle touches by others such as hugs or rubbing their backs. First, ask if they would like a hug or ask for permission if they would like to get some back rubs. And some children love getting attention from adults. For example, kneeling down to see what the child has made with blocks or laying down on a bed of snow with children to show it is safe and okay to do so, these body languages will start the train of questions and soon arrive in a trusting relationship station.