In most lower school environments ( kindergarten and up), children get a periodic report card or progress report. Obviously, this informs parents how their children are performing and if they are “on grade level” with academic subjects such as math, reading, and writing. When parents read a report card, they might notice another section that rates a child’s social development and work habits. Most parents are more focused on the academics because that is what our society and schools deem the most important. But are academics the most important in the the lower school years? If you look at what’s being graded on the “Social Development” part of the report card, you might notice skills such as respecting others, cooperating, demonstrating self-control and resolving conflicts. If your child does not have these skills, it is probable that he/she is struggling in other ways too, academically or otherwise. Furthermore, if your child is struggling with “work habits” such as staying on task, completing work, or putting forth effort, school is probably not going well.
The challenge is to make sure children have these social emotional and adaptive skills from an early age. They take time to learn. Sometimes it is difficult to master them. These skills should be taught first and foremost at home and also in preschool and childcare environments. How a preschool or childcare program addresses social emotional learning should be one of the first questions asked on a tour of the facility.
How are you addressing these skills at home? Do you feel that your child respects others? Is responsible? Is independent? parents are the best teachers/models and these skills are so very important. children who master them will do better in school and better in life.
Let them fly!