Social Emotional Development

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the way children and adults learn to recognize and manage their emotions, learn to show care and concern for others, make friends and develop relationships with children and adults, and learn to problem solve and make responsible choices.

Children with strong social emotional skills have the:

  • Ability to develop good relationships with other children and adults by making friends and get along with others
  • Ability to identify, understand, and express their own feelings/emotions and the feelings/ emotions of others
  • Ability to handle strong emotions, being able to calm down when angry
  • Ability to stick to tasks
  • Ability to listen and follow directions
  • Ability to develop of empathy toward others

Social Emotional Learning provides life longs skills that help children be successful in school and for a life time. Social Emotional skills build resiliency in children – the ability to face challenges and overcome adversities throughout life.


activities/tips to support sel

Building a positive relationship with your child is one of the easiest ways to teach your child social emotional skills. These activities encourage talking, laughing, taking turns, sharing and most of importantly an opportunity to get hang out and spend fun time with your child:

  • Reading a book together and talk about the characters
  • Taking a walk
  • Singing favorite songs together
  • Eating dinner together
  • Talking/singing in car, on bus
  • Hugs, high fives, kisses, winks, thumbs-up
  • Saying “I love you”  
  • Asking your child about his/her day
  • Letting your child be your special helper (helping with dinner, laundry, etc..)
  • Playing together
  • Encourage and compliment them when they are successful doing a task

additional resources for families

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention: Families Section