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Curb Bullying with these Social and Emotional Learning Skills

by

Leonardo Rocker

Bullying in schools has become a nationwide concern, with many anti-bullying practices being implemented in every state. Social and emotional learning (SEL) can provide an effective foundation for reducing bullying in schools. Practicing SEL skills will create a school environment that fosters positive interactions. Here are four characteristics of SEL, that aim to curb bullying in schools:

1. Open, supportive relationships between students and teachers

Open communication between students and teachers presents an opportunity for students to observe how positive interactions look like away from the home setting. Allowing helpful and practical conflict resolution opportunities also allow students to learn how to resolve disagreements in a safe setting. These opportunities will translate to the playground and allow students to resolve problems sooner before they escalate into fully-fledged bullying.

2. Solid communication between schools and families

Families need to be involved with their child's school. When a parent is actively engaged in what happens to their child at school on a daily basis, they can help teach positive behaviour and reinforce messages from the teachers. Working as a team with the child's school ensures that the same positive messages are being taught on a variety of levels and in a variety of environments.

3. Emphasis on respect and tolerance

SEL requires school policies that highlight respect for peers, acceptance and appreciation of everyone's differences. A school community in which students understand and embrace differences is a place where positive behaviour will thrive. This also involves been more open to students perspectives and opinions. Too often school take a too strong stand on rules, without proper consultation. School rules should take on students perspectives and change over time.

4. Teaching skills that allow kids to recognise and handle emotions, and engage in caring peer relationships

In addition to school policies requiring respect and tolerance, students must be taught how to engage in positive social interactions and develop caring peer relationships with one another. Teaching students how to express and handle emotions positively will support responsible decision-making and avoid negative scenarios that could escalate into bullying.

SEL skills arm students with the ability to handle their emotions in a positive way that results in enhanced social problem solving, supportive attitudes toward others, and overall academic success. Social and emotional learning provides students with many benefits that enhance the school community as a whole, creating a caring and nurturing environment in which bullying has no place.

Quirky Kid has also recently published a comprehensive SEL program called The Best of Friends. Find out more about it online.

Equip your child with some of our therapeutic resources such as the Quirky Kid 'Face It' cards, which are designed to increase emotional awareness. Most importantly, please feel free to contact us to learn more about the benefits of social and emotional learning.

Further Reading

Flower in a Pot

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