The role of parents

Long before children can say their first word or take their first step, they respond to the touch, tone of voice, and moods of their parents. This is the beginning of learning about emotions and relationships. It happens as naturally as their bodies grow and develop.


Parent and child ‌By working together, schools and parents can promote children's social and emotional learning. Key SEL skills include:


  • Self awareness‌
    Recognizing feelings and managing anger
  • Understanding others
    Developing empathy and taking the perspective of others
  • Making responsible decisions and following through
    Includes considering long-term consequences of actions
  • Understanding yourself
    Handling emotions, setting goals, dealing with obstacles
  • Building healthy relationships
    Saying no to negative peer pressure, working to resolve conflicts constructively


What can parents do?


At home


Focus on strengths

Talk about what your child did well before talking about what could be improved.


Ask children how they feel

This lets your child know that feelings matter and that you care. use feeling words around your child to explain your own emotions.


Be willing to apologize

This shows your child how important it is to apologize after hurting someone, physically or emotionally.


Ask questions that help children solve problems on their own

For example, “What do you think you can do in this situation?” or “What do you think could happen if you made that choice?”


Read books and stories together

Stories can help your child explore how people deal with common issues like losing friends or handling conflicts.


Choose a few responsibilities that your child can do successfully at home, and encourage them to help

This helps them learn cooperation and responsibility.




With your school


Focus on the value of learning

Ask what your child learned in school today, but also ask how he or she gets along with other students and how he or she feels about school.


Create a positive learning environment at home

Make regular times and provide a quiet, well-lit place for homework. Work with your child to develop rules for dealing with interruptions, such as phone calls or visitors.


Set up a school bulletin board at home

Display the school calendar, newsletters and fliers. Help your child get involved in interesting school activities.


Help your child set priorities for school work

If your child is struggling, don’t give them the answers to their assignments, but help them work through their issues.



Adopted from "Ten Things You Can Do at Home" and "Ten Things You Can Do with Your School" by the Committee for Children. Download more tips



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