A couple weeks ago, I wrote about social and emotional skills. And how they seem to fall off the educational radar once children move past 5 or 6 years old. Yet how important learning strategies and skills can be for children (and adults!) as they go through different experiences in their lives.
I find that right now, there is just so much chaos in the world. It's so easy to find the sadness, the confusion, the division. And it makes me search for the good. For the kindness. For the connection. I do this for my own sanity. And I do this to make sure that my own children are learning how to interact with others, how to be sensitive to their own needs, as well as the needs of others, how to make good decisions, and learn from their mistakes.
It brought me to a site that I have used when I was working as a special education teacher, Social Thinking. This site is FULL of so many amazing resources that support educators, caregivers, and children in learning how to notice and regulate emotions, how to interact with others, read social clues, and more. The Superflex Curriculum is an resource to build social awareness and self-regulation in a fun and supportive way. While it's easy to assume that these are things that only some people may need help with, or only if it's written in an IEP, I believe we all need support in these areas. For some, these skills may come easily. For others, it may take more effort. And for those, I think it's amazing that there are fun and engaging books and tools to help navigate what may not come so easily.
As children get into their tween and teen years, they can experience so much inner turmoil, emotional ups and downs, and social pressures. And by talking about these experiences openly and honestly, children can be prepared when faced with them. Even more importantly, they will know that they have people in their lives who understand that these experiences may arise and who they can rely on for support if we are having these open conversations. Some support might come in the form of conversations, while other support might need to be more concrete, just like when learning math or writing.
The resources that I added to my cart were:
Should I or Shouldn't I? Middle and High School Edition
Social Thinking® Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens
How Rude! The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out
I'm looking forward to browsing through these and seeing how they fit into our lives!