What is social-emotional competency?
What does that look like? A socially and emotionally competent child will generally:
- Have positive interactions with others
- Engage in cooperative play
- Have a positive outlook
- Follow directions
- Make and keep friends
- Show empathy
- Identify and healthily express emotions (self-regulation)
- Navigate and resolve conflicts/able to problem solve
- Persist in and concentrate on a task
- Demonstrate curiosity about the environment and people around them
- Have positive feelings about themself and others
- Enjoy discovering new things
If a child is struggling to make and keep friends, follow instructions, and manage their own emotions, their bandwidth for academics is limited. Think of when a child is sick – they are tired and emotional, their ability to concentrate is minimal, and their energy is spent on meeting their basic needs. This is not the time to drill a child with multiplication facts! Instead, we focus on helping the child regain their physical health so that their capacity to manage other aspects of their life is restored. In the same way, if a child is lagging in their social-emotional development, it’s time to help them get healthy!