How SEL Skills Can Help During COVID-19

Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are my own.When the whole nation’s education system shifted to a learning-at-home model, teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and students as a whole had to quickly adapt to uncharted territory. With new expectations layered on top of fears and anxieties about a global pandemic, the need for social emotional learning (SEL) skills was all the more evident. Kids and teens need those vital, foundational self awareness and self management skills to both recognize and manage their own feelings, and responsible decision-making awareness, social awareness, and relationship skills to help them understand the importance of staying home and how they can connect with others. Keep reading to find out more about easy ways to boost SEL skills during COVID19.

Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are my own.

Wondering how to build SEL during covid 19 and why it matters? Check out how these skills help kids and teens during the global pandemic

SEL During COVID 19

Self Awareness and Self Management

Being able to accurately notice, identify, and then manage feelings effectively is a huge need during this time (and also a big ask for kids!). We can help normalize this by first being open about our own feelings. It’s okay to tell kids when we feel frustrated or overwhelmed! We can use this opportunity to model effective strategies for coping. Here’s an example: “Wow, it’s really tough to work from home! I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by what I need to get done for my job. I think I’ll make a list to help myself feel a little more organized and then I can try to accomplish 2-3 things each day.”

Wondering how to build SEL during covid 19 and why it matters? Check out how these skills help kids and teens during the global pandemic

Just giving kids permission to feel big feelings can be so freeing! Work together with your child to practice and find some calming strategies or self-management strategies they can use at home when needed. You can even build this into your family routine but beginning your day with a practice or designating a time after lunch or before bed to practice 2-3 coping skills or calming strategies. You might even find that setting up a calming area in your home helps them to feel safe to self regulate in a designated safe space.

Resources for Talking to Kids About Emotions

Resources for Practicing Calming Strategies

Responsible Decision Making and Social Awareness

In the COVID19 world, conversations around responsible decision making and social awareness can help kids understand why we’re engaging in social distancing. Talk about how our choices to go out in densely populated areas or in big groups can have unwanted consequences for vulnerable populations. Make note of things you observe as you’re driving through town. Simply noticing aloud or wondering aloud is a great way to model for your child how to start thinking about the community and thinking about how others are affected by our choices. Here’s an example: While at the grocery store, “Oh I see an elderly shopper coming this way. Let’s step aside and give her at least 6 feet of space.” Just point out the ways in which you are noticing the needs of others can help your kids start to develop and grow their own social awareness.

Wondering how to build SEL during covid 19 and why it matters? Check out how these skills help kids and teens during the global pandemic

Relationship Skills

While quarantining at home or not getting to participate in fun summer activities like summer camps with friends, relationship skills are being shaped in new ways! If your child is struggling with not seeing friends or not having sleepovers like they normally would, spend some time making a list of ways to connect with people outside of face to face time. Depending on your child’s age, this may also necessitate conversations about social media safety and digital citizenship. Plan fun ways to connect with your child’s friends like chalking a friend’s driveway, dropping off their favorite cookies, or playing a game over Zoom. If possible, encourage kids to not focus just on texting or messaging. Extra time on Zoom or FaceTime will give your kids great opportunities to practice communication skills, too!

While the world is grappling with a new normal during the COVID19 pandemic, SEL skills are more important than ever! Helping our kids recognize and deal with big feelings, think through how our actions affect others and our community, and maintain strong relationships outside of face-to-face connection will help them to navigate these uncharted waters. For more great tips on building SEL skills with teens, don’t miss this guide created in partnership between WeAreTeachers and Allstate! It has lots of practical tools and ideas for conversations with your child. There’s a great list of questions to ask to start some meaningful conversations that focus on connection.

Free Guide: Building SEL skills during covid 19. How can SEL skills help kids during covid 19? Check out why these sel skills are so important for kids and teens during distance learning and homeschool times.

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