Children from underserved communities face many challenges that impact their social and emotional development. Research has shown that building social and emotional skills in children can profoundly affect their success in school and life. 

What are Social and Emotional Skills?

Social and emotional skills refer to the ability to recognize, manage, and express emotions effectively and to form positive relationships with others. These skills are critical for children’s success in school and life, as they help them navigate social situations, manage stress and anxiety, and develop positive relationships with others.

Why are Social and Emotional Skills Important?

Research has shown that these skills are essential for children’s academic success, mental health and overall well-being. Children with strong social and emotional skills are more likely to form positive relationships with their peers and teachers, better manage stress and anxiety and demonstrate better academic performance.

Strategies for Building Social and Emotional Skills

There are many strategies that parents, caregivers, and educators can use to build social and emotional skills in children from underserved communities. 

Here are a few examples:

  1. Encourage Positive Relationships: Children need positive relationships with caring adults to build social and emotional skills. Encourage positive relationships with teachers, coaches and mentors who can provide guidance and support.
  2. Teach Emotional Awareness: Help children recognize and label their emotions by using feeling words and encourage them to express their feelings.
  3. Foster Empathy: Teach children to consider the feelings of others and to show empathy. This helps build positive relationships and develop strong social skills.
  4. Teach Conflict Resolution: Children need to learn how to resolve conflicts effectively, in order to build positive relationships with others. Teach children to listen actively, communicate clearly and work together to find solutions.

Building social and emotional skills in children from underserved communities is essential for their success in school and life. Providing children with the tools and resources they need to build these skills can help to support their overall well-being and success. Parents, caregivers and educators play an essential role in this process by encouraging positive relationships, teaching emotional awareness, fostering empathy and teaching conflict resolution skills. Together, we can help to build a brighter future for all children, regardless of their background or circumstances.