Social Emotional Skills

Social Emotional Skills

  • Self-Monitoring Charts

    Self-Monitoring Charts

        I’ve been discussing children who have trouble with executive functioning skills and today I’ll focus on helping children to monitor their own behavior. Often children do not even realized when they are off-task, or bothering others, or behaving in inappropriate ways. Having a concrete way for them to keep track of how well they are doing can be very effective. Read More

  • Disorganized Children – Disorganized Teachers

    Disorganized Children – Disorganized Teachers

         As I’ve mentioned before, I get to observe many, many classrooms in my job supervising student teachers. One of the things that’s surprised me is the direct relationship between excellent classroom management and a neat, organized classroom environment. Read More

  • Taming Young Children’s Impulses

    Taming Young Children’s Impulses

          We know that impulsiveness is a natural part of young children’s development. However, we also know that children who don’t gain some control over their impulses have a difficult time being successful in school settings, especially as they enter the more structured primary grades. Read More

  • “Executive Function” in Young Children

    “Executive Function” in Young Children

         Recent neuro-psychological research is helping us understand how important “executive function” is in children’s success in school. Executive functioning includes the following abilities:

    Inhibition. This is the ability to stop oneself from doing a behavior at the appropriate time. It is the opposite of being impulsive. Read More

  • Separation Anxiety

    Separation Anxiety

          A special challenge for teachers of young children is helping anxious, crying children separate from their caregivers. When I first started teaching preschoolers, I was overwhelmed by a handful of crying children, clinging to their mother’s legs. I couldn’t get the parents to leave and I couldn’t help the children calm down. Read More

  • Apology-in-Action


    Should we force children to apologize? Tough question, and I think the answer lies in what we are teaching children when we make this decision. If we insist that a child apologizes, even if she is not at all sorry for her actions, we run into a problem. Children learn that we should say “I’m sorry” even when we don’t mean it or when we don’t know what we did wrong. Read More

  • Teaching Children How to Calm Down

    Teaching Children How to Calm Down

    I just starting reading a wonderful book called The Mindful Child (see link below) in which the author describes a clever technique she used to help her own children calm down: she grabbed a snow globe from the shelf, shook it, and had the crying children watch the snow fall as they held one hand on their bellies and breathed in and out. Read More

  • Teasing Prevention: Kind Words

    Teasing Prevention: Kind Words

         We were discussing different family configurations in my “Working with Families” course the other night and the question was raised as to what to do if children tease each other about their family – for example, a child who has same-sex parents, a child whose father is incarcerated, or a child who is homeless. Read More