We all remember the friends we made as children. The ones we were excited to see at school, and the excitement of play dates filled with adventure, fun, and laughter.
Even now, as adults, our friends remain an immensely important part of our lives. They share our problems, give us advice and walk with us through our life events and memorable moments.
Our friends enrich our lives.
For our children, making friends and developing relationships is a necessary part of their social and emotional development. As they develop their social and emotional skills, they are able to establish and maintain rewarding relationships with others, handle difficult social situations and manage times of stress, and anger and stop themselves from impulsive actions.
Social and emotional skills are the strategies we develop to help manage our emotions, our relationships, learn to work effectively with others, solve problems, and make responsible decisions. These social-emotional skills also support positive life experiences and, when we teach them to our children, we know that they are more likely to succeed academically and have a positive attitude towards themselves and school.
Social-emotional skills are needed by all of us from early childhood through to adulthood. These skills help us navigate family and parent-child relationships, friendships, social and academic situations at school, jobs, and anything that involves interacting with others including our communications through phone calls and texts.
For example, if our friend tells us about having an extremely bad day, we use our skills for empathising and responding to them. If we don’t recognise and acknowledge their feelings and instead tell them to “toughen up,” we may not keep that friend.
We know from research that developing social and emotional skills translates directly to lifelong success at home, at work and everywhere in between.
Here at Cedars a program called ‘Second Steps’ has been introduced to all our students from Kindergarten to Year 6 to give them these lifelong skills. To find out more about this program from our College Psychologist Mrs Hannah Baker and myself please come along to the P & F meeting next Tuesday evening 9 April at 7.00pm to find out more.