Humans are social beings. Think of the people you are closest to – your partner, your child, best friends. Now imagine a life without them. Doesn’t seem so colorful anymore, isn’t it? Building relationships with people around you is essential. While it begins at home with family, it inevitably extends to peers, teachers, in the workplace and is critical for survival.
In Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Relationship Skills is the 4th competency.
Breaking down CASEL’s definition, Relationship Skills is the set of abilities that are key to:
How Will Relationship Skills Help Your Child?
A child with good relationship skills will be able to:
1. Form and Maintain Healthy Relationships: Apart from basic survival, everyone needs people they are comfortable with to live a fruitful life. Relationships can have positive influences on your child. They inspire and motivate. Good relationship skills include kindness, empathy, appreciation and compassion.
Children who are self-aware, can self regulate and have social awareness skills are able to accept differences and are culturally competent. The ability to look at situations from different perspectives encourages understanding and inclusion. Inclusive people make great leaders and influencers.
2. Resolve Conflict: Relationships don’t always fit right in. As adults, we are yet to figure out the secret to lasting connections. Some relationships are tricky, some toxic and some end. Good relationship skills enable you to handle any conflicts and misunderstandings. Clear communication helps nurture relationships and helps build empathy.
3. Co-Exist: Good relationship skills help us co-exist. Creativity is enhanced and sharing is learnt.
Good relationship skills include being able to stand up for themselves or others assertively and knowing when to ignore or walk away. It helps build leadership skills and cultural competency. In the classroom, it enables learning together, thus instilling a sense of community along with compassion through teamwork.
How To Improve Your Child's Relationship Skills?
From making friends, or just working with someone, relationship building is an important skill.
Be a Role Model: Seeing that their parents are able to build healthy relations with their family, friends and colleagues helps children understand how to maintain relationships. In cases of simple conflicts, addressing them calmly in front of them instead of keeping them in the dark about it helps children navigate their own relationships and conflicts.
Enable Free Expression: Giving children a space to express their emotions and thoughts openly encourages better communication skills. Engaging in meaningful conversations with them and showing interest in their passions helps build better communication, openness and trust.
Create Diverse Groups: Create opportunities for children to interact with diverse groups of friends. This increases cultural understanding and acceptance. Building relationships with people from varied backgrounds encourages empathy and compassion.
Gadget-free Time Zones: Establishing gadget-free time zones and meals leads to better bonds within the family which, in turn, helps them appreciate the joy of strong bonds. This could encourage them to build strong relationships with classmates and friends too.
At SpringUP, we help children build foundational skills in Social Emotional Learning(SEL) skills through our experiential learning programs. We use various mediums like conversations, narrations, art, music & movement in our curriculum.