Sometimes it's hard to talk about emotions. These tips can get you started.
Self-awareness is knowing your emotions, strengths and challenges, and how your emotions affect your behavior and decisions.
While watching TV or reading a book, ask your child, "What do you think this character is feeling? How does his face look when he feels that way?" You can follow that with, "Show me what happy looks like for you," and, "What does sad look like to you?"
If your child seems angry or frustrated, you can say, "I noticed your eyebrows are closer together and your arms are folded. Tell me how you’re feeling right now."
You can say, "What’s your favorite subject in school? What do you like to do the most on the weekends?" If they like pets, you can tell them, "I see that you love to play with your pets. Would you like to volunteer with me at a shelter where there are lots of other animals you can help take care of?"
Self-management is controlling emotions and the behaviors they spark in order to overcome challenges and pursue goals.
Ask your child specifically what they would like to accomplish in the next week, or tomorrow. What are you going to do after dinner? What do you want to do, or practice, this weekend?
For example, if you see your child struggling, you may want to say, "What else could you try that might work better?" or "I think you can do this. How else can you solve it? What can you change or do differently?"
For example, when trying a new activity together, say, "I know that roller-skating was hard. It was hard for me too, but if we keep trying we’ll get better at it. I’m proud of you for trying something new!"
For example, if your child gets a good grade on a test, try not to just say, "Congratulations on that good grade." Instead, say, "You studied so hard for that grade and you didn’t give up. I’m proud of your perseverance."
The ability to interact meaningfully with others and to maintain healthy relationships with diverse individuals and groups contributes to overall success.
"Did you meet anybody new in class today? Who are your best friends at school?" Ask your child about the qualities they look for in a friend, by saying, "Why do you like to play with Jamal after school? What makes him a good friend?" or "Has Shannon ever said anything that made you feel sad?"
You can say, "The lady at the grocery store was so nice to me today. She helped carry my bags to the car. Was anyone nice to you at school today? Did someone help you today or were you a good helper?"
If your child comes home from school and says, "Shruti was nice to me today because she shared her snacks with me," you can follow that with, "Do you want to take some snacks to share with Shruti tomorrow? Do you think that’s a good way to say thank you?"
"If Leah doesn’t want to play with you, you may want to ask her if you did anything to hurt her feelings. Do you think you should say sorry? If you say sorry, she might feel better. If she did something to you, maybe you can ask her why she did that."
"I noticed that you looked sad when I picked you up from school today. Did anything happen? Are you having problems with any of your classmates? Is anyone calling you names or being mean to you? Did a classmate hurt someone else feelings? If you see anything like this happen, I need to know so we can do something about it."
Responsible decision-making is the ability to make choices that are good for you and for others. It is also taking into account your wishes and the wishes of others.
You may want to provide them with options, and ask, "What book would you like to read at bedtime tonight? Your favorite one or the one we just checked out at the library today? What kind of snacks do you want me to pack in your lunch? Carrots or apple sauce?"
Talk about the problem as you’re reading, using terms like, "How would you solve this problem?" or, "What is the problem again?" and "What should the character do now?"
"You have to hold my hand or walk right next to me when we’re in a crowd. If we get separated you might get lost and I would be very scared and worried," instead of, "A stranger might take you," which is a more realistic outcome.
"What do you think will happen if we don’t wear our coats outside today?" or, "If you don’t go to sleep on time, what do you think you’ll be like at school tomorrow?" or, "How do you think your sister will feel if you play with her favorite toy without asking?"
For example, if your child breaks a sibling’s toy, you can say, "Your brother was very sad that you broke his toy. How can you make him feel better? You may want to say ‘I’m sorry I broke your toy. I know it hurts your feelings that it’s broken. Next time I’m playing with your toys I will try to be more careful."