SEL in Action at Home

December 2020 - Gratitude

This holiday season may not look like previous years, but the good news is that the spirit of this season remains. In a time when gratitude is front and center, we encourage reflection on the positive aspects of your life (family, friends, safety, health, etc).

Studies show that people who practice gratitude consistently report physical, psychological, and social benefits like:

· Stronger immune systems

· Lower blood pressure

- Less stress and anxiety

· Better sleep

· More optimism and happiness

· Feeling less lonely and isolated

Jeffrey Froh, Associate Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University and author of Making Grateful Kids, The Science of Building Character suggests parents model how to express gratitude, give thanks and be generous to help instill gratitude in their children. We have included 10 Gratitude Ideas for Your Family to help start these conversations including journaling, reading a book, and creating gratitude rocks.

Lastly, we invite you to attend our virtual SEL Parent Discussion Series, Session 2: Hopes and Dreams, December 16th, 4:30-5:30 PM. The purpose of this session is to identify and explore the hopes and dreams that we have for our children and consider how social and emotional learning can help our children to achieve those goals.

On behalf of Dallas ISD’s SEL Department, we are grateful for your continued support of your family's Social and Emotional Learning growth and for including us in your journey.

SEL FAMILY DISCUSSION SERIES: Session 2 - Hopes & Dreams, Dec. 16, 4:30-5:30 PM

As part of the SEL Dallas partnership, join Dallas ISD’s SEL Department for a series of 1-hour family-focused virtual sessions to learn about social and emotional learning (SEL) and important SEL skills. Parents and caregivers are welcome to join any session or the entire series. Click here for the session schedule and register below to secure your registration in the series.


The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Such as:

• Taking others’ perspectives

• Recognizing strengths in others

• Demonstrating empathy and compassion

• Showing concern for the feelings of others

• Understanding and expressing gratitude

• Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones

• Recognizing situational demands and opportunities

• Understanding the influences of organizations/systems on behavior


10. Read a Book

Gratitude is not just for the holidays. Snuggle up with your kids and read to them, or have them read to you! Visit the following links for book suggestions to spark conversation about gratitude. Elementary, Middle School, High School

Some gratitude favorites: A Little Thankful Spot by Diane Alber or Please, Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley



How Parents Can Foster Gratitude In Kids (Dr. Andrea Hussong, Video - 13 min.)

Gratitude Meditation (GGIA, Audio - 10 min)

Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart Too (NPR, Audio - 2 min.)

Brené Brown on Joy and Gratitude (Global Leadership, Video - 4 min.)

Finding Awe in the Ordinary (Greater Good, Video - 2 min.)

Growing Our Gratitude (Dallas ISD - Video - 22 min)

The Social and Emotional Learning department is interested in your feedback as we develop an SEL discussion series for parents and caregivers. The series will help families become more familiar with SEL and actively engage in personal growth and supporting children's SEL practices. Each session will be approximately 45-60 minutes in length and will be presented virtually. Click the button above to participate in this quick survey. Thank you!

Share your story!

Did you try one of these Social and Emotional Learning strategies at home? Send us your story, picture, or video!