Social & Emotional Learning

Trotwood-Madison Department of Student Services

On Our Sleeves- The Movement for Children's Mental Health (Dayton Children's)

For many of us, there is nothing we want more than for our children to be happy. While we know that it’s normal to not be happy all the time, there are still things you can do to help increase happiness in your lives

Teaching children how to create their own happiness is a skill that will last a lifetime.

Our behavioral health experts offer tips to teach the art of happiness and give you and the children in your lives the foundation you need to “Create Happiness” again and again.

Teaching Your Child the Art of Happiness

You probably know a few people who have a positive attitude and seem happy no matter what’s going on. However, life is full of challenges and it is impossible to be happy all the time! Even though how we feel often depends on our circumstances, there are practices we can do to grow our happiness.

Happiness has many benefits, including:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving sleep
  • Improving educational outcomes
  • Increasing how long you live

Here are some ways you can practice happiness with your children:

1. Social support. One of the most important components of resilience (the ability to bounce back from tough situations) is social support. In other words, having a supportive group of friends and families can help us get through the hardest moments. Helping our kids create positive friend groups and strong family connections is a great way to help create happiness. Encourage them to find time in their daily life to reach out, spend time with, and share their thoughts and feelings with people in their life. Want to add extra credit? Doing something for the people in our lives also increases happiness and feelings of purpose!

2. Fun activities. Doing daily activities that we find fun and fulfilling can increase our happiness, even if we do them for just a few minutes a day. They also can help distract us from our thoughts when we are going through hard times. Encourage your child to find hobbies or activities that help them feel accomplished, joyful or relaxed. For example, creative activities such as arts and crafts, physical activities such as dancing or a sport, or relaxation exercises like mindfulness or yoga. Make them a part of your daily family schedule to help your child create a positive habit.

3. Healthy routines. Our mood depends a lot on our physical health. Create family routines that prioritize enough sleep, body movement and healthy foods when possible. Remember kids learn from watching us, so model these behaviors yourself and make all changes as a family.

4. Practice gratitude. Sometimes we spend a lot of our time thinking about the hard moments and stressors. We have to remember to also give ourselves time to think about the positive things in our lives. Being thankful for what you have at any given moment is an important element of happiness. Spend just a few minutes a day with your children sharing what each of you is grateful for.

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SEL Consultant Corner by Brandy Pledgure (MCESC SEL Consultant)

"Adult SEL is the process of helping educators build their expertise and skills to lead social and emotional learning initiatives. It also involves cultivating adults’ own social and emotional competencies."-Panorama

This goes back to regulated adults teaching and caring for regulated students. The 3 R’s: Regulate, Relate and Reason!

  • Regulate: Calm the Nervous System(Brain Stem) In Conscious Discipline it is called Survival State
  • Relate: Connection and Building relationships(Midbrain) In Conscious Discipline it is called Emotional State
  • Reason: Cognitive part of the brain( Cortex) In Conscious Discipline it is called Executive State
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Conscious Discipline PD Update

About 50 staff members are embarking upon the Conscious Discipline Professional Development course, "Building Resilient Schools and Homes." They have participated in three modules with a Conscious Discipline expert. The first three modules reviewed the concepts of brain states, brain smart start and developing a school family. If you are interested in participating, there is still time and spots! Below are some reflections of the course, so far. We are excited to now offer the course to our family. More information to come!
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