Counselor Corner

Ms. Leven's monthly newsletter

February 2015

Social/Emotional Intellegence

Our Carroll character strengths for the month of February are Social and Emotional Intelligence, which require us to recognize and process our feelings and then use this information to help us make effective decisions. Those who show strong social and emotional intelligence are able to solve interpersonal problems quickly, as they can understand what is upsetting others and take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation. Although the term "social and emotional intelligence" may seem overwhelming, this really just refers to our ability to regulate our own emotions and use that knowledge to interact with others! Being able to show empathy, resolve conflicts, and adapt quickly to new situations are just a few of the pieces that show social and emotional intelligence.

What Does Character Lab Say About Social and Emotional Intelligence?

Although there is some disagreement about the exact terminology to use, social and emotional intelligence both refer to the ability to understand your own and others’ feelings and emotions and then to use this understanding to inform your decisions and actions. Socially/emotionally intelligent people solve interpersonal problems quickly by understanding what is upsetting others and being empathetic to these concerns. They tend to recognize when they've said something that made someone uncomfortable and know what makes others "tick.” Socially/emotionally intelligent people are able to thrive in many different relationships and settings because they quickly learn the social rules.

Research shows that social/emotional intelligence is positively associated with functioning competently in society, being liked by others, having a stronger support system (friends and family), having healthy relationships, having better mental health, and problem-solving more effectively. By helping to improve people’s social relationships, social and emotional learning programs have been shown to enable participants to demonstrate greater enjoyment of and stronger performance in school and engage less in risky behavior (including drug use and violence).


Conversation Starters

Struggling with how to talk to your child about social and emotional intelligence? Use these topics below to start a conversation!

  • Talk to them about "code-switching" (which means changing how you act depending on the situation/location). Discuss appropriate and inappropriate times to change your behaviors based on your situation. Ask your child if they have ever been in a situation where they weren't sure how to act. If so, discuss what they could have done!
  • Model and discuss appropriate problem solving strategies. Practice using "I Statements" - "I feel __________, when you __________". Remember to remind them that is never OK to solve our problems with physical violence!
  • Practice respectful listening techniques. Talk about making eye contact during conversation and how to respond based on what people say.
  • Put your child in a social setting that may be out of his or her comfort zone. Join a new sport or club and allow your student to interact with others!
  • Have a play date with a classmate! Talk your child first about how to treat friends and have him/her practice those skills!

Books to Read

Still want more? Here are some children's books that focus on Social and Emotional Intelligence.

  • The Way I feel, By Janan Cain
  • When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really, Angry, By Molly Bang
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon, By Patty Lovell
  • Just Grace, by Barney Salzberg
  • Waiting for Wings, By Louis Ehlert
  • Weslandia, by Paul Fleishman
  • Don't Need Friends, by Carol Crimi

Food Drive

Monday, Feb. 1st, 8am to Friday, Feb. 12th, 3pm

4380 Throne Hall Drive

Frisco, TX

Strategies for Raising A Healthy Child

Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 6-7:30pm

5515 Ohio Drive

Frisco, TX

In this session, parents will discover strategies to foster healthy development of the whole child. Research tells us when emotional and physical needs are met, students are more successful academically and socially. Guest speaker Michelle Kinder of the Momentous Institute will discuss brain development and a concept called growth mindset, which is the understanding that personal qualities and abilities can change. Having a growth mindset leads students to take on challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks and become more effective learners.