NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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The Three E's for Creating a Strong Base of Social and Emotional Skills

The Three E's for Creating a Strong Base of Social and Emotional SkillsWithout a doubt, having strong social and emotional skills is an important part of a solid foundation for success in life.

The arena of social and emotional skills includes

  • Self-control, patience, perseverance, and decision-making
  • The ability to resolve conflicts peacefully
  • The ability to manage anxiety, anger, discouragement, and other uncomfortable emotions,
  • The ability to make and keep friends,
  • The ability to empathize

These critical skills are learned through what are referred to as the three Es of the Love and Logic approach to parenting:  example, experience, and empathy.

Example:  The example we provide, also called modeling, is a powerful tool for teaching social and emotional coping skills. One way it happens is when our kids overhear us talking about our values. It is much more effective than a lecture.  Our children can learn great lessons about coping with tough emotions, temptations, and conflicts by overhearing us verbalize positive self-talk.
Experience: Mistakes are priceless learning opportunities. For parents to be able to capitalize on the teachable moments, when the price tag or consequence of the child making a mistake is relatively or comparatively small, is a good thing.  In those moments, parents have the opportunity to provide emotional support while the child learns through their mistake.  This helps the child build a sense of optimism and confidence by experiencing and overcoming setbacks.  When we err and experience not-so-pleasant consequences, we learn the importance of making better choices in the future.

Empathy:  When children see us using empathy with others, and when they experience it directly from us, they are far more likely to pass it on. Social and emotional success requires that children learn how to demonstrate empathy toward others as well as toward themselves.
If there was to be a fourth E, it would probably be “explanations.”  Under the right circumstances, explaining is an important tool for teaching social, emotional, and academic skills. It works well when we are calm, the child is calm, and if we realize that it’s a relatively small part of the teaching process, particularly with challenging youth.

Love and Logic offers practical, insightful, effective parenting tips and strategies.  To subscribe to their free Insider’s Club e-newsletter, visit their website at https://www.loveandlogic.com/.

Adapted from:  Love and Logic Insiders Club, 11-20-19.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/face-head-man-profile-mask-985979/ (downloaded 12/3/19)

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