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Social-Emotional Learning during the Holidays

December 5, 2023

School is almost out, and students will have a well-deserved break from class. However, learning doesn’t have to stop completely as soon as school is out for the year. The holidays are the perfect time to practice kindness and generosity. We’ve curated five tips to engage your kids in social-emotional learning over the winter holiday.

Gratitude

The holidays are a wonderful time to teach children about being thankful. After all, with a focus on gift-giving and time with loved ones, there’s plenty to be grateful for. Explain, as well as role model, what it means to be thankful and use reminders on how to show appreciation to others.

Mindfulness

It is easy to be swept up in the flurry of the holidays. Being mindful begins by slowing down, taking those breaths and focusing on what’s important to you now. Savour those moments with family and count your blessings, it makes the season even more special.

Empathy

The holidays are a special time of the year for many, but unfortunately, not every child and household anticipates the winter holidays with hope, due to a range of circumstances and hardships. Sharing and participating in other people’s experiences around the holidays helps children build understanding, perspective, and empathy.

Compassion

Compassion puts the wheels on empathy.  If you have time, visit your neighbour, call a friend or invite someone who is having a hard time for dinner at your house. Children learn by observing their parents. Ask a family with a different background for dinner, or volunteer at a community event, serving dinner to homeless people for example. It is a nice way to build compassion.

Generosity

The holidays are a perfect time for giving back. You can donate gifts to community outreach programs, make a meal for a family in need, or start a little fundraising campaign for your favourite not-for-profit.  Remember too that there are other ways to give; time, talents and treasures.  Help your child to think of other simple ways to give their time and talents.  This probably sounds old-fashioned, but a handwritten card with friendly words can brighten someone’s day. Spend an afternoon with your kids writing seasonal greetings to people who can use some holiday cheer, or older people in caring homes in your community. A small gesture can have a big impact!

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

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