Five Key Skills to Successful Social and Emotional Learning

Posted on September 29, 2021

by Kaitlin Weiss

You can read Part 1 of our social and emotional learning article here to learn what social and emotional learning is, why it matters, and how the library can help!


Many of the skills that social and emotional learning build are interconnected. They work together to help your child successfully navigate life’s challenges. There are five key skills that successful social and emotional learning builds:


Self-Awareness: Self-awareness means children can understand their own emotions, personal goals, and values. It includes being able to understand their own strengths and limitations and maintaining a positive outlook even when facing difficulties.


Children with high levels of self-awareness understand how thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected. This allows for self-reflection and a better understanding of their values.



Self-Management: Self-management means children can regulate their emotions and behaviors appropriately. This means they can:

  • delay gratification
  • manage their stress
  • control impulses
  • persevere through challenges


This set of skills helps children manage their emotions, meet challenges, and set goals.


Social Awareness: Social awareness means your child can understand, relate to, and feel compassion for those with different backgrounds or cultures. It also involves understanding social norms for behavior and recognizing family, school, and community resources available to them.


Children with a high level of social awareness are able to relate to others and understand the community supports available for themselves and others.


Relationship Skills: Relationship skills help children establish and maintain healthy relationships. These skills involve:

  • communicating clearly
  • listening actively
  • cooperating
  • resisting inappropriate social pressure
  • negotiating conflict
  • seeking help when it is needed


These skills allow children to work well with others and navigate relationships.


Responsible Decision Making: Responsible decision making involves learning how to make informed choices about personal behavior and social situations. It requires the ability to consider:

  • ethical standards
  • safety concerns
  • the health and well-being of themselves and others
  • consequences of their actions


Responsible decision-making means children can assess the consequences of their actions, and take a variety of factors into consideration before coming to a decision.


Building these skills takes time and we are here to help! Visit the first article for a list of resources at the library that can help your child build these key skills!

Kaitlin Weiss

Kaitlin Weiss

Kaitlin (Kaiti) worked as a K-5 Media Specialist at two elementary schools in Hammond for 13 years before she became a member of the Community Engagement Team. She enjoys storytimes with the babies, going out into the classroom to teach lessons, and creating fun programs for the community. When not reading a book you can find her spending time with her two nephews, family, and friends, traveling to new places, crafting, and binge watching TV shows.
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