Well hello. Yes, I haven’t seen you here in a while.
When the children returned to school, I thought it was time to hang up my parent educator boots.
However, weeks in and still emails trickle through my inbox from parents, namely around the transitioning back to school. As I read away, one word lights up in my mind, flashing with a siren.
When I scan my mind, opening the science of how we learn folder, we refer to this need as ‘Emotional Intelligence.’ What you need to know as parents (and yes I still believe you are the ultimate educators even in this realm) is that Emotional Intelligence can be taught in the classroom, but for our children to act and apply, it needs major back up from you at home.
Remote learning has kept our children in a physical bubble. And thus in somewhat of an emotional bubble. Same surroundings, same people and similar movements each day equals habitual emotions. Emotions were still raging away, but they differ to those encountered at school. Now back at school, they are exposed to multiple people and NEW stimuli each day, that differ from moment to moment.
Emotion needs to be talked about. Frequently.
But not actually talked about. Explicitly.
How does this translate to home?
Here’s how we do it.
“What did you learn at school today?” Probably won’t have your child opening up like a daisy.
Instead consistently try ONE of:
- What went well today? (listen) Oh and even better if?
- Are you having a good day? (listen) What made it good?
- On a scale of *1-10, where 10 is the day you got to play handball instead of writing, how would you rate today?
*Use 1-5 for our early learners as you want deep conversation not a mathematics conversation.
So, won’t this become routine? Asking “what went well?” each day is not exactly science. Yes, it will become routine and that is EXACTLY what we want. The more we ask, the more the brain gears towards thinking and preparing the answers to the questions. They know you will ask daily so their thinking starts to plan for it;
- “What will I tell Dad went well today? Hmmm Art, I really liked shape making in Art.”
- “What will I tell Nanna was good in my day? Handball, I won that first game of handball.”
- “I better think of a number for my day, 7, I’ll say, because it was better than a 6 yesterday.”
And lastly parent educators, go slowly, just one question each day. We are shaping our children’s brain to live in a positive bias, it takes time. Inching one step closer to harnessing their emotions.