Social and emotional learning starts at home. Parents and educators are critical partners in children’s social and emotional development. We can model the skills, attitudes, and behaviors we want all children to master, and we can be important advocates for SEL at school.

What is Social Emotional Learning?

                The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning defines SEL as, Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to

  • Understand and manage emotions,
  • Set and achieve positive goals,
  • Feel and show empathy for others,
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships, and
  • Make responsible decisions.

Why do we need Social Emotional Learning?


Extensive research demonstrates that school based SEL programs can promote and enhance

  • students’ connection to school/build student attachment to school,
  • motivation to learn, positive behavior, character education,
  • substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, bullying prevention, suicide prevention, (fewer negative behaviors)
  • health promotion, and academic achievement/Leads to Academic Outcomes and Improved Behaviors (healthy emotion regulation)

SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.


What is SEL?  Video Resources

CASEL: Overview


The impact of Social Emotional Learning


5 Keys to Social and Emotional Learning Success


A Reintroduction to SEL: CASEL’s Definition and Framework


Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) | Edutopia


Printable SEL Framework/The 5 Competencies in English and Spanish




SEL RESOURCES: Websites for parents





Self Awareness Self-Management | Social Awareness |
Relationship Skills | Responsible Decision Making




The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.


Book suggestion: Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (Adults)












 The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations.


Book suggestion: Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (Adults)



Social awareness


 The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts.


Relationship skills


The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups



Responsible Decision-Making


The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations.





Videos for all 5 SEL competencies





Our Favorite Parenting Books of 2020 (


Jennifer Miller’s Top 10 Books for Parents

Positive Discipline
Jane Nelsen, Ed.D
In this easy-to-read guide, Jane Nelsen coaches parents and teachers to be firm and kind so that any child from toddler to teenager can learn creative cooperation and self-discipline with no loss of dignity.


Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For their Early Years – Raising Children Who are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful
Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Duffy
Written as a quick reference guide, this book will teach you methods for raising a preschool-age child who is responsible, respectful, and resourceful by finding practical solutions to parenting challenges such as bedtime hassles, school problems, whining, and much more.


Making Grateful Kids: A Scientific Approach to Help Youth Thrive
Jeffrey Froh, Giacomo Bono
The authors introduce their most compelling research, announce groundbreaking findings, and share real-life stories to show parents, teachers, mentors, and kids how to achieve greater life satisfaction through gratitude. They offer many simple strategies for building habits of gratitude into day-to-day life and provide compelling evidence for its importance.


Managing Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
William Bridges
The author spent his life working to understand changes. Whether you are going through the birth of a new baby, a move, a job change, or the death of a loved one, this book explains in simple terms how any person can understand the emotions they are undergoing, help ease the transition, and launch a new life.


Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14
Chip Wood
This comprehensive, user-friendly reference helps those who work with and love children use the knowledge of child development to shape classrooms and schools where all children can succeed by giving charts on development traits; physical, social, language, and cognitive growth patterns; and suggestions for curricular areas. Though the text is geared for educators, this is a good resource for parents who want to understand each age and stage of development.


Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain: An Inside-Out Guide to the Emerging Adolescent Mind, Ages 12-24
Daniel J. Siegel
Written by a leading expert in brain science, this book sheds light on the often misunderstood yet critical time in children’s lives when they straddle childhood and adulthood but don’t fit squarely in either phase. Siegel characterizes the teen years as the most powerful life phase for activating courage, purpose, and creativity. He creates empathy for the teenage experience and helps parents understand how to work with and support their teenagers.


Parenting without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected
Susan Stiffelman
The author shows you how to awake your child’s natural instincts to cooperate by being the confident parent your child needs, teaching you how to parent from a place of strong, durable connection, and helping your child navigate the challenging moments of growing up. This is an excellent resource for any parent but particularly for those who find themselves in power struggles with their children.


The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
Daniel J. Siegel
This book simplifies brain science to assist parents in teaching children about how their mind works and how they can practice emotional awareness and self-management.


Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning
Bonnie Lathram, Carri Schneider, and Tom Vander Ark
Packed with helpful guidance from more than 60 parents who are also experts in learning and/or education, this book prepares parents for powerful and significant contributions to children’s learning with practical tips.


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This book provides specific language and numerous examples of parent interactions to enhance parents’ communication and listening skills in a variety of challenging situations. It has the potential to create deeper connections and trust as parents use the skills with their children.


Jennifer Miller’s Top 10 Books for Parents (