Your kids’ boredom can fuel their creativity. Here are tips to help them maximize their summer doldrums.
Angela Benedetto, Ph.D.
I taught Family and Consumer Science in a large urban high school upstate New York in the city of Schenectady, for many years. Schenectady has the reputation of being a tough school city with an extremely diverse population of students, many of whom struggled with poverty and some who were at risk.
The first thing you need to know is that the overwhelming majority of Congress members, state legislators and local council members have never heard of emotional intelligence learning or, as educators tend to call it, social-emotional learning.
Sadly, local school board members are very rarely up to speed themselves.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) initiatives can encompass different strategies at every school or school district, and educational approaches to SEL may not look the same from classroom to classroom. As school districts across the country are integrating SEL into the curriculum, the daily educational environment for children has evolved from a primarily intellectual-based learning approach to emotional growth exercises as well.
Children are amazing. They may not know many book facts, statistics, great works of literature or accomplishments of science, but they do know things that help them explore the world around them. Just as some children have more talent for physical activity or for creating things, some children can be more talented than others at emotional intelligence, and it shows at a young age.
Emotional intelligence is linked to a host of positive outcomes in life—improved mental health, greater success at work and school and possibly even higher IQ scores. EQ is the new IQ, and, in many ways, serves as a greater predictor of success. However, schools often fail to implement enough social and emotional learning programs to help students succeed.
In the past five years or so, holiday toy trends have consistently put forth electronic toys as the “go-to” gifts for kids. We’ve seen everything from Furby to relaunches of the Nintendo Classic systems. This year, trends are evolving, and children are asking for toys that promote tangible learning of social and emotional intelligence skills.