Skills for Living: Dr. Audrey Huberman

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Emotional-intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ, is recognized as essential to children’s ability to develop healthy friendships, a strong sense-of-self and academic fitness. Children with high EQs are able to tolerate frustration and failure, adapt easily to a broad range of social contexts, and solve social problems. Generally, these children show more positive and fewer negative emotions and are identified as “liked” by their peers, teachers and camp counsellors. Fortunately, parents can provide their children with social, emotional, and behavioural education to increase their children’s EQ. These children will be better prepared to understand and manage feelings, communicate effectively (both verbally and non-verbally), make new friends and be a better friend. Social, emotional, and behavioural education equips children with the skills needed to manage the day-to-day complexities found in and out of the classroom including the playground, extra-curricular activities, camp and home. Skills like problem-solving, bully proofing, constructive thinking, impulse control, good sportsmanship, reciprocal conversation along with assertiveness and empathy training prepare children and teens to succeed in an increasingly relationshipdriven world. Teaching techniques are chosen with each child’s learning style in mind. Methods include direct instruction, collaborative “recipe” writing, scripting, drawing, rehearsal, game-playing, coaching and role-playing. Issues addressed by this form of education range from complex familial/peer relations, difficulty reading social cues, shyness, bullying, anxiety, low self-esteem, and aggression to Learning Disabilities, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. It is well accepted today that social, emotional, and behavioural competence is critical to children’s and teenager’s overall success. It is essential to their ability to meet their personal, social and academic goals. Parents now have the opportunity to help their children master the key skills that lead to healthy friendships, high-self esteem, and school success.

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