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The Benefits of SEL for Kids

When it comes to helping children and youth flourish in the school setting and beyond, one of the most important things that parents, educators, and youth-serving adults can do is to help give them the tools that they need to regulate their emotions and solve problems. This is where social and emotional learning comes in.

By incorporating SEL into traditional educational programs, children can gain the tools that they need to succeed in social and emotional situations. You can think of SEL as a type of program that helps children lay the groundwork that they need to thrive in their current roles and in the future. Here are 5 of the proven short- and long-term benefits of SEL for kids:

Greater Academic Success

SEL has been shown to have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. When children have the opportunity to develop the social and emotional skills that they need, they are better able to handle emotions, build healthy relationships, and make responsible decisions. This, in turn, fosters cognitive development and enhances learning abilities.

Improved Mental Health

Research shows that children that have SEL incorporated into their educational curriculum have fewer occurrences of depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal. SEL helps to buffer mental health risks because students are able to utilize enhanced coping skills, build resiliency, and identify their emotions from a young age. Additionally, students also report stronger feelings of belonging in the school setting and better peer relationships.

Increased Behavioral Management 

Students engaged in SEL have fewer behavioral and emotional outbursts because they have the tools that they need to self-regulate and make responsible decisions. Studies have shown some of the positive impacts of SEL on students’ behavior includes fewer externalizing problems and disciplinary actions taken, as well as reductions in reported bullying incidents and aggression on campus.

Closing Educational Gaps

SEL is a critical tool in helping close the gaps that exist in school settings among students from different backgrounds. Schools with higher populations of students from low-income families or communities of color systematically receive less funding and, thus, fewer enrichment activities, lower quality materials, and less rigorous curriculum that does not reflect students’ backgrounds. This impacts students’ chances of academic and life success. SEL in educational settings can help students feel safe because it focuses on health school climates, provides alternative strategies to student discipline, and builds on students’ strengths.

At Social & Emotional Wellness Initiative (SEWI), we have been providing SEL-focused therapy, group curriculum, and organizational workshops for over 15 years. For more information about the services we offer, please contact us directly at (424)-625-2952 or by filling out our online contact form.


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