5 Ways to Incorporate SEL at Home

June 2, 2021
Written by
Portia Richardson
Key Points
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical to helping kids develop healthy identities, manage emotions and become happy and successful adults.
  • The pandemic has taken a toll on SEL education, but there are ways for parents to reinforce SEL while at home.
  • Top strategies for parents to employ when instilling SEL themes include positive reinforcement, empathy, goal-setting, accountability and managing emotions.

SELis the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships and make responsible and caring decisions. (CASEL.org)

With schools closed due to COVID-19, parents have experienced increased pressure of ensuring their children’s academic and social needs are met. To lighten the load, here are five strategies that we can use to integrate social and emotional learning at home.

Positive Reinforcement

We can celebrate successes, big and small, by leaving encouraging notes, providing verbal praise, giving rewards when possible or other incentives that align with our children’s interests.


We can encourage our children to write empathy cards to family members and neighbors when in need or grieving a loss. We can organize family-friendly volunteer activities to expose our children to impactful social causes, community resources and advocacy.

Organization and Goal-Setting

To build organizational skills, we can work with our children to create a daily schedule that includes academic, social and physical activities. We can set specific goals and work together to create vision boards and an action plan to accomplish them.

Shared Values and Accountability

Together, we can create a family oath or creed to include ethical standards and personal values. Revisit this creed and values often to encourage individual and collective accountability.

Managing Emotions

We can teach our children how to label their emotions and create a safe space for sharing. We can do this through daily conversations by asking “What was something exciting that happened today?” or “Did you see or hear anything that concerns you?” We can also encourage our children to use coping skills including exercise, mindfulness, meditation and journaling.

Reach more by Portia Richardson here.

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