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Social-Emotional Skills and School Readiness

Parents often worry and question whether their child is ready for school. When thinking about school readiness, knowing letters and numbers are usually the first items that come to mind. But it's important for kids to not only be good at school stuff, but also have strong social and emotional skills. Many years of research have shown that how kids feel and how they get along with others are connected to how well they do in school. 


The Child Development Centers of the United States Marine Corps implement the Early Learning Matters (ELM) curriculum and incorporate both social-emotional and self-regulation activities to support children’s development.  


ELM teaches kids about two important things: 


  1. Social-Emotional Skills: This means how they get along with others. They learn how to solve problems with friends, understand feelings, see things from others' perspectives, and take responsibility. 


  1. Self-Regulation: This is about controlling how they act, feel, and think. They learn to focus on things, be aware of themselves and others, and manage their thoughts and actions. 


ELM has lots of fun activities to help kids with these skills. They learn how to work well with others, understand their feelings, and be responsible. They also learn how to control themselves and stay calm using things like deep breathing and yoga. These activities offer a solid foundation for helping children manage their behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. 

 Families can help too! Here are some things parents can do: 


  • Let Kids Make Choices: Give kids a chance to decide things for themselves. 


  • Keep a Routine: Have a regular schedule every day. 


  • Talk About Feelings: Help kids know and talk about how they feel. 


  • Calm Down Strategies: Teach kids ways to stay calm when they're upset. 


Connect with your installation’s Child & Youth Programs to learn more. 

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