Social emotional learning is a relatively new trend in education for both children and adults. What does that mean? Social emotional learning is the recognition and management of emotions. This type of learning is essential for both youth and adults to become strong and confident, connected to others, and self-aware. Social emotional learning also promotes well-being.

As the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, social emotional learning is a big part of what we teach in our leadership program. Our program is aimed at helping girls develop the hard and soft skills they need to survive and succeed in the future.

We also want to help fuel the pipeline for the jobs that will need to be filled. In addition to looking for individuals who can adapt to new environments and change with technology, employers are also looking for individuals who can work with others effectively. As a result, companies and organizations have greater productivity and success, and a happier work environment.

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Social emotional learning helps youth deal with stress and feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiousness. In school, they learn to show compassion for peers, understand others, and deal appropriately with situations that crop up.  Later in life, social emotional learning helps in good decision making, character development, and a healthier life.

Developing these skills results in academic success and later career success. It is important for our future to make social emotional learning a priority. To help today’s children, we need to model empathy and compassion, role play with children in dealing with difficult situations, and offering program activities to help children hone their skills in these areas. With positive reinforcement and role modeling, our youth will be on a path to a happy and healthy life.