May 2 2024

The Power of Social-Emotional Skills

The Power of Social-Emotional Skills

"Learning is a relational process. We are not simply cognitive. We are not simply emotional. We are not simply social. We are all those things simultaneously." 

Dr. Robert Jagers, Vice President of Research at CASEL

Recognizing the importance of preventive healthcare, including regular check-ups and well-child visits, is common practice. But have you ever thought about extending that proactive mindset to mental health? Studies have shown that proactive mental health strategies can significantly improve children's overall well-being, lowering the risk of mental illness development. One effective approach being embraced by parents, guardians, and early childhood educators is the incorporation of social and emotional learning skills. What is social-emotional learning?

By developing social and emotional learning skills, children not only gain the ability to understand and regulate their emotions but also enhance their capacity to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts peacefully. These essential tools empower them to navigate the complexities of relationships, build resilience in the face of adversity, and develop a sense of self-awareness and self-confidence. Fostering these skills from an early age, children develop the resilience needed to navigate life's challenges and thrive emotionally and mentally. By incorporating books as a valuable tool, you can introduce social and emotional skills to your child in a fun and interactive way.

Explore a selection of top picks that will inspire and nurture your child's social and emotional learning skills!

Understanding Emotions: Children experience a wide range of emotions, and expressing them can sometimes be a challenge. The First Feelings series explores the six main emotions that young children commonly feel. Using gender-neutral characters, each book effectively illustrates, identifies, and discusses a specific emotion while providing helpful strategies for coping. This series was developed with input from Dr. Kathryn Lester, a highly regarded Senior Lecturer specializing in Developmental Psychology at the University of Sussex.


Critical Decision Making: Every day presents us with a variety of choices; some may seem trivial while others have the potential to shape our lives. Whether diving headfirst into new adventures or cautiously testing the waters, decision-making plays a crucial role in our journey. Through a blend of depth and humor, the engaging narrative of CHOICES encourages readers to acknowledge the profound impact of their thoughts and actions.


Resilience: In tales of resilience, we witness the power to conquer fears and rise above setbacks. In Dan Santat's After the Fall, Humpty Dumpty bravely faces the challenge of returning to his wall perch after a great fall, fueled by his love for bird-watching and newfound courage. Similarly, in Jabari Jumps, Jabari prepares to take the leap off the diving board, seeking reassurance from his dad and strategizing his jump despite his confidence. These heartwarming tales showcase the triumph over fears, the resilience to overcome adversity, and the courage to keep trying.


Self-Confidence: These remarkable stories inspire children to embrace their uniqueness. In Todd Parr's Be Who You Are, children are reminded that their special qualities are what makes them extraordinary. With Parr's playful and engaging style, young readers are encouraged to celebrate their individual traits. Julián is a Mermaid tells a heartwarming tale of a boy and his Abuela, highlighting the importance of being seen and accepted for who we truly are by those who love us. From the joy of self-love in I Like Myself! to the vibrant illustrations and energetic text of What I Like About Me!: A Book Celebrating Differences, this selection of books fosters self-esteem and encourages children to appreciate every aspect of themselves, both inside and out.


Relationships: Navigating the complexities of building and nurturing friendships can be both a challenging and rewarding experience, forming the foundation of lasting connections. Meet Meesha, a character who struggles to navigate social cues and discovers a special talent that fosters new friendships. Immerse yourself in the heartwarming story of Meesha Makes Friends, which not only explores the ups and downs of friendship but also helps young readers navigate social situations and find a sense of belonging. Embrace the essence of friendship with its moments of whimsy, courage, empathy, joy, solace, and laughter in What I Like About YOU!  Whether supporting a friend through tough times or enjoying playful moments of dance and laughter, this captivating board book encourages readers to appreciate the unique qualities in themselves and their friends. You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith emphasizes nurturing relationships, fostering empathy, and promoting mutual respect among peers, laying the groundwork for our youngest members of society.


This curated selection of books offers a peek into the wonderful resources that can aid children on their Social-Emotional Learning journey. Encouraging little ones to focus on their mental well-being and cultivate empathy lays a vital groundwork for their overall development and growth.

Brittany Winans
Hey there, I’m Brittany Winans

Brittany started in Spring 2022 and works on maintaining all our marketing, branding, publishing, and social media efforts with our Marketing Manager. If you follow us on social media, chances are you have already seen some of Brittany’s work!