Boosting Connectedness & Emotional Health in Conversation
Did you know you can help children thrive by supporting positive emotional health and feelings of being connected to a community? Researchers are even starting to uncover connections between these skills and factors that protect kids from harming others and eventually perpetrating sexual violence.
So what’s emotional wellness anyway?
The National Institute for Health defines emotional wellness as “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” You can help beef up emotional wellness skills in kids through teaching coping and resiliency skills, by helping children be mindful, and through strengthening social connections.
And what’s connectedness?
Connectedness helps us remember that our actions have implications for others – essentially it’s the idea that we’re all connected to each other and rely on each other as a society. Humans are social creatures, and having a sense of community can help keep us safe and protected from harms. For kids, an important place for building connectedness is at school. The CDC even cites school connectedness as helping protect children from poor mental health, sexual health risks, substance abuse, and violence.
Supporting protective skills through conversation
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably no stranger to the idea that we can help boost protective skills through everyday conversations we have with children. Click here to read more general conversation tips and check out our guide on practicing empathy skills in conversation.
Here are some prompts to build skills around emotional wellness and connectedness:
- When do you get to be with other classes at school? What’s it like when you’re together?
- What are some rules that everyone has to follow in school?
- What are the kids in your class like this year? How are they different from last year?
- How is math class different from last year?
- Tell me something you’re proud of doing today.
- What is something kind you did for someone today?
- What is something kind someone did for you today?
- What is something you’re working on doing better tomorrow?
- Is there anyone that plays or treats people differently than you’d like?
- What would help you feel relaxed after your day today?
- Was there anything you didn’t feel like doing today?
- What was something funny someone did at school today?
Have questions about boosting protective factors or ideas for topics for our blog? Let us know!
Blog contributors include the fabulous Malia Segal, children’s therapist.