9 minutes | Aug 15th 2020

Ep. 79 - Self-trust and SEL

Please accept this offer of help.  Send a quick email to me with answers to the 3 questions, below:   ask@kidsownwisdom.com

  1. Social emotional challenge your kids/students are encountering.
  2. Kids' age.
  3.  If you want to, include a brief description of how you've tried to help them resolve that specific challenge.


What does self-trust have to do with social emotional learning? And I will energetically answer: everything!

First let’s look at our own mindsets and attitudes about kids’ problem solving instincts and actual ability to persevere through the various obstacles that are inevitable. Do we, deep down, think the kids in our care have got it in them to tackle their own social challenges? Their own emotional challenges?  All those people-to-people challenges that are inevitable?

After assessing our basic trust in kids’s capacity to tackle their own challenges … we need to ask ourselves another fundamental question: Do we want kids to be dependent on us, or can we open-mindedly consider taking steps towards enabling kids to explore problem solving with peers, even, or I should say, especially, the problems that exist between and amongst peers.

I promise: I fully understand that in the short term, fixing kids’ problems seems so much easier on your frazzled nerves and overworked days… BUT if kids are going to grow up to be elf-trusting, self-respecting and responsible and engaged contributors to a better world… practice has to start early and it’s got to be consistent.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for awhile then you’ve heard me promote questions as the key to engaging kids, but of course, not just any questions… and not just one or two questions.

Questions are actually how we can teach, while at the same time giving valuable ownership to solutions to the kids in our care. We just need to understand that questions need to follow a logical sequence, in addition to being open-ended, unpredictable, and respectful of kids’ thought processes … acknowledging their innate wisdom, unique as it may … which will take discussions on the trail of solutions we very well might never think of.

  • Girls who’ve grown up exercising their problem-solving skills, and who’ve discovered they can trust themselves to look at situations from more than one perspective and come to the right conclusions are the girls who won’t be hoodwinked by boys or men who have more power or position or status or charisma. Those girls will be much more likely to choose the boys and men she gets involved with based on her own, healthy and balanced criteria…. rooted in self-respect and self-worth.
  • Youth who’ve consistently experienced that they’re legitimately capable of constructing fair resolutions for seemingly unfair situations will be much less accepting of leadership (in whatever form it might present itself - bosses, teachers, parents, politicians) who use the ‘power’ card to steamroll decisions and policies that are not inclusive enough … that aren’t big picture enough.
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