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Parents & SEL: How to Get Parental Buy-In, Collaborate on Student Needs & Foster a Positive School Climate

Learning social-emotional skills is integral to a child’s development. As a result, implementing a social-emotional learning (SEL) program in your district can be greatly beneficial to students, whose academic performance and behavior may improve as a result. In fact, with a robust SEL plan in place, you can foster a positive school climate across the district.  

Parents and other caregivers are a child’s first teachers of social-emotional skills, and it continues throughout their life. To give students the best chance at success, their parents should be engaged with the school’s SEL program. How do you get parents to participate? What follows are some social-emotional resources for parents, but let’s first review why getting parental buy-in can be difficult. 

School-Family Partnerships for Social-Emotional Development

A strong partnership between schools and families prioritizes a two-way flow of information and perspectives and fosters communication schools and caregivers to help drive a districts’ social-emotional learning strategy. With strong collaboration and partnerships between school leaders, community members, and caregivers, a district’s SEL program will be culturally relevant and designed to address the specific needs of the school community. Furthermore, this partnership ensures parents and guardians are aware of – and actively participating in – their child’s social-emotional learning, promoting consistency, retention, and transparency.  

Why Parents Might Hesitate

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading authority on SEL, began helping school districts implement SEL programs in 1994. As important as this education is, it is still relatively new, and some parents may not have had proper training on how to have conversations with their kids about sensitive subjects. Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents who may want to help but can’t due to their own lack of SEL skills, or may not want to support a child experiencing social issues or trauma. 

Navigate360’s social-emotional resources for parents help to de-stigmatize sensitive topics, educating parents on how to communicate the right message when their children are struggling with social and emotional issues. Parents are your district’s greatest allies, and here’s how you can garner their engagement. 

How to Involve Parents in a Child’s SEL Development 

Involving caregivers in the school’s SEL program is vital to building strong partnerships. Schools can use various tools to educate, engage, and communicate with caregivers around their child’s SEL journey.  

  • Use two-way communication with families by informing them of activities, programs and policies that support the SEL strategy 
  • Share regular formal and information communications about SEL through things like school newsletters and email 
  • Encourage SEL content transparency by implementing parent-aligned SEL courses 
  • Offer volunteer opportunities to families inside and outside school that align with SEL topics 
  • Facilitate SEL workshops with students, families, and school staff that focus on specific topics like emotional intelligence, digital civility, and addressing risky behaviors 
  • Involve caregivers in decision-making process through parent-teacher conferences, committees, and school climate surveys 

Supporting Parent SEL Accessibility in a Digital World 

Parents lead busy lives and deserve the convenience of accessing valuable SEL lessons on their own time. Navigate360’s web-based and mobile training can be accessed 24/7, allowing parents to learn on their own schedules and in the comfort and privacy of their homes. The SEL training is available in more than 100 languages and can be accessed by parents of all cultural backgrounds and ability levels. 

Ease Fears & Uncertainty 

The stigma around certain topics, such as bullying or suicide, is likely a top reason why some parents are uncomfortable engaging in conversations with their children about these issues. Additionally, schools may host discussion forums about certain issues that parents don’t want their child to be associated with. By providing on-demand access to social-emotional resources for parents in your district, you can help remove the stigma and make it easier for parents to openly discuss the social and emotional concerns their children may be facing. Navigate360’s SEL for Parents includes a robust and evolving library of lessons that can help parents send the right message about the following topics: 

  • Mental health and depression 
  • Suicide  
  • Drugs, alcohol, and vaping 
  • Fighting and violence 
  • Academic integrity 
  • Tardiness and absenteeism 
  • Study skills 
  • Respect 
  • Racial tolerance 
  • Digital citizenship 
  • And hundreds more

Align Parent Lessons With Student Lessons 

SEL is as much an education for the student as it is for their parents. Navigate360’s SEL for Parents aligns parent lessons with student lessons and provides activities to promote social and emotional development in each. Parents receive training on the same topics as the student so they can reinforce the messages their child receives at school. Ongoing training will help parents tackle difficult subjects and have smart conversations with their kids about their mental wellbeing.  

Social-Emotional Learning Resources for Parents 

The benefits of SEL curricula to students cannot be overstated. More than two decades of research has shown that students with healthy social-emotional skills can better manage feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and have positive attitudes about themselves and the people in their lives. Your districtwide SEL program can help improve student behavior and academic performance and will act as a foundation that will support students through college and beyond. Toward that goal, parent engagement is critical. Have you positioned parents to be your district’s greatest allies? 

Navigate360’s SEL for Parents is the solution that can help you get parents to buy into your program and take an active role in their children’s social-emotional learning. Encourage their involvement by providing: 

  • 24/7 access to web-based and mobile lessons for private learning 
  • Information that removes the fear and stigma from sensitive subjects 
  • Complementary learning aligned with their children’s lessons, no matter the grade level 

Learn More About SEL for Parents 

Navigate360’s CASEL-aligned SEL curriculum provides invaluable support for all stakeholders in your district, perhaps none more important than parents. To learn more about social-emotional resources for parents and how SEL for Parents equips caregivers to have smart conversations with their children about today’s toughest challenges, contact us today. 

 

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