11 Ways Schools Can—and Should—Involve Families in SEL Programming

In their separate domains, educators and parents both understand the importance of social-emotional skills—that the ability to manage emotions, to empathize, and to collaborate is key to fulfillment and success, in school and in life. But schools and families are not always in sync on how to develop those competencies. As schools implement large-scale, research-backed SEL curricula, caregivers at home often have little guidance on how to help their children become resilient, mindful, and kind.

Consistency is key when it comes to building these skills, according to developmental psychologist Stephanie Jones of the EASEL Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When schools and families have shared behavioral expectations and a common language for social and emotional skills, it can be “easier for kids to transition smoothly and be successful across multiple settings with many different adults,” she says.

Jones and her research team helped us compile advice on how schools can involve families in their SEL programming—and how families can apply those same practices and skills at home.

For Schools: SEL Practices That Engage Families

To engage families in social-emotional development, teachers and school administrators can’t just send ho

me packets and to-do lists. They need to create strong relationships, partner with families on goals for their children, and receive and provide ongoing support.

  1. Start by learning about families. Use surveys, open houses, or phone calls to find out about family composition, special skills, concerns, and likes and dislikes. This knowledge can help teachers connect with families on a personal level throughout the year.

2. Invite families to generate SEL goals for their children. Ask families to identify what specific skills

they would like their children to develop, and what kind of characteristics they would like their child to personify. Ask children, too, to write down their goals and the challenges they might face in achieving them. These goals can be connected to school or home.

3. Designate internal capacity focused on SEL and family engagement. Have a designated staff person—an SEL or school-family partnership coordinator—who not only oversees SEL program development, implementation, and evaluation, but also serves as a liaison between educators and families. That position can be part of a larger school-wide committee that is involved in SEL planning and decision-making, and that includes people from every part of the school community, including families.

4. Create a resource center for families. Schools should create a physical space where family members know they can go to pick up resources or books related to social-emotional development. This designated space signals to parents that they are welcome at the school—and that the school values their role in their children’s development.

5. Plan ongoing SEL initiatives. Create opportunities for families to learn more about social-emotional wellbeing. At other family engagement events, such as holiday celebrations or class presentations, hand out a one-page SEL resource or ask parents to participate in a short activity about developing a specific skill. Provide examples of ways parents can build those skills at home.

For Families: SEL Practices That Continue the Work of Schools

To build on the work of schools, families should think about social-emotional learning as an all-day idea—rather than as a strategy to manage a singular stressful behavior or situation. In the same way that a strong school-wide SEL program helps children develop key skills for many settings, families can use their everyday interactions to build critical competencies that will aid children throughout their day.

6. Focus on your child’s strengths. Especially when it comes to academics, it can be tempting to focus on problem areas. First, though, ask your child what she thinks she did well. A focus on accomplishment can build self-efficacy and help children persist when things get difficult.

7. Use visual aids to help your child plan. When something is new or hard for your child—completing homework, keeping his room clean—make visual reminders or step-by-step checklists that you can display prominently in your home. By showing children what they need to do to succeed, these practices also help children develop self-efficacy—and contribute to a sense of pride when goals are met.

8. Ask about feelings. Together, talk about emotions—what it feels like to be frustrated, worried, or excited. The ability to identify and label negative emotions can grow self-awareness. Encouraging your child to use “I” statements—“I’m mad,” “I feel sad”—can help build self-control and communication skills, teaching her to pause and think when she’s upset.

9. Stay calm when you’re angry. Learn to recognize your own “trigger situations” and talk about coping with anger as a family. Show your children how you calm down: i.e., “I’m feeling very upset, so I’m going to take a couple of deep breaths before we talk about this.” Modeling these cool-down strategies can help your kids develop self-control.

10. Be willing to apologize. When you do get upset, or make a mistake, apologize to your kids. Explain what you meant to do or say. In these moments, you’re teaching social competence—that conflict is a normal part of life, and that it can be solved respectfully and calmly.

11. Encourage helping and sharing. Regularly talk with your children about what others might need, and how you could be helping. Think about big and small ways that you can help—whether by taking out the trash for an elderly neighbor or by volunteering at a local food pantry or at your church, mosque, or temple. These acts build empathy, cooperation, and a community-oriented mindset.

Leah Shafer is a writer for Usable Knowledge, a publication based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for practicing educators everywhere.


Worth sharing this information about Bullying again!

9 Strategies to Help Kids Cope With Social Exclusion and Friendship Breakups

In their younger years, they were inseparable. They begged for playdates, planned out sleepovers, coordinated afterschool activities, and just seemed to find genuine joy in each other’s company. It was a match made in heaven, you observed, and you felt so lucky that your child had found such a positive friendship so early on in life.

Then, things changed. Seemingly overnight. One day, you are cajoling your tween to take a break from her three hour texting marathon with her bestie, and the next you notice that her cell phone suddenly sounds like radio silence.

Your daughter is devastated by this abrupt cut-off. You watch as she desperately tries to figure out why her friend has stopped responding to texts and how come none of the kids at her lunch table will talk to her anymore. But she can’t seem to glean any understanding of the cause. She only knows with certainty that nothing is the same.

What can you do for your child when he or she is on the receiving end of a sudden deep freeze from former friends?

1. Make Time (first and foremost!).
When kids are little, many parents are diligent about establishing a schedule — feeding times, naptimes, bath times, and bedtimes are all guided by the clock and directed by an adult. By the tween and teen years, however, young people are exercising developmentally appropriate behavior when they exert control over their own schedules. Too often, however, this control manifests itself in the frustrating fact that kids don’t want to talk to their parents at traditionally-scheduled times of the day.

In fact, chances are excellent that when you first see your child after school and ask him about his day, his answer will be a simple “Fine,” no matter how terrible, horrible, or very bad the day may actually have been. And at the dinner table when you inquire about your daughter’s school… or friends… or whatever you think might engage her… she offers an equally unimpressive mono-syllabic answer.

You are far from alone if you fret that your child won’t give you the time of day, but know this: when your child does decide he wants to talk about what is going on in his life, it is critical that you make the time to listen. No standing on ceremony, no reminding him that he didn’t want to talk when you approached him at dinnertime. If you want to have a positive relationship with your child and help him through painful experiences, make time for him even when it is not convenient. Especially when it is not convenient.

I know, I know; you are exhausted at 10:00 p.m. and need to get a good night’s rest for tomorrow. You have errands to run. You have emails to answer. You are really, truly busy. I get that. Your child does too. Part of her selecting this most inconvenient moment to engage you in the conversation you had been hoping to have earlier in the day is to test whether or not you really care.

Why should you have to prove this to your child after all you have given to them? That’s a story for another article. What’s important to know now is that when young people are hurting over their peer relationships, they are in need of support from adults. We’re stuck with our tasks and our To Do lists until they are (eventually) completed, but our kids grow up — and grow away from us — very quickly. Don’t miss an opportunity to give them time, even if they ask for it inconveniently.

2. Support, Support, Support.
Or, in other words, listen, listen, listen. I talk with so many parents who confess to me, “I never know what to say when she tells me what is going on with her friends. She gets so upset but I don’t know how to fix it for her.”

As parents, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have the magic words and the right answers to quickly solve our kids’ problems. The bad news is that kids’ friendship struggles are complicated and not easily amenable to simple solutions. The good news, however, is that when I talk to young people about what they are looking for from their parents, most of them tell me things like, “I just wish they would listen,“ and “My mom is always trying to give me advice but it doesn’t help because she doesn’t know what it’s like in middle school these days. I just need to be able to vent to her sometimes without her freaking out.” Indeed, overwhelmingly, what I hear from young people is that they are not looking to be fixed, but rather they desperately want to feel heard and understood.

3. Help Her Cast a Wide Net.

Peer conflicts are very often context-specific. A child who is the target of social exclusion in her school may well find herself accepted and valued by her basketball teammates or her theatre friends. One of the simplest, yet most powerful prevention strategies for helping kids cope with friendship challenges is to encourage them to cast a wide net — to seek out friendships both in their neighborhood, at school, on a team, through a club, and with a youth group, etc. Parents play an important role in making sure that their kids don’t put all of their nest eggs into a single peer group basket, but rather develop genuine relationships with multiple peers and all kinds of friendship groups.

Along with offering kids a diverse network of supportive peers, cultivating a child’s involvement in teams, clubs, theatre groups, etc. has the added benefit of giving them interests that they can focus on, rather than perseverating on a friendship that has gone awry. We want our kids to have passions and purpose. They make kids feel successful and valued and are a far better alternative to the very 21st century adolescent practice of basing self-esteem on a number of “likes,” a quantity of “followers,” or an amount of texts (not) received from a friend in a day.

4. Resist the Urge to Speak Ill of Your Child’s Former Friends.
I know it can be tempting, especially if a friend or peer group is especially cruel, but be smart and bite your tongue. Here’s why: friendships change quickly. When you trash talk and condemn your child’s former friend — and then two days later they become BFF’s again — things can get awkward between you and your child. Even if everything you said was spot on and your child took comfort in your well-intentioned words at the time, you may well get bumped out of the confidante seat when the friendship is back on track — and you don’t want that.

Even if the friendship doesn’t resume, your maintenance of a dignified, respectful regard for the former friend sets the tone for how your child will behave toward those with whom she is in conflict. Whether we relish the job or not, we are role models at all times.

5. Help Kids Understand That a Friendship Breakup Is Not a Failure.
Parents play a key role in helping kids understand the inevitability of change in interpersonal relationships. In other words, it’s helpful to remind your child that a friendship breakup is not a failure, but rather a predictable (albeit painful) part of growing up. Just as kids’ bodies, interests, and hobbies are changing over time, so will their friendships — and that’s OK! Make it a point to teach your son or daughter to value the positive parts of a friendship but also to be ready to move on from them — when the time is right — with grace and with dignity.

6. Make Use of Teachable Moments.

If there is a situation where you see your child being mistreated by a friend again and again, this is an opportunity to teach him or her what real friendship is all about. In this digital age, some kids start to believe that friendship is all about quantity — a number of likes and followers — instead of quality. Remind your child that a genuine friendship should leave him feeling good about himself. If all your child feels is uncertainty and insecurity, reassure him that it is a healthy thing to move away from anyone who doesn’t respect him and treat him well.

7. Create Distance With Dignity.
On that note, teach your child that the way she ends a friendship matters. A helpful mantra for tweens and teens is: create distance with dignity. No matter what your daughter’s friends are doing — how cold or exclusive they have become — encourage her to avoid ugly wars of words. Remind her not to use fake apologies or justify unkindness with “just kidding.” Discourage her from talking badly about the former friends to others or online. In fact, teach your child not to put much energy into the broken friendship at all. Appreciate it for what it once was, but shift her focus to all that is going right in her life — to the friendships and activities that help her feel good about herself.

8. Pay Attention to What’s Happening Online.

Help kids disengage from unhealthy friendships online. For kids caught up in the FOMO (fear of missing out) and an obsession with likes and followers, it can be even harder to end the online aspects of a friendship than it is to let go of the live, personal relationship. Adults need to be sensitive to this. Well-intentioned advice such as telling kids to shut down a social media account or log off entirely is often unrealistic and drives a wedge between parents and kids at just the time that kids need their parents the most. Every situation is different, but adults are most helpful when they support kids in the process of disengaging from unhealthy friendships online rather than demanding that kids stop using technology altogether.

9. Don’t Take Any of It Personally.

There is an old saying that kids who need love the most will ask for it in the most unloving of ways. Truer words were never spoken when it comes to the moody, disrespectful ways that some young people lash out against loved ones when friendship struggles are at their worst. If your child takes his pain out on you, be willing to look beyond her behavior in the moment and empathically tune in to what is really driving her hurtful words and actions.

Am I suggesting that parents give kids a free pass to be disrespectful anytime something goes wrong with a friend? No, of course not. Kids need to learn to manage their intense emotions and treat others respectfully at all times. But what I am pointing out is that when parents allow themselves to get distracted by surface misbehavior, they push their children away at just the time that the young person needs to be held most closely. In the heat of the moment, don’t take anything your child says personally but do remember how desperately she needs your love and support at this time in her life.


Creating emotional space for children

An experience in which one feels safe to express emotions, security, and confidence to take risks and feel challenged and excited to try something new. Emotionally safe learning environments can be achieved by making social and emotional learning, an essential part of education.

Encouraging safe exploration is an important job for child care providers. Children are natural explorers and risk takers. They move quickly, put things in their mouths, drop or throw things, and love to climb and hide. Keeping children safe is crucial. But setting up an environment where you spend all day saying “Don’t touch this!” or “Stay away from that!” is not the answer. Instead of spending your time redirecting children, think carefully about how you set up the environment. Giving children the chance to explore freely in a well-organized and child-safe space is a much more effective way to manage behavior and encourage learning.

Being present to your child’s pain and hurt, hearing the experiences that they have been, and are currently going through, can be challenging for you. It can bring up feelings of sadness exacerbated by feelings of powerlessness to undo their suffering. It might also connect you with other deep feelings, some of which you may not have realized were there — your own grief or experiences of loss; other painful experiences from your life; guilt and shame about past events in your extended family.

Finding safe and supportive avenues to face your own feelings and past experiences can be a very helpful strategy for you, which will also benefit your child. Contrary to popular opinion it can be an empowering process which increases your capacity to empathize and to strengthen relationships. The experience of really being listened to and having their thoughts and feelings validated is a powerful gift to give to any child. By creating a safe emotional space for your child you reassure them that there is a way through the emotional storm, and at the same time it strengthens your child’s capacity for emotional connection, healthy communication and trust.

Children thrive in families where the parents come together to love them and create a congenial atmosphere for them while staying at home. Again parents must draw clear boundaries for them to mingle with family members. Constant conflict, cold silences and hostile environment can be extremely damaging in the mindset of the growing up children. Children grow with greater confidence and better sense of self worth when parents are nurturing and very supportive in their daily life.

If children in your child care program are misbehaving, check to see whether the environment is contributing to the problem. Take a close look at your space, indoors and outdoors. Setting up a safe place to play and providing appropriate toys can keep children interested in learning, reduce behavior problems.

Therefore, our homes needs to be like sanctuaries, where children can be given space, just to be who they are and where they can be accepted with all their frailties and weakness. And, that environment offers the real emotional space for children to mix with others well.


Safe Talk Can Save Lives!

Safe Talk can save a lives.

The Center for Disease Control reports the fastest growing demographic of people dying by suicide are 10-14-year-old girls.  Could the way we communicate contribute to this trend? Are there things we can say that might make a difference and save a life?

What does it say about our society that teens are throwing around comments like, “I’m going to kill myself” or “Go kill yourself” so often that the phrase has coined a text-worthy acronym, “KMS” or “GKYS?”  Are we paying attention?  Or are we minimizing this type slang teenage drama?  It’s time to tune-in to what kids are talking about and start assuming some responsibility for why these acronyms have become so common–and what we can do to change the conversation.

Suicide Prevention Week is an opportune time to broaden our own knowledge base and figure out how we should be communicating with children.  How should we discuss it?  The American Association of Suicidolgy gives suggestions for “Safe Messaging” which includes what not to say, and how to say it better.  Let’s begin by tapping into our compassion.

When a person dies, it effects family, friends, classmates, teachers and the community.

Using the term “death by suicide” rather than, “committed suicide” makes is more real. Using the term “committed” is an active verb, often used to blame or stigmatize.  “Committed murder.” Or “Commit to a mental institution.”  It puts the blame on the person.  When a person dies from cancer, do we say they “committed cancer?”  Changing the phrase to, “died by suicide” demonstrates that, hey, someone actually died and is not coming back.  A synonym for “died” is passed away, it is passive, past-tense, over—final.  It changes the focus to an actual person who is dead as opposed to focusing on how the person died.

Do not glorify the death of a person who has “died by suicide.”  This means it is not helpful, nor respectful to discuss the method an individual uses to stop his or her life.  Talking about the gory details puts the focus on the method and takes the focus away from the person.  As these details get talked about and passed around it may give a child who is already at-risk for suicidal behavior ideas on methods.  To help understand the influence that hearing the same horrible thing, over and over has on our minds, consider how multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies are marketing to us average consumers.  During a 30-second commercial the drug name is repeated a dozen times.  It doesn’t matter that every gruesome side-effect imaginable is listed. We become immune to the negative side-effects when it is repeated over and over.  Our children are hearing about suicide from every conceivable source and becoming immune to the reality that accompanies the death of a classmate.  Are they discovering that “suicide” creating a numbness toward Causing children to become immune to the word.   So much that there are common acronyms used sarcastically between kids like KMS or GKYS.  It’s important to counter the flippant way children are talking about suicide with serious and robust discussions. Make the conversations safe.  But make the conversations because suicide is 100% preventable.  Start replacing the negative messages kids are getting with messages that instill hope, compassion and the ability to change.  The SEL for Prevention programs teach students 8-key concepts, skill-sets and strategies to improve self-regulation and social competence, important protective factors that are associated with resilience.  When children are resilient, they have the opportunity to live healthy and happy lives.  Use the power of communication wisely.

Below is a basic action plan to help prevention suicide, created in collaboration with the

Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.  For a free copy of the 5 C’s to Suicide Prevention Action Plan, contact

To get more information on talking to kids about suicide or if someone you know is in a crisis, contact the

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at


(800) 273-8255


Positive Messaging

SEL for Prevention has created a unique opportunity for schools, teachers & counselors to get to know your students on a more personal level.  Understand that the more personal your relationship is with your students, the more you will be seen as a “trusted adult” in their lives. Do not abuse this privilege by blurring boundaries or choosing favorites. Your most challenging students may grow up to be the most successful in life. Creating a personal bond with each of your students will help you become more aware of the subtle changes that could alert you that something is wrong. Pay attention to these changes and do not hesitate to discuss your concerns and to offer appropriate resources. Following suicide prevention protocol can make all the difference in the life of your student—and measuring these results are priceless. Do not hesitate to contact prevention organizations or hotlines for advice if your gut tells you that something is not right. It is better to overreact than to do nothing. Conveying a Positive Public Message can be done as simply as showing empathy and instilling hope that things will get better, encouraging the use of mood changer strategies, and empowering students to change their feelings.  Emphasize to your students that having suicidal thoughts does not mean they are crazy or weird, but it does mean that they need to get extra help to get through this difficult period. In summary, share with your students that each of us is important, we all matter, and all of us need help once in a while.  Positive messaging goes a long way in the promotion of positive mental health.


Self-Regulation In & Outside the Classroom

Self-Regulation refers to several processes that allow children to respond appropriately to their immediate environment. Learning self-regulating techniques allows children to stay focused and alert while in a classroom setting or any other social setting. The days where “children should be seen and not heard” have rightfully been displaced as adults realize the relevance and joy they bring to our lives. As such, we often tend to find ourselves overwhelming our kids with the amenities that reflect their blissful childhood. Their bedrooms are adorned with the latest popular animated characters, and their busily-decorated classrooms offer every possible reflection of their young and tender minds. These and other distractions to their concentration can often manifest into more serious behavioral traits that disrupt their lives and those around them.

Toning down their behavior often means toning down their surroundings. Without overwhelming visual distractions, a child learns to regulate their behavior that is geared toward the task at hand. While school PE teachers motivate their students with excitement and the prospect of game success, a math class should be calm and soothing without the specter of intimidation that could disrupt a child’s learning process. Other self-regulating techniques involve innocuous, non-disruptive activities such as letting kids fiddle with a piece of yard or squeeze a rubber ball while the teacher is talking. Students are often permitted to stand while working, or performing deep breathing exercises as a way to channel away anxiety, rather than be subjected to more traditional punishment-and-reward methods that can curtail their concentration and focus.

The same self-regulating techniques that kids learn to improve their academic performance can also be applied outside the classroom as well. For example, breathing techniques can also be used to quell the stomach butterflies one gets before a dance or music recital. A child experiencing anxiety before a sporting event benefits from self-regulation as a way to not only enhance their athletic prowess, but to serve as a shining example to their teammates or opponents of proper sports etiquette.

Regardless of the scenario, we at SEL for prevention can teach children how to translate their experiences into information they can use to regulate their thoughts, emotions, and actions. Children who cannot effectively regulate anxieties and behaviors tend to disengage themselves from challenging learning activities that can affect not only their academic success, but their social interactions as well. With our help, kids can learn the regulation techniques that will resonate to all aspects of their lives, laying the foundations for years of success well into their futures.

For more information on our program, please visit us at


Social Media Interaction & Its Influence on Academic Success

While in moderation, social media can become a great way for children to connect with one another. Healthy discussions and topics that children share with one other, such as school subjects, peer interactions, and parental relations, can be an integral part of their mental development. However, in recent years social media dependency has become a mental health issue.

Without parental guidance to monitor a child’s social media activity, their studies can easily suffer as they become embroiled in the pressures often exhibited by their peers. Although mostly prevalent in adolescents and teens, younger children are becoming more readily exposed to the nefarious world of alcohol, drugs, and other factors that negatively affects their healthy mental development. Easily accessible pornographic images can be especially traumatizing for children. Constant exposure to these images and scenarios can desensitize children to situations that would otherwise have elicited and fostered compassion and empathy. Excessive internet use has been shown to diminish a child’s mental capabilities and functional abilities, causing them to lose focus on schoolwork, and negate family and kindred relationships. Some of the symptoms of such overexposure include irritability, outbursts of anger, dismay, or other emotional exhibitions when confronted by someone of authority over their internet access. Certain physical signs of overexposure include, neck strain, sleep deprivation, headaches, tics, and other maladies that affect a child’s learning concentration and social interaction. While many of these symptoms are quite obvious, the professionals at SEL for Prevention are trained to identify the less obvious signs of internet overexposure such as depression and other emotional afflictions.

Dr. Charles Sophy, a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, explains that increasing one’s recognition on social media is often a rush to children and teens that negatively affects their psychology. “I’ve encountered many young children as well as teenagers and adults who have become obsessed with social media, using it as a tool to guide their self-esteem and self-worth.” However, Dr. Sophy explains that these are “false measures, and when reality sets in, anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric issues begin to emerge.”

Has social media overexposure unleashed a previously unknown mental health phenomenon in children, or has it always been prevalent in other ways? Many clinical psychologists believe that we are still in the infant stages of understanding whether or not excessive internet exposure elicit negative behaviors.  Parental monitoring is often enough to counter the negative effects of social media interaction, but extreme cases often require professional help. At SEL for Prevention, we understand how overwhelmed adults can become when they see their children immersed into the sordid world of social media overexposure. Our programs are geared toward a child’s recognition of their own self-awareness, and how their personal abilities are the beacon for their success in life.


Educating Gifted Children Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges


Educators have long been aware that gifted children can be very difficult to educate and are just as challenging to teach as those with learning disorders

Gifted children are often referred to me by teachers, school counselors and child therapists who have identified red flags and need an intervention.

Why an intervention? Isn’t giftedness a good thing? Well, it turns out that gifted children come with their own set of challenges, particularly in the area of education.

Many gifted children fail to work to their potential and may even have failing grades. On tests, they may get the difficult questions correct while skipping the easy questions. Gifted children are often disruptive in school, complaining of boredom and seem to space out and lose focus. They sometimes get oppositional and argumentative with teachers and parents; they think they are way smarter so, “why bother?”

The motivation of a gifted child waxes and wanes depending on the relationship between the child and the teacher. Gifted kids thrive on praise.  When they feel criticized or misunderstood, however, they often become quite defensive.

When gifted children want to avoid an unpleasant consequence or acquire something interesting, they may use manipulation tactics. A clever child sees this as a game of outsmarting their opponent (parent or teacher).

Intervene Upstream

SEL for Prevention’s Camp MakeBelieve Kids (CMB) programs, for students K-5 and Upper Elementary, were created with the gifted child in mind. The programs offer positive support, challenging discussions, and interesting activities during structured and unstructured group time.

Gifted children are taught the appropriate way to interact with peers, manage moods, and get their needs met. We equip them with the language of feelings and creative ways to manage those feelings, thoughts, and behavior. They also learn assertive but friendly communication, strategies for handling bullies, avoiding peer pressure, understanding social clues and much, much more.

Gifted children thrive in our programs.

It’s heart warming to hear from group leaders who observe the gradual changes in the gifted child, who often begins with a negative, know-it-all attitude and leaves with gratitude. Finally, they feel they can navigate their social and emotional world.

Given plenty of talk time, role playing time and problem-solving tasks, gifted children soon become program leaders. Peers, as well as their teachers, often pick these children to mentor children with other special needs, such as Asperger’s Disorder or ADHD.

To learn more about SEL for Prevention’s Camp MakeBelieve Kids programs, schedule your free, live overview today.


Build Protective Factors to Keep Children Safe

Upstream Prevention builds emotional strength, self-esteem, and positive thinking. It is the bridge to positive mental health in children and adolescents.

SEL for Prevention promotes positive mental health through universal instruction. We offer a comprehensive Upstream Prevention approach that is tailored to meet the social and emotional learning needs of all children and adolescents.

Positive Outcomes and Protective Factors / SEL for Prevention

Every step of SEL for Prevention’s Social-Emotional Learning curricula works toward improved mental health. How? By increasing a multitude of generic protective factors in children.

Building these protective factors in children helps them become resilient and less likely to develop problem behaviors, even with risk factors present.

Protective/Risk factors

Protective factors and risk factors can be separated into three distinct categories:

  1. Individual factors (one’s temperament and social-emotional skills)
  2. Interactions with the environment (connectedness with peers, family, and the community)
  3. Broader environment factors (one’s socioeconomic status and the connection between one’s home and school)

Children who participate in SEL for Prevention programs gain protective factors from the three categories listed above; strengthening such protective factors brings about positive outcomes.

In other words, protective factors help buffer children from harm, thus making them less likely to participate in negative problem behaviors. As a child’s unique set of protective factors increase, the risk factors that lead to self-destructive or aggressive behaviors decrease.

Here’s the most surprising part. The benefits of our program are achieved through 8 simple steps.

To learn more about the 8 steps to positive mental health in children and adolescents, schedule your free consultation today.