School is a place where children learn a lot more than reading, writing and arithmetic. They also learn how to get along with others, including how to share and resolve conflict, and to be a true mensch. Many of these social-emotional skills are also needed for academics. For example, the ability to find multiple ways to solve a problem is important when solving a math problem and when resolving a conflict with a peer.
While children are born with some innate social skills, we also know that these skills can be taught and enhanced. Some children need more support in this area than others – and that is okay because we all have our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Every child needs to grow and develop in this important area. At school, we help children maximize their social competencies in a variety of ways throughout the day. Miss Sarah, our guidance counselor, teaches the children about “Kelso’s Wheel” – a tool for conflict management.
The nine strategies on Kelso’s Wheel should be familiar to our students and are currently being introduced to our kindergartners. Miss Sarah is currently reviewing the Kelso strategies with students during guidance lessons. Try this at home! If you see your child having a conflict with a sibling or a peer, encourage him or her to try out one or two of the choices on the wheel.