Better Understanding Our Own Changing Identity along with Our Tween Or Teen
Roger was asked, well before I was a parent myself, who in this country was the most engaged with social and emotional learning and his response was clear: parents and families. He said “you can’t talk about improving schools without involving families and communities.” So I was ready when I became a parent to begin asking the question, how will I become a confident parent raising a confident kid?
In addition to my family, he was the first person to support this site, engage in critical research together around parenting and SEL along with our co-investigator and another first support, Shannon Wanless, and proceed to introduce this work to every single professional he knew who had an interest in parenting. On a very personal note, the work that gets me up in the morning and is so deeply meaningful in my life has been shaped by Roger Weissberg. But it didn’t end on a professional level, it only began. I became a better parent and family member because of his ongoing friendship and support. He demonstrated that it takes everything of a person, dedicating their whole heart and soul to their own social and emotional growth in order to truly improve children’s lives.
If confident parents are defined as individuals who devote themselves to living and growing their children’s social and emotional intelligence while growing their own then Roger Weissberg IS a model of a confident parent (for that’s a role that never dies) to not only Elizabeth and Ted but to me and to so many others who share the purpose of making kids’ lives better through social and emotional learning. I am forever grateful.
If you have not already read about our research together that links parents’ hopes and dreams for their children and for their own parenting with social and emotional competencies, please check the research brief or the full peer-reviewed article, Parenting for Competence and Parenting with Competence; Essential Connections between Parenting and Social and Emotional Learning.
Stop, Think, Go! discusses the social problem-solving curriculum Roger developed at Yale University with New Haven Public Schools and how parents can use the key lessons to teach problem-solving to their own children in family life.
Roger modeled how you use social and emotional skills to heal, to deal with illness and suffering and ultimately, deal with your own death. Don’t miss his article on his experience; The Healing Power of Social and Emotional Learning.
There’s important work to do in schools, families, and communities around social and emotional learning. Learn more about the work of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning on their website.
Our Cautious Emergence
In some ways these last several years have felt like an extended retreat. Each of us has experienced our own unique version. Though we seemed to reemerge from our cocoon last year in the Fall, we went right back into a more secluded lifestyle as COVID numbers soared in the wintertime months, adding confusion and stress as the return to our social selves halted abruptly yet again.
“I just don’t like people anymore,” my thirteen-year-old son teased last year and we’ve wondered as we venture to in-person meetings and schedule travels how we will really feel. “Do we like people?” we continue to tease. And will we be renewed and bolstered by our emergence into the world or we will bring a differing perspective? One thing is certain – we are fundamentally changed and don’t want to return (nor could we) to a previous identity. So there’s no doubt we will perceive our world diffferently with that emergence. If we have truly retreated, shouldn’t we emerge wiser?