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All over the world, children have the same drivers – to have friends, to be included and to feel safe. Interestingly, it’s also a big part of what we want for our children as parents. As our children experience life we know that they’re going to experience bumps (or little adversities) and hazards (much bigger adversities) along the way and sometimes these are going to mean that our children feel like they have no friends, that they’re not liked and that they don’t fit in. Childhood is a bumpy journey!

When a child is taught the skills to manage themselves and their emotions and then to manage others and their behaviours, we’re on the path to a firm foundation of resilience. Learning those skills is a tricky undertaking and takes time, patience, lots of repetition and, of course, having a teacher who knows exactly how that skill is established.

Together, Helen Davidson and I have written the award-winning, ‘What to do about…’ series where we walk children and parents through skill-building in these areas:

  • Friends, fitting in & all that stuff
  • Bullying, teasing & all that stuff
  • Feelings, moods & all that stuff

These are essential little guides – one each for the child and parent – for naviagting the very normal bumps and hazards of the childhood years.

These are available as hard copies (Australia) and eBooks and are full of practical strategies.

Skills for life

It’s so important that, as parents, we understand the importance of all the rich social, emotional and learning experiences our children need to be adult-life-ready one day in the future.

It fascinates me that calming down out of a tantrum and learning to manage big emotions shows up over and over in adult life as we have to apply the same skills to overcome challenging situations. It’s amazing that a skill learned at 4 is still something with currency when we’re 24, 44, 64 and beyond.

There are lots of those skills that are the learning of childhood – mostly learned through play. Making and keeping friends, sorting out conflict, learning to assertively and confidently stand up for yourself, giving effort instead of giving up. The list goes on and on. You might have heard these skills referred to as ‘soft skills’ but we should be thinking about them as ‘essential skills’.

Here’s a fact to think about. In Australia, by the age of 8 the average child has spent 30% of their waking time on a screen. Yikes! That’s a lot of time missing out on building up life skills that need time outside, face-to-face time and dozens of interactions to perfect.

I invite you to take a look at the ‘What to do about…’ series as you teach your child the skills they’ll still be using when they’re your age.

Highway Heroes

We’re all travellers on the Highway of Life with its twists and turns, bumps and hazards.

Highway Heroes is a primary school years Social and Emotional Learning curriculum resource used by schools all over the world. It teaches children the skills to manage themselves and others in the playground and classroom that are essential skills for life.

Highway Heroes is available as a hard copy (Australia) or digital resource as an annual school subscription.

Little Highway Heroes

Teaching the skills of digital safety and wellbeing to every child is a curricular requirement in most countries. DiGii@School provides teachers with a easy-to-implement Y1-6 digital safety and wellbeing curriculum including access to DiGii Social for students in Years 5-6. With every school subscription, every parent is given access to DiGii@Home’s learning library and free access to all webinars.

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