Social-emotional skills in early childhood education

Social-emotional skills in early childhood education

The preparation of a child for adult life, the formation of the human being, in general, covers the most different spheres, ranging from practical knowledge to the management of emotions. Increasingly, there is the understanding that it is necessary to develop a series of skills that help us to deal with our own feelings and those of others. This is where socio-emotional skills come in.

They are necessary for the personal development of the students, but also for their training as citizens and professionals in the labor market. After all, it is not enough to master only the precepts of your area of expertise: it is important to know how to master your emotions in the face of various occurrences in your daily life. In this scenario, the school has a fundamental role.

What are socio-emotional skills?

These skills, which focus on non-cognitive aptitudes, are provided for which deals with the skills and knowledge that should be developed by students.

According to the document, socio-emotional skills are the ability to deal with the self, having control over feelings and, consequently, over what is done and spoken. This also establishes a better relationship with the other, developing empathy, the ability to see people in a more humanized way.

How are socio-emotional skills distributed?

Because it is a set of skills, socio-emotional competencies are distributed in five main areas, ranging from self-knowledge to the ability to make right decisions.


The first axis is self-knowledge. It is understanding oneself, one’s own identity. Thus, it is possible to know one’s strengths and weaknesses and work on them, improving what is best and evolving in what is not yet so well developed.


Self-control is the ability to control emotions such as stress, anger, anxiety, not acting impulsively and that can bring great losses later. It is also about discipline to achieve goals, whether external or internal.

Social Conscience

The social conscience is related to having empathy, to know how to see the other in a human way, understanding their needs, desires and actions. It is to perceive and understand people regardless of prejudices related to color, gender, religion, among others.

Relationship skills

Listen to people, express yourself well, be cooperative, know how to work in groups without any problems. All this is related to relationship skills, the harmonic way of dealing with the other.

Responsible decision making

Finally, is the ability to make coherent and ethical choices. It is important to know how to analyze the results of each action and understand which people are involved and will be impacted by it.

How to develop skills in distance education?

The Covid-19 pandemic has established a different reality in schools in the country and around the world: the scope of distance education for students of different ages.

Adaptations were necessary. Some challenges became more intense. However, there were also a number of gains and the certainty that it is possible to work several contents and skills remotely, including socio-emotional skills.

In this scenario, to effectively obtain good results, counting on the help of technology is of great value. Some tools help a lot in this whole development process at a distance of socio-emotional skills. We separate some of the main ones.

Virtual classroom

The first of these is the virtual classroom itself. It is already being widely used in distance learning, but can be seen not only as a way to transmit content, but also to develop socio-emotional skills.

In this sense, one can work on the engagement with colleagues and teachers, the ability to relate in spaces different from the conventional and the attitude of valuing the effort of all involved so that the environment is healthy.

Social networks

Social networks are part of the daily lives of most people, including children and adolescents. Under proper supervision, it is possible to stimulate students to work their emotions in front of posts and discussions in this environment.

What do they feel in front of a certain image, a certain post? How should they act if someone says something they don’t like? How can they control themselves so as not to act impulsively? What do they suggest publishing? What effects do they think this publication will have on people? All this can be worked on.

Digital games

Digital games can also act as an important tool. They help to promote a series of challenges, to control the emotions in the face of more complex challenges or even defeat in a phase.

They are also essential to work with colleagues. There are several team games and they stimulate the work together to reach a goal.

Audios and videos

Audios and videos on the internet usually make the biggest success. Choosing some of the most famous and fun and, obviously, suitable for the school environment, and proposing questions on them is something interesting.

To get more interactive and interesting, children can produce their own content, under supervision, and share it with their peers.

Socio-emotional skills are of paramount importance for the training of people. The school should act to help develop them, making the little ones able to deal with their own emotions and with others around them. In distance learning this is also possible and technology offers a number of resources that can be used throughout this process.