Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Understanding the Social Emotional Health of Children

Emotional health provides the foundation for success at school and in life. One of the most serious and unrecognized problems facing our nation is the failure to meet the emotional needs of our children. These needs are neglected at home and at school. This neglect jeopardizes the future of the children and our society.

To address this issue, Dr. Gerald Newmark wrote a best-selling book entitled How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children. It was written to raise public consciousness of emotional health and to provide a practical resource to enable parents, teachers and child care providers to do something about it.

All children, at all ages, have five critical needs in common which stay with them throughout their lives – the need to feel respected, important, accepted, included and secure. These needs are critical because when satisfied, they are the key to developing an emotionally healthy child. This knowledge serves parents and teachers as a road map to guide their actions in creating an emotionally healthy environment. Emotional health affects multiple aspects of our community.

Emotionally healthy children equate to productive, healthy, and engaged citizens. This is reflected through consistent work attendance, reduced poverty, increased altruistic and civic-minded behavior, and ultimately an increased level of self-reliance and self-discipline. These characteristics benefit all of us, as they support our society’s emotional and economic stability.

If you have any concerns about a child’s emotional health or you are concerned about a child’s behavior in your classroom, give us a call and we can help with strategies to work through many of these issues. We can provide phone support or FREE on-site technical assistance to help you in your classroom or with many of the disruptive behaviors observed with children.

Contact Barb Vigil (, Lori Meisner( or Trinette Brewer ( at 573-445-5437 or 800-243-9685 for more information.

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