Emotional Skills


Self awareness is each individual's innate filter and guidance system.

"Self-awareness is the key cornerstone to emotional intelligence," 

according to Daniel Goleman.  

"Self-aware people tend to:

  • act consciously rather than react passively
  • be in good psychological health
  • have a positive outlook on life
  • have greater depth of life experience
  • be more compassionate to themselves and to others."  

The value of self-awareness cannot be overestimated, because it inoculates individuals from a wide variety of negative or harmful influences. 


Resilience is the ability to adapt well to adversity. 

The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.

 These relationships provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that buffer children from developmental disruption. They also build key capacities—such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate behavior— which enable children to respond adaptively to adversity and thereby thrive. 

This combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences is the foundation of resilience.  


Self trust for children

Children start life honoring their own rhythms and personal preferences. Then "big people," who know better, start teaching children with little or no regard for those natural rhythms and preferences. 

The Big-People-Know-Better message is *resisted for awhile, and then it progressively dominates, resulting in diminishment of natural born self-trust... (Common expressions of natural resistance range from rebellion to increased reliance on, and approval from, 'authorities.' The subtle, long-term result is increase of self-doubt.

Manipulative marketers and politicians accomplish their self-serving goals more easily when their audience is populated by people with diminished self trust.

When students receive consistent opportunities to participate in, and constructively contribute to, peer group discussions based on questions that SOARR, they directly experience their own validity, and stabilization of their self-trust is the ultimate beneficiary. 


Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

The KIDS' OWN WISDOM® approach acknowledges that empathy, in its various expressions, is an innate attribute. In other words, it's born right in us. It's a potential that, when engaged and exercised, becomes a natural response in appropriate situations.

Because empathy, like laughter, is a natural response, it cannot effectively be taught. It can, though, very effectively be evoked.


Children start out with zero filters when it comes to telling it 'like it is' and naming what they see.

This is delicate territory. We don't want to crush children's connection to what they directly know and experience ... and so the need to choose kind words, or know when not to speak at all are important interpersonal skills. 

But we must always honor children's connection to their uncomplicated, uncensored perspectives so they can remain strong in their natural knowing. One of our responsibilities, if we are to support them in becoming self-confidently ethical people, is to help children own what they deep inside know.


Sensible, logical rationality when combined with sensitivity and consideration is a formula for overall wellbeing.

Healthy relationships and successful interactions pretty much require hearts and minds that collaborate, rather than dominate - one over the other.

Prioritizing implementation of experiences that balance students' hearts and minds  creates 

Win-Win's for everyone.