The Social and Emotional Challenges of Learning

Recognizing how we want to be loved and show our love

You find yourself in a classroom doing the best you can to guide all of them in ways which help them elevate their thinking, fall in love with learning and be prepared for future educational experiences.  Then you see someone on the verge of tears.

So much of a student’s experience in school is learning how to communicate with others, and when we think about life as an adult, isn’t that also true. Learning the content of course is importance, but what good is that if someone can’t connect with others and recognize what others are saying to them, with their words and body language?

One area of knowledge that will help any adult greatly when working with students of any age is recognizing how we all love differently. Love can be interpreted in many ways. In a classroom it might be how a student feels appreciated, affirmed and motivated. Once you can identify the following, you will be on your way to helping your students meet their social and emotional challenges. You’ll also find yourself able to predict those challenges and help your students be proactive in their approach to communicating.  

Four key elements

  • Recognize the five main ways of how we like to be loved and show our love for others.

  • Recognize that how we like to be loved and show our love are not always the same.

  • Foster an understanding that all of these ways are valid.

  • Create prediction games that can help all concerned envision potential future challenges related to how we communicate.

Five ways to love and be loved

  • Words  - some people are fueled by the spoken and written words we use.

  • Time - some are soothed by the time spent with you, regardless of the activity.

  • Physical - some are energized by that hug, high five or pat on the shoulder.

  • Gifts - some feel appreciated when they receive that note you wrote, a pen or a smiley face.

  • Helping - some feel motivated when you help them with someone, especially if they don’t have to ask.

There are many books written on this topic, and you can get into a lot of depth. For now, I want to leave you with one question you can ask a student, colleague or family member which will give you insight into their preference.  Once someone feels appreciated and connected, it’s amazing what they will be willing to do, for you, and for themselves.

The Big Question

“How you do know I care about you?”

Their response is the clue. I’ve had students respond in many ways:

  • “Because you ask if I need help” (Helping)

  • “You hug me every morning” (Physical)

  • “You come over during lunch and talk with me” (Time)

  • “You call me a champion” (Words)

  • “You write me a happy note every Monday or Friday” (Gifts)

So, who are you going to use that question with today?  

Enjoy… this is a game changer.