Social and Emotional Skills

Building emotional awareness, regulation and self-care

Taught experientially to reduce stress and build self-regulation in adults. These self-care strategies prepare adults to connect successfully with children and youth and directly model self-care for these young people.

When we work with a family, school or community, we begin with a simple 3-step process we call "Hand-to-Heart." This is a practice of mindful self-awareness to increase adult sensitivity to their own emotional needs and the needs of the child or youth so they can be skillful in their responses.

Here is "Hand-to-Heart." Try it out for yourself!

Tune in - by placing one hand over your heart to recognize your emotional state and tap into the quality of your presence.

Reach out - with both hands extended to identify and respond to the child's feelings, needs, and perspectives.

Connect - your two hands together interlocking them to signify a successful connection. Feel confident that you have the necessary resources to attend to your needs as well as the needs of the children in your care.

How adults are using "Hand-to-Heart": 

"Hand to heart allows me to pause and tune in to the present moment of what's happening with me, what's happening with my child, and what's happening between us. I have found it to be helpful at home when I am talking with my kids. We also have been using it as a touch point with other adults in our parent meetings. I have learned a variety of parenting techniques, but what makes Hand-to-Heart especially powerful is how it reminds me to slow down so I can act with care, kindness and integrity."

Jean, Seattle mother of two

Additional Self-care strategies include breathing and visualization practices. 

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