Social Emotional Learning (SEL) with Dr. Judy Grossman

Special Ed on Special Ed

16-11-2022 • 42 min

This is an essential episode because Social Emotional Learning is not just for students with special education needs - everyone needs social-emotional learning skills!

Social-Emotional Learning, also called SEL, is an integral part of education and human development. It helps students and adults develop healthy identities, manage emotions, and feel empathy for others. SEL gives students the skills they need to build supportive relationships. Students learn the skills, attitudes, and knowledge surrounding social-emotional learning to make responsible decisions.

By establishing trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation, SEL helps schools, families, and communities achieve educational equity and excellence. Through SEL, we can help address various forms of inequality and empower young people and adults to create thriving schools.

It's helpful to start with a clear definition of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). A school-wide SEL program equips students of all ages with skills to achieve their own unique goals. It includes understanding and managing their emotions, nurturing positive relationships, making informed decisions, and feeling empathy. Learning SEL is critical to students’ success, both in and out of the classroom.

Dr. Judy Grossman joins me today to discuss what social-emotional learning is, why it is important, and why it is for all students! Dr. Grossman is the Associate Director of the Center for the Developing Child and Family at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU. Previous academic appointments include Yale School of Medicine and SUNY – Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Grossman has conducted special education policy research for the NYS and NYC Departments of Education and school districts in Fairfield County. She lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of family resilience, mental health consultation, and special education family-centered services. Dr. Grossman is an occupational therapist, public health educator and consultant, and she maintains a private practice in couples and family therapy, specializing in neurodiverse children. She is also a member of the Smart Kids with LD Board of Directors.

TRANSCRIPT (not proofread)
child, parents, social emotional learning, children, feelings, piece, school, understand, kids, feel, terms, iep, regulate, grossman, special ed, episode, people, academic, learning, behavior
Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW, Dana Jonson

Dana Jonson 00:09
Okay, welcome back to Special Ed on Special Ed, thank you so much for tuning in today. I'm very excited for today's episode, because we have Dr. Judy Grossman, who is the Associate Director of the Center for the Developing Child and Family at the Ackerman interests Institute for the family. I got it all out that time. And we're gonna talk about social emotional learning. So stay tuned, I'm going to run my disclaimer before we say a word. And then we'll jump right into it. The information in this podcast is provided for general informational and entertainment purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction at the time you're listening. Nothing in this episode creates an attorney client relationship. Nor is it legal advice, do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included and accessible through this episode without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer or service provider licensed in your state country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. Great, Dr. Grossman, thank you so much for joining me today, I was able to get out your very long title. But I would love it if you would give us a little background on you and why you are the one that I need to have teach me about social emotional learning.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 01:19
Okay, first of all, thanks for having me thrilled to be talking to the parents that are listening or whomever actually started my career as an OT. And then went into academia and did some policy research in special ed and became a family therapist. I mean, like I've had many, many different experiences, my area of focus has always been family resilience, even before we we use that term. You know, years ago, we only talked about risks and deficits. But you know, there's been a change a long time coming, and looking at strengths and resilience. And I started a project for family therapists to work, specifically with families with neurodiverse children. And that's because all my experience has taught me that there are layers to the work. So you may be a very competent family therapist, or a maybe an excellent educator and special ed. But you need the whole package. So if you're doing clinical work, that's more than the area of mental health, you have to understand the IEP and the different diagnoses. And on top of interested in family resilience, very, most of my work deals with the parents, because parents are so significant. And situations can be so stressful. And they often search for skills or strategies to help them manage their child's behavior, or even keep themselves regulated when they're getting upset. So social emotional learning, and I'd say it's a term that's been around since the 90s. There's a consortium, researchers, policymakers, educators, clinicians, everybody that's interested in evidence based practice, in terms of social emotional learning. And after the pandemic, or I shouldn't say that we are still in the pandemic, actually, right. We're not sure how it's over yet. I'm actually getting up at COVID. Right now myself. So we are,

Dana Jonson 03:45
I think we're over the initial shock of the pandemic, maybe that's what we're thrilled with the initial shock.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 03:51
That's the one thing we've learned a couple of things. One is children are struggling with anxiety and depression. And for some even PTSD, this has been very challenging and continues to be very challenging for students. Second thing we learn, which I know, the past 40 plus 50, long time is that parents are so important in supporting their child's total development, but particularly the social emotional development because you're the model. You're the coach. A lot of it has to do with your own development of social emotional skills. And I think that the pandemic has raised awareness that it's so important for schools to partner with parents.

Dana Jonson 04:47
Yeah. And I think that's, I mean, that's how I sort of came to it was I had an older child who was neurodiverse, who was not able to identify her own emotions and feelings. And so as a family, we sort of had to learn to talk in this way of explaining ourselves and explaining our emotions and our feelings as they were happening in sort of a way to help educate her. And what I learned was I have three of my five children are have a traumatic background, and they're adopted. And and so but what I learned through this process was, it was significantly benefiting my bio, no typical child. And I mean, I don't know that anyone in my house is neuro neurotypical, but whatever you get, the idea is that these pieces, these pieces that I was putting into place for a specific reason for a specific disability for a specific need, actually applied to everybody in the house. And that's how I started to sort of identify that and now that as you say, the pandemic brought much more awareness to the forefront. And, and I agree with you, I think it's critical that we, as parents understand our role in that. Because when you tell a child you need to be doing this, but you're not doing it yourself. That's always my favorite when parents like Well, I'm definitely getting them into therapy. And I'll say, Well, do you have a therapist, and parents will say, Well, no, I don't need one.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 06:21
So you've made a couple of really good points, then that one is, this is universal. Every child and adult will have better live success, if they have good social emotional awareness. They understand can live with our own feelings, they can begin to identify feelings and others and develop empathy. They have good relationships, and most importantly, particularly with neurodiverse children that the child can regulate. So emotional regulation, meaning, you know, that don't have these uncontrollable outbursts, but they can find ways to self soothe, and cope. And another piece of that is CO regulation. So children who aren't able to do that, the parent has to sort of be their prefrontal cortex and help them regulate. So there are a lot of different dimensions to social emotional learning. But the way that the state of the art so to speak is that there are many curriculum, and many of them are endorsed by Castle, which is this consortium for collaborative social, emotional educational learning, and their school wide. So you know, a school might be interested in paying more attention to social emotional learning, and we can talk about what the research says, and more and more schools are adopting different curriculums. So it's helpful for parents to know, you know, what is your curriculum, and social emotional learning?

Dana Jonson 08:05
The why would that be important for a parent to understand the specific curriculum? Is it that the language is different depending on the curriculum? Or how does that fit into what's going on at home? Okay,

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 08:17
so it actually is less about which one, but knowing that they have one. Okay. I think that what goes on at home should complement the language that they're using in school. So there's not a disconnect, in many, many ways to do this. I mean, I often do, training people to do groups with parents and their children to learn these skills. And the earlier the better. I mean, you can, you know, start social emotional learning, with infants. Yeah. In terms of how you help them. And your narrative, your storytelling always includes failing words. So in terms of the steps in social emotional learning, the the, I would say the first step is just labeling feelings, yours, their husbands or partners, the other children in the family, and, you know, take advantage of 24/7 teachable moments. Oh, wow, we see those people there. They're having an argument. They, they look like they're so angry at each other. Are you watching a movie, when he's still kind because he keeps trying to help his friends, so forth and so on. So this is something that can be done, woven into family life. If you have a child and has difficulty labeling feelings, you become curious. And let's say you're watching your child doing homework and they're having a hard time. You can say I'm wondering if you're frustrated. I mean, you're looking frustrated to me, then how are you feeling? So you don't tell the child, how he or she is feeling. But you probe who has a question. And eventually children will be able, there'll be more in touch and be able to name how they feel. And once you have a name, there's a terminal name entertainment, that helps you feel more in control. You know, if they just have this amorphous, let's say you feel anxious, but you don't really know that that's anxiety. Right? You're uncomfortable, you might have bodily signals, and you don't know what they mean. And you might say, every night, my tummy hurts, my tummy hurts. And well, that might be the signal for that child that that means that you're worried that you're just

Dana Jonson 10:54
yeah, there's there's that goal responses that it's not, I think that's an important piece, too, is to understand, especially for kids in school, when you see a child, when I see a child who visits the nurse a lot. My first thought is okay, that's anxiety. That's, you know, they're fearful of something, they're worried about something they're escaping from something like that, to me is the first sign right? That that they've removed

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 11:20
themselves, actually, they, they may want to avoid something, or escape, or they may just be overstimulated. And they don't understand that. They just know they need a break. So that's really the first step. I mean, until someone has some self awareness. And when I work with parents, I always encourage a lot of self reflection, because there's a term meta emotion. how people feel about feelings. Yeah, so so people are not comfortable with angry feelings that are not express them. Some people have a lot of trouble handling when their child seems sad. Feelings are feeling,

Dana Jonson 12:08
I think that's our natural response, right? Our child is that I want you to feel better. So I'm just going to immediately try to make you feel better. And Kelly, you you feel better. And that's not a big deal. It's not upsetting. Don't worry about it. But what I'm saying is your feelings don't matter. And that's where you'll have to parent right, that's

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 12:23
dismissive, which is unethical. Because either say, your feelings don't matter, or this feeling is like a feeling that we want to talk about or notice.

Dana Jonson 12:35
And I find for parents, sometimes it's hard to see when it wasn't our intent to harm a child, it's really hard to acknowledge that what we did, because they think in the back of our mind that So the worst thing we could do is harm a child. That's that's like our natural reaction is to not do that. That concept is so overwhelming, that our first response is to be like, no, no, I didn't mean that. So it didn't happen well,

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 13:01
right? That's right. But the other piece to it is harming a child is a strong word, no parent ever gets it all right all the time. So sometimes it's about the repair. So you know, if you're learning some of these skills yourself about our how to label your carrier feeling and help your child label how he or she was feeling, it's, the parent becomes more skillful. And if you recognize that you did something that retrospectively feel you didn't handle, well, you can be transparent. And say, you know, I was just thinking about what happened this morning. And I'm really sorry, because you are looking so sad, and I didn't really give you a chance to tell me more about it. Would you like to do that? And the time, I'd say yes or no, yeah, the thing is, a very important piece of social emotional learning is this self regulation. And some parents are not well regulated. And it my work, and my work includes research and clinical, academic teaching and so forth. I always start with helping the parent regulate, because if the parent gets triggered by the child's behavior, and then they get upset, and they sort of get aroused and Rabat, that's only gonna create this child's dysregulation, essentially. So no matter what the first step is for the parent, to stay calm. And I think it's very helpful for parents to be explicit about it. Like let's say, you know, you ask your child 10 times to do something, they didn't do it and you're getting annoyed and you know, you're just sort of going up the scale. You can say, you know, yeah, I'm going up the scale or I use the monitors, killing thermometers, but whatever we want to talk about. And I don't want to start yelling, you know, that's not going to help us. So I'm gonna take a minute because I know it helps me, if I take a few deep breaths. So you are you're modeling for the child that you are working on controlling your reactions. So rather than being reactive, you want to be responsive. But you're modeling that. And, you know, you have to have a strategy. One, one part is noticing when you get aroused, or the parent, being able to monitor and knowing what's the point of no return, so to speak, and at some point, forget it. They can't really talk about it in a logical way. But then you have to know what to do. And so, you know, I usually have family activities, where everybody talks about the different ways they control themselves, or calm themselves down, or cope with stress. That's a very, very important piece

Dana Jonson 16:13
is a parent understanding themselves and being able to control and regulate? Yeah, and it's, it's, it's, I find almost impossible for me to identify myself, I have to be able to rely on, we have this thing, and I'm very, like, I'm loud. My hands are always going I'm all over the place. And my husband's like, super chill. And so my yelling and his yelling are two different things. I remember he wants raised his voice once, and the kids don't yell at Mommy. And he his response was she yells at me. And they said, Yeah, but that's how she talks. And it was funny for me to be like, Oh, they so differentiate between us, like how I am compared to myself, not how I am compared to him. And I just thought that was fascinating to me that they had picked up on that little bit that they they were aware, they didn't think I was yelling all the time, you know, because there has been my personality. And I just, to me, that was showing me how in tune.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 17:19
The kids are. Exactly. Kids are incredibly attuned to the parents, emotional state. And like even toddlers, you could see a toddler, if he sees the mom looking sad, go over, and you know, sort of comfort the parent. Now, they don't even really understand what they're doing. But it's, it's in the air. It's an exquisite skill that children have. And, you know, parents might try to mask it, which is hard. I mean, I'm working with a very depressed mom right now. You know, she's doing her best to function normally. But I can't imagine her children don't pick something up.

Dana Jonson 18:11
Yeah. And I hear that a lot too, with parents when they either they have something major to tell their kids, whether it's a divorce, or separation or move or what have you. And they've been waiting to tell them for some reason. And I always ask them, like, did they know? Like, did they know where they have set? And, you know, a lot of the time it's like, oh, they had a sentence, or they were relieved that whatever was was said, because they knew something was coming. You know, like, they're just, I think we as adults like to pretend that we're tricking them, but we're really not. You know, we've we've trained them to tell us what we want to hear.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 18:46
Yeah. And, you know, we we want to protect them. Yes. That's just an instinct. Can always, you know, that doesn't mean that you can help them deal with, I often say anxiety is catching. You know, it might be situation where were you just a word about it? And say, you know, yeah, you know, you recognize that, you know, this is normal behavior for mommy, which is different than normal behavior for daddy. And that's fine. People are different. You know, the thing about social emotional, oh, join us. Good question. I'm sorry, I

Dana Jonson 19:36
was I was muted. I was just saying I think it's important for them to be able to distinguish between personality and emotion and feeling and my oldest is neurodiverse as nonverbal learning disabilities so so it's very difficult for her to identify any of those social cues that we take for granted. You know, but so to be able to distinguish between them That's your personality, you're fiery, and you're loud versus someone who's fiery and loud as me, or mad or angry or right. however you define it, it's much more complicated than we think. And we still take it for granted. I'm curious, how do you approach families, because sometimes I run into this where families say, they just need to suck it up. They just need to get through, they need to get a tougher skin. And I've been that parent, where I said, Oh, my God, my kids are snowflakes, what is happening, but at the same time, I think about the pain that I experienced, not being able to share my emotions with somebody or not being able to identify them myself. So I'm coming from that perspective. But how do you reach a parent who maybe doesn't see that the benefit necessarily they know their kid needs it, but they're not internalizing it?

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 20:58
Well, that goes back to the research of what we're learning. So social emotional learning, which is the title that have sole users this consortium, it could be called Emotional intelligence, or emotional literacy. It's also referred to as non cognitive skills, and in our schools are all about academics, and cognitive development, language development, and achievement, which all plays into it, right. But if a child is not regulated, the child is distracted. If a child is in a stress response, if a child is feeling anxious, they're not taking in the information. They're not absorbing, and integrating what the teacher is saying. So there have been over 20 years of research, I mean, way more short term and long term studies, showing that there is a relationship between better social emotional skills and academic performance. There is relationship between social emotional skills, and relationships, and self awareness, and behavior, in school and at home. So I consider it What should I say, I never said this before the word just came into my mind, like a nest, ah, this is social emotional learning. And then you build all the academic cognitive skills. But if you're not pressing, right now, you're not really learning optimally.

Dana Jonson 22:51
Yes. And I, we actually experienced that as well, one of one of my children, who, between evaluations, their IQ went up, and I'm using air quotes that you can't see right now went up 16 points. And at her age, that's not your IQ doesn't make that kind of lead BNL in that short period of time, and she had gone from an environment that was not safe to her in her mind, and had to spend not just to enter into a safer environment, she had to spend a great deal of time in that safer environment, before she became available for learning. And that's how we looked at it because I was like, there's not suddenly this, what was I, what I was thrilled about her educational environment at the time is that it was meeting those safety needs. And that was my only priority for her at the time. And the academics came, you know, like, everything went up when we only focused on making sure she felt safe. And that was our only priority. That's when she did well academically.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 24:03
Well, you're you're exactly right. And, you know, safety is. What could I say? Without that? Yeah, any of this is not going to develop. So you know, children that experience a lot of trauma. Number one need safety and trust in relationships. Another thing about you know, trauma and how it relates to this. I think we underestimate the amount of trauma people have in life. I mean, there's a lot of studies about this now from trauma informed cares, like the name of the game. It's a cat two days, it's the buzz phrase, right? But let's just say your child has ADHD, there's a separate from trauma, the extra energy that they need to pay attention to stay seated to, especially if they're have the hyperactive pace to modulate their body It is exhausting. And so even that takes away from

Dana Jonson 25:05
learning. Right. And I think people forget that when kids are exhausted, they don't roll over and go to sleep, they tend to have a fit, you know, they tend to keep going in their exhausted state. They're not aware enough to rest. And I think we forget

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 25:23
that. Yeah. And also, we see it in the transition from school to home. Because, you know, the teacher will say, here's a behavior problem, and we've been doing fine, and he has some friends, you know, and then the child comes home and opens the door, and he has a temper tantrum and totally escalates. And the parents thing that's going on? I mean, is this different kids? In my family child that's in school, very common number that I hear that all the time?

Dana Jonson 25:56
How do you help schools bridge that gap? How do your parents and schools how do you, you know, I have that happen a lot. Obviously, with my clients, I have my clients or children with disabilities, and a lot of the time they are holding it together to the best of their ability from morning to dismissal, and then they get home. And there's nothing left. There's, you know, emotional control, there's no making the child happy. There's no nothing like they've just been pushed over the edge. But the school is seeing a great kid that's being social and talking to friends and doing their work. And I'm in the parents are seeing a kid that's about to blow, how do we help bridge that gap?

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 26:41
Well, a couple of ideas. One is, because this is so common. One knows what you can do at home. So to be articular Babbitt and then have maybe a transition ritual with the child, because you're anticipating, and you make that obvious and you know, the ritual might be what's the most common thing you can do with the child at that moment? Is it to give them something to eat? Or is it to have them do some kind of physical, aerobic kind of activity, whatever it is, but make it over and think about, this is just what the parent can do think about creating a coming home ritual. As a therapist, when I work with families, everything is a suggestion, because we never really know what's going to work. A lot of it's trial and error. But for some families that works in terms of the school. And I've been doing this work a long time, I mean, training related service providers, because I'm also rotate training related service providers and training, special educators and changing psychologist and you know, people from different domains in this area with different perspectives. Yeah. And the, there are so many more opportunities for parents to get information that could help them. I always say, don't pass the OT what she's doing to help the child regulate in the classroom, because maybe she has some ideas for you. I mean, there's not enough transparency and communication between well, some parents and some schools do this very well. I mean, you know, I did some studies in Fairfield County, and there are some school districts, some districts, but there's some communities that do it very well. I was still my work was in New York City, and

Dana Jonson 28:53
different animal in New York City.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 28:56
And so, sometimes there's absolutely no communication and cancer or our have a right to information. And they would benefit a great deal because they want other ideas. Are there strategies? Is there something that's working in school because there's a behavior plan seemed to work in schools, that's something we should try it at home?

Dana Jonson 29:23
Right. And from a, you know, from a specialist attorney perspective, I would also look at that as you know, parent training from a school perspective. Another thing that I often recommend for parents is evaluations. And if they think that they are seeing a completely different child than their school district, and they're not able to bridge that gap, that either bringing in the private therapists that they're working with to give their input or collaborating with the school to get an outside evaluation, maybe somebody who isn't in school because of people in school aren't seeing But the parents are staying and the parents aren't seeing what school is seeing the maybe we need somebody completely separate, to come in and tell us where all these pieces connect. And I find that to sometimes be the hardest thing. And once we can make that connection, and everyone can see how all those pieces work together and how home is impacting school and vice versa, then we can start putting pieces into place. How would you advise parents or teachers who think you know, we have a gap, we need to bridge bridge this gap? Where can we get the information we need? Who should they be going to for that assessment or

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 30:40
instruction? Well, you're talking about quite a few different things. So that's probably, so let's see if I can answer it in a way that's helpful. Schools are mandated to every child has an IEP to decide on placement and services to enhance their academic performance. That's as a threatened. I'm suggesting academic performances is not as narrow a lane, as they say, I did special ed policy research for a decade. And, you know, there's such variability in terms of a school district partnering and believing in strength base, partnering with parents in understanding what the parents concerns are, what their priorities are, as opposed to, you know, let's look at the IEP and look at the various specifics skill. Now, sorry, think about all the trial, right. So parents have a right to request a meeting, if a child has an IEP, parents have a right to have the child evaluated, if they feel there's a problem. Usually it comes from the school, suggesting to the parent, however, I know, parents instinct, lets them know something's not quite right. And so they need the validation. They may feel for years. I just think there's something that he he's not getting. And then grade three, you still can't read. He's very frustrated. And he has a lot outburst in the parent knew, right and we are diagnosing earlier and earlier or diagnosing. I mean now, where it is approved to diagnose children as young as four with ADHD, which was not the case before, but I know into a preschool and look in the classroom and identify two to three children that are neuro diverse. And yeah, I'm a preventionist. I mean, my doctorates and a couple of Cal, but I'm all about prevention. And if a child has a neurobiological disability, you really can do prevention work in terms of his emotional life, and not feeling I'm not good enough. I'm a bad boy. You know, I hear those things from children all the time, and they're devastating for parents.

Dana Jonson 33:30
Yeah. But I think we don't realize too, that by calling a child a good boy, indicates to the other children, then they are bad. Like, I think they're little pieces of language that we we've become very careless with our language, I think. And I think that is part of our social emotional problem. Because when you're careless with your language, you're sending messages that maybe you didn't intend to send. And, and I think it's in my lifetime, that we've actually as a society started to acknowledge that kids have feelings. You know, I know, when I was little that was at the forefront of the conversation, you know, and even my mom talks about when she was pregnant, there was only one patient. Yeah, it was the mom. Right. So it started right from there. So, you know, I think that we are definitely coming into a new understanding even though these ideas and concepts and knowledge have been around forever. I think as a society, we have not been taking it seriously.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 34:31
Well, I think you're absolutely right. The power of language. Good, bad, you know, really, you want to describe behavior, you know, Oh, you did you finish that assignment very well. And you know, that was great because you're being a good student or whatever. You you talk about the behavior. I had an experience in 1971, which gives A little bit of indication of how long I've been in the parenting field. And we were doing a prevention program in Spanish Harlem with little kids. And everything was about the children know that colors, they know, shapes, and it was all conquer cognitive and language. And I have worked in mental health. And so this was a research project that really funded until I started saying to the parents, what do you like about your child? I'm telling you, they struggled with answers. So this piece of recognizing someone's emotional life and how much that impacts performance and relationships. I mean, even I do a lot of work and Headstart programs, and 1965, the purpose of Headstart was to help children develop social competence. It was an academic readiness. Because if you think about right, you know, what do you need to be a successful adult? Well, you may not need algebra, as much as getting along with your co workers are having a decent round.

Dana Jonson 36:18
Yes. And I had that conversation, an IEP meeting the other day for a kid who's super smart. And I thought, yeah, he is. But he also can't make eye contact. If he doesn't like how you look, he will tell you like, there are things that are not acceptable in society that this child does. And regardless of the cognitive abilities, they won't be successful. And that is what we're looking at when you talk about education being much more global than academics. And it is, and that's something that I remind IP teams of all the time, you know, for a middle school, we're talking about a middle schooler, and this kid does not have any friends, that is not typical. And that is going to be more important to that student than anything else. So if we're not taking seriously what kids take seriously, then we're not acknowledging their feelings, their thoughts, what's going on in their lives. And I mean, they're human too, right? They this is their brains are developing to what they're going to be as adults, now's the best time for them to learn how to do all that stuff. I just don't believe that kids have to be in pain to learn what makes it hard to learn. Yes, I think we have that, right. Like if somebody if a kid is enjoying their class, there's this question like, are they actually learning anything? They seem like they're having too much fun? You know, we have to think that's sort of a weird thing. Well, thank you, I so appreciate all of this information. I think it's so important for families and schools to understand that this this social emotional learning piece, and you did touch on it, but it's also a little different than emotional IQ, or those pieces like how will you know yourself. It's more about social emotional learning, it builds, these things can be learned skill develop, to

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 38:11
be modeled back to be practiced. I think the good takeaway for whoever's listening to this is becoming more comfortable with emotional coaching. And that's a term comes from John Gottman, which really means no matter what's going on, you connect emotionally with the child first. So you say, you know, I say you're really angry because you're raising your voice, and I get it, because your sister keeps taking your toys. So you're validating how the child feels, no matter how they feel a feeling is the feeling needs to be respected. So before you say, but don't hit your sister. First, say, you know, label of feeling validated. If you don't really understand if you can't make the connection say, but what what's going on? Tell me what I don't understand why you're so frustrated. And then you can give the couldn't give guidance, you can make a demand, you can make a request. It just means that the child feels understood, and they will listen to you. And this goes for all relationships.

Dana Jonson 39:36
It takes them off the defensive. Yeah,

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 39:39
I mean, everybody wants to feel understood. And Oh, Mommy gets it. Yes. And, you know, mommy's that. I should. I can't hit her. Okay. That doesn't mean it's not going to hit her. It means that he has to substitute right a different action for demonstrating has Question for just sister.

Dana Jonson 40:02
I love that the way you phrase that it's it's about finding a different way to express it. Right? You're identifying. I see you feel that way I get it. That's valid. But doing that when you feel that way is not how we do it. When you feel that way, you've got to do something different. Let's figure out what that something different is. And yeah, so it's looking at what's, what's the outcome? I've said that to you before I do want the child to feel bad about themselves? Or do you want to change the behavior, which is the goal? And thinking of it that way? Because I think sometimes we feel like that's character building as an adult, right. Going through those tough things and toughing it out. But, you know, wouldn't it be better to have the tools to get through it rather than have it out? I'm not too proud to use, though.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 41:01
It's complex, but it is

Dana Jonson 41:03
it is. So So Dr. Grossman, tell me if somebody is listening to this, and they're saying, Oh, my gosh, you speak my truth. You're the only person who gets me and I need to talk to Dr. Grossman, how are they going to find you, and reach out to you and find your world,

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 41:18
I am only practicing on Zoom. Now. Since the pandemic, I gave up my office in the city and I had to have an office here. I'm taking select cases, because I also teach and so forth and so on. But I can be reached at

Dana Jonson 41:43
Great. And I will have that information in the show notes along with the other other links to some things that we've discussed during this episode. And I can't thank you enough it really this is such an important a hot topic. And I came across it because I was I attended a presentation that you gave and and I think that was well attended as well. I really think that social emotional learning is on the swing. Thank God in our community in our on our society. So thank you so much for all the work you do, and for sharing this information with parents.

Judy Grossman, PhD, MSW 42:16
Oh, my pleasure. My pleasure. I'm happy to do it.

Dana Jonson 42:20
Thank you so much for joining me today. Please don't forget to follow this podcast so you don't miss any new episodes and leave a review and you have a chance. If there's anything you want to hear about or comment on. Please go to my Facebook page special ed on special ed and find me there. I'll see you next time here on special ed on special ed. Have a fabulous day. The views expressed in this episode are those of the speaker's at the time of the recording and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company or even that individual today.

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