From the professional training experiences that I have facilitated over the years with professional colleagues in the field of children's education and health, there has never been a lack of recommendations related to the development of emotional management and social relationship skills, knowing that they represent a basis essential for the healthy, authentic and autonomous functioning of any human being. There is a critical volume of scientific evidence that shows us how important knowing and managing emotions as well as relationships with those around us are for the quality of our lives. We also know that without these skills, it is very difficult for us to break through life, with confidence and resilience, no matter how many cognitive or financial resources we have at our disposal and no matter how good our academic results have been throughout school years.
Although these skills are essential for the quality of our lives and our emotional health, they do not develop naturally. It takes attention and conscious effort to grow a human being in contact with one's own needs and emotions, capable of initiating and maintaining warm interpersonal relationships, with connection, empathy, respect for the needs of others, but attention and care for personal needs at the same time .
What science and practice alike teach us, is that the early years, preschool and primary grades, represent optimal periods of development in which children are extremely prepared to learn and practice social functioning and emotional management. Functioning in the school environment, in class and during breaks, meetings in the park at parties or playgrounds, camps, are all contexts in which children spend time together, in more or less structured, simpler or more complex activities , with different rules and objectives. These are the perfect situations in which children become aware of their own needs and those of others, experience all kinds of emotional responses when meeting the rules, requests, limits of the context or of other children and are forced to make decisions and use different strategies to work together. Some will be overwhelmed, some will withdraw, others will behave aggressively towards those around them, objects or their own person, some will block, others will cry, some will negotiate, others will look for solutions - all these courts are opportunities to awareness, learning, consolidation, change, flexibility of emotional and social responses that will gradually help children to function more and more healthily, authentically and adaptively, with care and respect for their own physical and emotional safety and those around them.
But the careful and wise guidance of the adults around the children is needed for all these things to happen. I mentioned at the beginning of this confession that the recommendations related to the development of children's emotional management and social relationship skills were most frequently offered by me in the professional training experiences I facilitated. The question "How do we do this?" came up just as frequently.
The manual developed with inspiration and scientific rigor by Andrei and Bianca, offers complex answers to this question. It is a valuable collection of concrete resources made available to professionals in the field of education and children's health, who will find inside this book suggestions for varied and funny, interactive and playful activities for primary school children, as well as recommendations for processing these experiences together with the children, so that they gradually internalize the messages and methods of actions practiced.
I am confident that any child who will be involved in any of these activities will benefit from the valuable messages woven into the scenarios proposed by the authors and any professional who accesses this manual will discover a useful, pleasant and effective tool for improving the quality of social relationships within groups of children he guides.
National expert in mental health