Teaching social-emotional intelligence

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to teach social and emotional intelligence to kids, and the benefits that being a socially and emotionally intelligent person has in life
Teaching Kids Social-Emotional Intelligence - Michael Pritchard
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Teaching social-emotional intelligence

What I do when I want kids to have social and emotional intelligence, I teach them how to listen. Listening is really important to emotional and social intelligence. Most people don't know that as a practical skill, but if you want to understand people, you have to actually listen to what they're saying, and then you have to encourage them to speak. So on all of my shows, when I talk to the kids, one of the great gifts I get is to learn incredible unfiltered wisdom from children when they're just saying stuff that is like so powerful. And to teach a kid social and emotional intelligence is to also role model it. And it is to also show them that in building a relationship or a friendship with another kid, you've got to go 60.40. Not 50.50. Not 70.30. But sometimes 60.40 with them, and let them have their shot so they know if they're sad, you're there for them and you encourage them. The other thing is if we set a practicum of grades-grades-grades, achievement-achievement-achievement, and brilliance - I had a young girl that had a 4.2 GPA and she graduated and was completely demoralized, because she spent all 4 years on the dorm floor lonely. Never made a friend. And she thought when she got out with her college degree and a 4.2 that she would be assured of great things happening, and they didn't. And she winds up working at a coffee shop for a C-student with great people skills. One of the great gifts is to do the combo act. Teach heart and brain. I tell the kids, brain-wise, heart-smart. Brain-wise, heart-smart. And they so get it, especially the little ones, because when they get up and share, they're so wise about social and emotional intelligence. They're completely compassed in to how important it is to share, and how empathic you have to be. And that doesn't mean sympathetic, but that means, okay, I feel bad for you. But I'm not going to spend all my time taking care of you. You have to take care of yourself, and I'll help you. That's how it works.

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to teach social and emotional intelligence to kids, and the benefits that being a socially and emotionally intelligent person has in life


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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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