Confident Mom Superpowers!

From Leann Wagner about her daughter Emma Wagner:

She lets me know that good still exists in this world. She is my everything and I need her to keep me faithful to being the best mom I can possibly be.

Fathers’ and Sons’ SuperPowers

Check out these superpowers from fathers and sons!

Mike Wilson, Confident Parents Writer and Outreach Coordinator, Harris County Department of Education, TX and also, producing of the popular podcast “Making After School Cool!” writes:

My SEL Superpower is self awareness because  I contently monitor my feelings and reactions to various situations as a part of my personal commitment to self improvement.

Jason Miller, Confident Parents Writer, Founder of Inner Sound and Co-founder of Hearth writes:

My SEL Superpower is presence. At any given moment, I am in-tune with the space, the energy inside of me, and my connection with others.

Ethan Miller, son of Jennifer and Jason, is 15 years old. He says:

“My SEL Superpower is kindness. I try and act kindly toward all of my classmates and anyone I encounter online.”

Nikkya Hargrove’s son Johnathan says:

“My SEL Superpower is singing because it helps people feel good.”

Watch These SuperPower Videos!

Check out Dr. Jenny Woo and her children…

Now These Are SEL SuperPowers!!!

Nikkya Hargrove’s SEL Superpower is presence. She writes:

My SEL Superpower is my presence because I am calm and take everything as it comes.”

Nikkya’s daughter Aviah Hargrove’s Superpower is magic! She writes:

“My SEL Superpower is magic because I have special senses.”

In SEL terms, this is called self awareness!

Nikkya’s son Jonathan says his SEL Superpower is singing. He writes:

My SEL Superpower is singing because it helps people feel good.

Shannon Wanless, Director of the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh writes:

“My SEL Superpower is self-reflection because life is an amazing journey of constant self-discovery! I love journaling, sitting quietly outside and thinking, and looking to friends with different identities to help me see myself in new ways.”

Shannon’s daughter Maryella, Age 16 writes:

“My SEL superpower is her persistence. I can focus and learn and push forward even with things are hard or stressful or seem insurmountable.”

Shannon about her daughter:

“My daughter is unshakable!”

Shannon’s son, Charlie, Age 13 writes:

“My SEL superpower is relationship-building skills.”

Shannon writes about him:

“He can be in any group of kids and end up joking around with them within minutes. How does he do that?” ❤

More SEL Superpowers to come!!! What’s yours?

Confident Parents Book Give-Away!

The first seven to respond on our Confident Parents’ Facebook feed or Twitter feed with a photo of themselves and/or their children along with a statement about your SEL Superpower will win a free “Confident Parents, Confident Kids; Raising Emotional Intelligence In Ourselves and Our Kids — From Toddlers to Teenagers” book. In it, you’ll learn about how social and emotional development looks at each age and stage and ways in which you can build those superpowers and support learning in family life!

Here’s how to enter to win!

Post your own or your family/child’s picture with a statement that fills in the blanks:

“My/Our SEL Superpower is ___________________________________ because I/we __________________________________________________. Please include the hashtags: #ConfidentParentSEL and #SELDay2023

Post on our Facebook feed here.

Post on our Twitter feed here!

Either social media posting will enter you to win if you are one of the first seven to respond. Good luck!

What’s Your SEL Superpower? Advocating for and Celebrating International SEL Day Friday

Thank you to everyone who has sent in videos or offered a few sentences on your social and emotional learning superpowers — parents, educators, kids and teens! Social and emotional learning is very simply learning about the most important skills in our lives that help us come to deeply know ourselves and others. These skills are best developed in our lives in safe, caring contexts at school, in our homes and in our communities. These are skills like self awareness of strengths, limitations, of our feelings, and our identity; self management, or controlling impulses to persist toward larger goals; social awareness, or empathy, perspective-taking, understanding and interpreting social cues, and showing compassion; and relationship skills like listening, assertively communicating, boundary-setting, and conflict management; and responsible decision-making, or thinking ahead to the consequences of our choices and trying to do no harm to ourselves or others. These fundamental skills are ones we work on developing over a whole lifetime.

Why is SEL Important in Schools?

Because children, teens and the adult who teach them do not leave their hearts and spirits at home when they come to school, it’s critical that we educate those parts of our children alongside reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Now decades of research solidly backs the fact that children and teens who attend schools with SEL (no matter their SES!) do better academically. On high stakes achievement tests, students were found to out perform their peers without SEL by a 13% advantage (Taylor et al, 2017). We also know that emotions seal in memory. For students, a caring relationship with a teacher is an essential precondition for real learning to take place.

Why is SEL Important in Parenting?

After ten years of asking parents what their hopes and dreams for their children is, I hear the same responses. We want our kids to be happy, responsible, kind, loving, confident. And in order to meet those hopes and dreams, we can build toward them directly by seizing every simple interaction – our conversations, our routines, even our thorniest challenges – to build a social and emotional skill in our child or teen and in ourselves if we only just become intentional about it.

Today and tomorrow, we’ll be sharing our SEL Superpowers and we hope you will too! This is the time to stand up for our well-being – for the needs this generation. So although the campaign is fun and entertaining – and yes, hopefully, you’ll catch an influential ’80s hip hop artist advocating right along with us! -, it also serves a critical rallying call for us all to not be silent, but to make our voices heard now. Our children’s well-being is truly at stake. Join us!

Participate Friday – SEL Day – in the Virtual Summit

Actress and Founder of MindUp Goldie Hawn kicks off the amazing line-up of speakers all day long on Friday, March 10th. Sign up free to attend! You can catch whatever interests you! And be sure not to miss Jennifer Miller, Pamela McVeagh-Lally, Dia Mixon, Lorilei Swanson and Wendy Methvin in their panel on parenting and SEL!

Place your #SELSuperpower in the Comments below and we’ll share on social media!

Much more to come here and watch on social media for the explosion of posts on social and emotional learning! Follow along at #SELday2023!

Are You Ready for #SEL Superpower Week?

March 6-10 – A week of advocacy for children

We are working hard to get ready for social and emotional learning superpower week next week culminating in International #SEL Day on Friday, March 10th. Now is the time to ensure our children’s social and emotional well-being is a focus in our schools, homes and communities! There are several ways you can get involved!

Tell Us YOUR SEL Superpower – Yours and your child’s or students’ (for educators). Whether its kindness, empathy, generosity, your presence and focus, listening skills, problem solving skills, responsible decision-making, perseverance, gratitude, perspective taking – you name it! – we want to know and share it on social media. Fill out the quick form below and you’ll see us repost your superpower on social media next week!

Send Us Your SEL Superpower Video – Tomorrow is the last day to upload a quick video of yours or your child’s SEL Superpower. Tell us what it is and why. Be sure and orient your phone vertically. You’ll be seeing many more next week with a few celebrity surprises! Upload your video here and if you do, you offer us permission to use it through the Confident Parents’ social media (and can play a role as a proud advocate for our students!).

Sign Up for #SEL Day – When you sign up free, you’ll automatically be registered for the first time ever all-day virtual summit happening between 8:00-8:00 ET next Friday, March 10th including speaker experts Actress and Founder/CEO of MindUp Goldie Hawn; Maurice Elias, PhD, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, SEL Expert; Nathan Fisher, PhD, NJ Superintendent of Schools; Joseph L. Mahoney, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Panorama Education; Dia Mixon, Children’s Book Author of “One Whole Me”; Jacqueline Sanderlin, PhD., K-12 National Education Leadership Executive Manager, Apple; Confident Parents, Confident Kids’ Jennifer Miller and more!

Mark your Calendar for the Parents’ Session:

March 10, 2023 @ 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM ET

Parenting with SEL 101: Stories and Solutions from South Carolina and Ohio

Geared toward parents and caregivers, this session will provide an engaging and accessible overview of social and emotional learning’s role in parenting children of all ages and backgrounds. Participants will hear from a panel of parents as they share their real-life stories, including the SEL practices and tools they rely on. Takeaways include access to a toolkit of strategies for parents/caregivers to deepen their connection with their children and build the social and emotional skills of everyone in the home.


  • Jennifer Smith Miller, Founder, Author, Confident Parents, Confident Kids, Co-founder SEL4OH
  • Pamela McVeagh-Lally, Founding Partner, SEL Consulting Collaborative, Co-founder SEL4OH
  • Wendy Methvin, Executive Director, SEL4SC
  •  Dr. Lorilei Swanson, Regional Liaison-Upstate Region, Carolina Family Engagement Center
  •  Dia Mixon, The Wellington School Teacher and Children’s Book Author (in Columbus, Ohio)

Don’t Miss Adding your Video!

March is next week! We are getting excited about #SEL Day! Don’t miss your chance to ask your child what their #SEL Superpower is – and be sure to record it (vertically)! And then, turn your camera on yourself and let us know what your superpower is too!

We invite you to help us generate more inspiration and joy for social and emotional learning in families, schools and communities by recording a short, selfiie-style video talking about your SEL “superpower” (strength) and what it means to you. We need videos from parents, educators, experts and kids! This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time. Here’s my own example.

Please submit the video here with your release form by Friday, March 4th.

We will be launching the campaign on social media during the week of March 6-10, in celebration of International SEL Day on March 10th. Last year, thousands of parents and educators participated. To learn more, check out the site on SEL Day.

Thank you for being a champion for all of our children!

What’s Your Child’s Superpower?

What’s your parent superpower?

Confident Parents, Confident Kids is engaging in a new video campaign in support of a focus on the well-being and school and life success of children and we invite you to join us! 

Over the past year, we have been inspired by the many positive, “good news” stories from parents, educators, students, and community leaders on social and emotional learning (SEL) whether it takes place through parenting in family life, schools or communities. At the core of these stories is a focus on the many – and unique – strengths that a focus on children’s social and emotional skills (and parents and educators too!) can nurture and build — or what we are calling “SEL superpowers.” Building on that theme, we are launching a social media campaign focused on sharing real stories of real people around the country who care about social and emotional learning. We think your story is powerful to share!

We invite you to help us generate more inspiration and joy for social and emotional learning by recording a short, selfiie-style video talking about your SEL “superpower” (strength) and what it means to you. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time.

Please submit the video by Friday, March 4th.We will be launching the campaign on social media during the week of March 6-10, in celebration of International SEL Day on March 10th. Last year, thousands of parents and educators participated. To learn more, check out the site on SEL Day.

We are participating in this campaign as a member of the Leading with SEL coalition, an alliance of 25 organizations and associations that help broaden awareness of the benefits of supporting the social, emotional, and academic development of all children. 

Thank you for being a champion for all of our children!

The Powerful Daily Words that Matter Most

By Nikkya Hargrove

Bedtime is always a struggle in my house with 7-year-old twins. As they get older, they’ve learned, rather intelligently, how to squeeze out a little more time before bed with me. There are many stories they have to share, many of them are random and are clouded by their exhaustion like “When you were born in the ’80s, were there bike helmets?” Why they need to know the answer to this question, as I tuck them into bed, I have no idea. It’s taken me a little while to realize the true reason they prolong bedtime. It is because each night, without fail, I give each of them a kiss on the forehead and say “I love you.” Every single night. Because I want them to know they are loved, for who they are just as they are. My words matter to them and to me.

Saying I love you didn’t always come naturally to me. As a child, I heard the words less frequently than I would have liked from people who didn’t have the gallon-sized love I needed as a child. I promised myself that the very moment I became a mother, I would give my kids the words that comforted me when I heard them. I got into the routine of saying it so much so that now I feel uneasy if I don’t say the words to those I love.

Saying I love you to my kids especially, and often multiple times a day, matters to me. I hope it matters to them too. As parents, we know the power our words have to both build up our kids or break them down and it’s the latter I hope we all can avoid. When we want to teach our kids how powerful words can be, saying “I love you” helps. It teaches them that they are valued. It reassures them that they have a sense of security. It reminds them that they too have love to give and can say those three little words more easily.

Three little words carry so much weight. They build and nurture relationships. There is a safe space in the room, in the air, when the words linger for just a moment. It also gives us (and our kids) the ability to be vulnerable. To not expect anything in return, except to consider what was said to them, especially when it comes from the heart. It is important for me to role model how to safely and in a purposeful way express love. I create a safe space for them to share their words, their feelings in a meaningful way, and why it matters. I too am learning or rather relearning how powerful these words can be. After I put them to bed, not always, but sometimes, I think about my childhood and my interactions with my caregivers.

In my household as a child, we did not handle words the way that I choose to handle them in my household with my kids or family today. My wife and I show our kids when we are angry or sad or some feeling in between…and if we don’t know what we are feeling we say that to them too. In my household, when an adult had feelings, big feelings about something, the kids didn’t necessarily know why. But when adults were mad, we knew, we heard it and we felt it. When we heard the words “I love you,” it was something to be held onto in fear of losing it at some point, the feeling, the security of their words. And, that is what I never want my kids to question.

I never want them to wonder if they are loved. Or if their behavior or mistake or trophy or if they win their soccer game will in any way change the love I have for them. When I tell them every morning before they go to school and every night before they close their eyes that I love them, they know it and can feel it. They can be reminded of my love for them when they open their lunch boxes and find a note from me reminding them of the same “Remember how beautiful you are and how much you are loved!” I imagine someday in the not-so-distant future, they will want me to stop putting little notes in their lunch boxes. I know they will never tire of hearing me say to them: I love you.

Nikkya Hargrove is an alum of Bard College and a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow. She has written for the The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Taproot Magazine, Elle, and more. Her memoir, Mama: A Black, Queer Woman’s Journey to Motherhood, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books. She lives in Connecticut with her one son and two daughters and is a staff writer for Scary Mommy. Learn more at

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