The SEL Committee was created as a sub-committee of the SLT to support and strengthen the social emotional experiences of our children, teachers, parents and the community at PS 154.  Social Emotional Learning is intended to teach children specific social-emotional skills like self-awareness, self-management, empathy, perspective taking and cooperation. In short, these are the lessons of emotional intelligence, which science has consistently shown is a greater determinant of success and happiness than IQ or academic ability. 

The research behind the academic success of students immersed in social emotional learning demonstrates the importance of these experiences for our children.

The SEL Committee aims to bring social emotional learning skills to the PS 154 community through various programs including parenting skills workshops and professional development.


Are you a PS 154 parent who would like to get involved? Join the SEL Committee Google group. Once you have logged in as a Google user, you will have the option to apply for membership.

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“How to Help Your Child WANT To Cooperate without Yelling, Bribes, Threats or Punishment”

Presentation and book signing by “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” author, Dr. Laura Markham.

Thursday, May 2, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Suggested donation $10 per PERSON (exclusive pricing for PS 154 families until Sunday 4/14. $20 tickets available to the community go on sale 4/15.)

Are you tired of battling with your child? Do you wish you knew how to get your child cooperating without yelling and threats? Are you trying to find the sweet spot between spoiling and strict? Dr. Laura Markham is coming to PS 154 to share practical, everyday strategies to help you raise a child who WANTS to cooperate, by working with your child rather than trying to manipulate or control. In this talk, there will be a long Q&A at the end to ask individual questions about your own parenting, and you'll learn:

• Why yelling, threats and punishment actually create more misbehavior.
• How children develop self-discipline and learn to regulate their emotions.
• Your secret weapon to get your child cooperating.
• The most important parenting habit to create a peaceful home.
• Strategies to handle your own strong emotions so you can help your child.

Dr. Laura’s books will be available for purchase at the event. She will be available after the event to sign books.


Dr. Laura Markham is the author of the best-selling parenting books:

  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start

  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

  • The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids WORKBOOK

Her books continue to rack up five star reviews on Amazon as parents attest to the power of her peaceful parenting approach of connection, emotion coaching and parental self-regulation.
As a speaker, Dr. Laura—as her readers call her—helps parents laugh, cry, and transform their relationships with their children. She includes a long Q and A with every presentation, so her sessions are customized to fit each audience’s unique needs. Dr. Laura guarantees that your attendees will leave energized and inspired, with a plan to create lasting change in their homes.

Dr. Laura is the founding editor of, an extensive website serving up Aha! Moments to parents of babies through teens. A leading advocate for parents and children, she makes frequent TV and radio appearances and has been featured in thousands of publications from Parents Magazine to the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Laura has worked as a parenting coach with countless families across the English-speaking world and reaches a world-wide audience with her online parenting course. Over 130,000 parents subscribe to her blog posts via email; many more follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Earning her PhD in clinical psychology at Columbia University was just the beginning of her education as a psychologist, says Dr. Laura. Becoming a mother convinced her that parents need more support. Her aspiration, she says, is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents.


Impact of Social Emotional Learning on Academic Achievement

How Youth Learn

Book list from

Book list from CASEL


Raising Human Beings, Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child, Dr. Ross W Greene
Cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence. Explains theory and gives actual wording to use with child

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, Dr. Laura Markham
Practical guide to fostering emotional connection with your child to create real and lasting change instead of threatening, nagging, pleading, bribing or punishing

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk - by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish 

  • Cope with your child's negative feelings

  • Express your strong feelings without being hurtful

  • Engage your child's willing cooperation

  • Set firm limits and maintain goodwill

  • Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline

  • Give helpful vs unhelpful praise

  • Resolve family conflicts peacefully

Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
Parenting strategies based on neuroscience and understanding how kids’ brains work

How Can I Talk If My Lips Don't Move?: Inside My Autistic Mind, Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
Autism - rare insight into the autistic mind and how it thinks, sees, and reacts to the world

Parenting from the Inside Out, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
Offers parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck, PhD
People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment

Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson, PhD
Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. You’ll learn to see through the lies your brain tells you. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain—counterbalancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, you can transform your brain into a refuge and power center of calm and happiness. You can hardwire in happiness.

Simplicity Parenting, Kim Payne M.ED
Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish.

Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D
Play is children’s way of exploring the world, communicating deep feelings, getting close to those they love, working through stress and blowing off steam. Join kids in their world through play to solve behavior problems, create strong bonds and communicate with your child.

Lost at School, Ross W. Greene, Ph.D
Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of the acclaimed book The Explosive Child, offers educators and parents a different framework for understanding challenging behavior. Dr. Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps adults focus on the true factors contributing to challenging classroom behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.

The Explosive Child, Ross W. Greene, Ph.D
What’s an explosive child? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration—crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse. A child whose frequent, severe outbursts leave his or her parents feeling frustrated, scared, worried, and desperate for help. Most of these parents have tried everything-reasoning, explaining, punishing, sticker charts, therapy, medication—but to no avail. They can’t figure out why their child acts the way he or she does; they wonder why the strategies that work for other kids don’t work for theirs; and they don’t know what to do instead.

Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny. Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart. The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

The PS 154 Parenting Book Club


This book club serves as a safe, supportive discussion space for parents to learn new parenting philosophies and tools, and to share their parenting challenges and successes within the context of a chosen book. Participants will share a common desire to learn and possibly practice new ways improve their relationships with their children. The books chosen will be aligned with the mission of the PS 154 SEL Committee: to support the social and emotional learning of our children and of those who teach and care for them.

Book: “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings, How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life,” by Dr. Laura Markham (of the Peaceful Parent series)

Thursday, April 11, 6:30-8:00pm in the MMR
BABYSITTING & PIZZA for school-aged children: $5 suggested donation

Book discount from Terrace Books

Terrace Books at 242 Prospect Park West offers parents a 20% discount on the purchase of the book

Link to buy the book at a discount:

  1. Select PAY AT STORE for payment

  2. Select TERRACE BOOKS as the pick up location

  3. Write "PS154” in the order notes sectionHere are some details about the book club:


  • Didn’t finish the book?

    • Come anyway. Life happens and not everyone will get a chance to finish. Non-readers may still have valuable insights and may just want to listen and learn.

  • Disagree with something?

    • All opinions are welcome. Let’s agree to be gracious. There is never any one way to experience or interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions can make great discussions when done peacefully. If you feel yourself getting too triggered, take a deep breath and pause before you speak.  

  • Feeling chatty?

    • We are, too! We love hanging out, so there’s time after the book discussion for socializing. It’s tough to find time to truly reflect on our parenting so let’s keep the book discussion focused on our shared purpose.

  • That dominating personality in the room

    • Make sure it’s not you. Let’s all agree to check ourselves.

  • Share responsibly

    • When sharing, it helps to avoid strong language like “awful” or “ridiculous” -- even “like” and “dislike” can put others on the defensive. Instead, report your experience—how you felt as you read the book: “I felt angry as I read the part about…”

  • Assume good intent

    • Talking about parenting can bring up feelings of inadequacy and feeling judged. Even an innocent comment can be interpreted as a criticism. Remind yourself that we’re on the same team and here to support each other. Put up your healthy mental boundaries so you can learn as much as possible.

The book club schedule is:

  • Book 1- October 11, 2018: Raising Human Beings, Dr. Ross W. Greene

  • Book 2 - December 6, 2018: Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen

  • Book 3 - February, 2019: “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids,” by Dr. Laura Markham

  • Book 4 - April, 2019: “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings, How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life,” by Dr. Laura Markham