Behavioural Norm > Let Go & Move On


This behavioural norm provides opportunities to practice the skill of working with others when there is anger, misunderstanding, and hurt feelings. It means to co-exist even when one disagrees, which facilitates working toward a common goal.

In some instances, this provides an opportunity to practice forgiveness. But in situations where one can’t or won’t forgive there is often still the need to get along, work together, and share responsibilities.

This is true in schools, in the community, and for families. It also means accepting that change is inevitable and often beyond our control.

Family dynamics are altered by something as joyous as the coming of a new baby, to the loss of a parent.

In the work setting the retirement of a beloved leader can breed resentment and destructive behaviour toward a successor.

In the classroom, the shifting sands of popularity can cause a student to feel newly accepted or rejected. Acceptance of change requires letting go of what was or what will be and making healthy choices around how to work effectively within changed circumstances.


Let Go & Move On Outcomes


Revenge Versus Reconciliation

When we are hurt in some way by a perceived negative interaction there is a tendency to lash out. This can escalate rather than move past a conflict. Practicing the skill of finding common ground and compromising on some of the strong beliefs that feed hurt and anger involves reconciliation. Conflict breaks down connection. To reconcile requires a commitment to finding a win-win solution to disputes.



This is learning the skill to keep moving forward in relationships, going past some of the more painful interactions in order to continue to work toward the goals of the group. It is learning to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. This connects to failing forward in relationships, and that connections between students can become stronger through the successful resolution of conflict.


Accepting Unenforceable Rules

An example of an unenforceable rule is, “My teacher had my sister who was a really good student, so I will be favoured by the teacher, as well.” Learning to let go of preconceived beliefs that are not rooted in the actual experience is an important element of this commitment.


Accepting Difference

Our personalities and associated behaviours are part nature, part nurture. We each come from a unique place. When students develop this understanding, it changes the nature of experience from objective to subjective. It makes it easier not to personalize disagreement as students work to understand the concept that we all come from a different place.


Accepting Complexity

If life was simple, if there were no grey areas, then there would be no need for the 1.3 million lawyers (as of 2018) practising in the United States. It is important for students to be exposed to activities where ambiguity is modelled and can be discussed. Recognizing these grey areas builds tolerance, acceptance, and mature social judgment.


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Extracted & adapted from The Full Value School: A Social-Emotional Learning Community