Childhood is a time when children learn about themselves and discover who they are, such as understanding their place in the world and finding out why certain situations affect them the way they do. As children grow up, social and emotional skills like regulating emotions and following instructions become even more important. Allowing your child to master social emotional skills prepares him/her for the future and sets him/her up for success throughout life.
Social and emotional development refers to nurturing interpersonal skills that are needed to interact positively and build healthy relationships with others. For example, these skills include:
- Actively exploring and learning about their environment.
- Understanding and processing their feelings as well as those of others around them.
- Developing positive and healthy relationships with other children and adults.
Beginning at a young age, this development is influenced by both the child’s biological nature and nurture from external environments. This is why the best time to build a good foundation of social and emotional skills is when your child is in preschool. During this time, they learn important skills such as how to handle their anger and frustrations while also understanding how to get along with others.
Here’s 3 ways you can help your child build up their social emotional skills, contributing to their mental development and allowing them to grow up with confidence.
Children learn best from observing their parents. As parents, you can model appropriate behaviour as early as possible, such as recognising your own emotions. For example, not overreacting, lashing out, or sniping at others when dealing with a difficult situation can show your child that you’re regulating your own emotions and setting healthy boundaries.
Being responsive to your child’s evolving emotions and behaviours can help to develop trust between you and your child. By encouraging your child to understand how his reactions affect other individuals, you are nurturing his ability to feel empathy for others. So, the next time your child runs to you in tears to complain about how his friend doesn’t want to share his toys, take the time to listen and explain how he can react positively to the situation.
Children are like sponges, constantly soaking up the world around them while they formulate their own ideas, values, and perceptions of their place in surroundings. Make use of stories and anecdotes to talk to your child about different social situations and help them understand how others might be feeling. Remember Cinderella? She remained a kind person even though her stepmother and stepsisters treated her badly.
The importance of social emotional skills for preschoolers cannot be underestimated. It’s a crucial time to help children develop the emotional regulation, communication, and behavioural skills they will use for the rest of their lives. It is important to note that social and emotional learning will extend beyond parent-child relationships. Teachers also play a significant role in promoting healthy social and emotional development.
At My First Skool, our learning philosophy encourages children to relate to one another and work cooperatively in small groups. In class, children will have the opportunity to share their likes and dislikes, talk about their feelings, take responsibility for their actions, and form positive relationships with their teachers and peers.
Join us in our journey as we help to nurture your child’s social emotional skills today.