5 Ways to Support Social and Emotional Development in Preschoolers

January 12, 2020

Social and emotional skills are just as important as a person’s cognitive skills. These skills are related to how likely it is that someone will succeed later in life. Children with higher social-emotional skills have an increased likelihood of completing a degree and being employed. They grow up to be better problem-solvers and make better choices in life. And because these things can be taught, there is no better time to teach young kids about these skills than now. Read on and learn the 5 ways to support social and emotional development in your preschoolers.

Teach them self-awareness

Recognizing and understanding emotions isn’t as easy for young kids as it is for adults. This is why children need to learn about self-awareness early on. Promote self-awareness in your little one by making sure you’re responding to their cries and needs. This will help them feel secure and safe. Understand that young kids need a lot of time, attention and patience. 

Tantrums will be part of their growing up and that’s inevitable. As soon as they show signs of meltdowns, make the most of the opportunity to talk to them about how they feel. Encourage them to recognize their feelings by labeling them. This is one of the best ways to make it easy for them to understand and regulate their own emotions.

Use books to practice

Reading books to children can benefit them in more ways than one. Besides the fact that this is a good way to bond with your child and an excellent strategy to put them to bed, books are also useful tools to promote social and emotional development in kids.

Make it a habit to read to your little one and spend a little time for discussion at the end of the story. Ask them to imagine being the main character or other characters in the story. Then ask them how they would feel if they were in those characters’ shoes. Encourage them to use their imagination to think of those scenarios. Also, be selective with the books you read and be sure to pick the ones that support their social and emotional learning.

Encourage self-management

Aside from learning how to recognize and understand their emotions, it’s also crucial for kids to learn about self-management. They should eventually learn how to be in control of how they feel instead of letting their feelings control them. And teaching them about self-management should start from parents. 

Set the example for your child to follow. Show them how you manage your own emotions by showing how you stay calm and composed even if you’ve already reached the last thread of your patience. Avoid yelling or screaming even if you’re fuming mad even with other people or adults. It doesn’t mean you can’t get angry, though. They just need to see how you address your feelings in healthy ways.

Encourage expression of feelings

There is no right or wrong in terms of feelings. All emotions are valid and this is what children need to feel. Otherwise, they might end up keeping their emotions to themselves, which is unhealthy.

When your child cries, it’s not okay to simply tell them to stop crying. Whatever caused them to feel upset should not be dismissed. Instead, ask them what’s wrong so they will be encouraged to talk and share how they feel. 

Expression of feelings is important in helping children cope and respond constructively to their emotions. Make sure not to reprimand or punish your child for feeling how they feel. 

Promote social awareness

Another important skill young kids need to learn is social awareness. Social awareness refers to one’s ability to show understanding and empathy to others. Teach your little one about empathy by encouraging them to listen to others and put themselves in other people’s shoes. Let them tag along when you attend community events and similar activities.

Here at Imagine Nation Learning Center, we understand the importance of a child’s social and emotional development in helping them succeed. We are here to provide them what they need to reach their potential and achieve future success. Please feel free to give us a call for more information. 

 

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