This domain describes a critical area of development for early school success. These skills enable a child to play cooperatively with other children, share, solve problems using words, control emotional outbursts and feel good about him/herself.
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- [Denise] While developing cognitive skills is important for successfully transitioning to kindergarten the majority of kindergarten teachers agree that social and emotional skills are equally as important to a child's ability to learn.
Social and emotional skills include those that enable a child to play cooperatively with other children, share, solve problems using words, control emotional outbursts, and feel confident and competent about him or herself.
Sometimes when children don't get along with others and do something like fight over a toy parents become embarrassed and often react rather than respond to their child.
However, behavior is more likely to change if the parent responds to a situation and not just reacts to it.
As difficult as it may be in the moment try to see these situations as opportunities to teach our children how to behave appropriately.
- There's a problem.
Charlotte wants the shoe, Eliana wants the shoe.
What can we do?
- [Bailey] Share.
- How can we share them, Bailey, how?
- [Bailey] When we're done.
- When Charlotte's done she can give them to Eliana?
Charlotte, will you give them to Eliana when you're done?
Is that okay?
Eliana, is it okay if Charlotte gives it to you when you're done?
It is okay?
Alright, Charlotte when you're finished give it to Eliana.
- [Denise] By choosing to respond rather than react parents can play a big role in helping their children learn how to get along with others.
Intervening calmly in situations and teaching children how to wait their turn, share a toy, or use his or her words are just a few ways in which parents can turn tough situations into learning opportunities.
Young children are learning about getting along with others and they need adults to guide them and remind them.
Another way to reinforce positive behavior is to recognize your child when he shares a toy or a snack without being asked or shows concern for a friend who perhaps has tripped on the playground.
Children repeat behaviors for which they get attention.
Responding to positive behavior reinforces or stamps in the behavior we want.
In other words, catch them being good and reward them for it.
Developing emotional language or feeling words is essential for children's social and emotional growth.
Being able to label one's own feelings, recognize others' feelings, and being able to show empathy and compassion all help a child form their foundation of emotional health for life.
You don't need anything out of the ordinary to help your child develop in this domain.
Every interaction here she has with you or other people is an opportunity to teach your child to behave appropriately.
Arrange play dates for your child.
Include your child in family activities and projects.
Observe your child and respond to inappropriate behavior by demonstrating the desired behavior.
Help your child come up with possible solutions to problems as well.
Allow your child to make some mistakes and do not criticize.
Ask open-ended questions about what he or she might do differently next time or what else might work.
Now you try.
Let's see how this can apply to real life.
How can you use the simple task of washing the car as an opportunity to teach your child some social and emotional skills?
Did you ever realize how much children can learn about getting along with others simply by washing a car with you?
Sharing things like the rags, the soap, the bucket; asking for what one wants using the words please and thank you; receiving recognition for efforts; feeling pride in one's work; giving and receiving feedback.
These are just some of the getting along skills that a child can learn through this ordinary household chore.
The old adage children learn what they live is especially relevant for social and emotional development.
For example, if children hear parents saying please and thank you they will too.
Likewise, if they hear foul or hurtful language coming from the adults in their lives they will probably repeat that too.
Young children are always watching you.
Be mindful of how you solve problems and handle frustration.
Observe your own reaction to situations.
Use emotional language yourself and let your children see you manage difficult situations positively.
And remember, you are your child's first and most important teacher.
Frequently Asked Questions