6 Ways to Build Social Emotional Skills
One of the most important skills children are learning in early childhood are social emotional skills. Here are 6 ways you can support your child in developing these skills.
Help your child develop social emotional skills by:
Role play with puppets to facilitate challenging discussions. Children are great at understanding tricky topics when it is someone else problem. At the end of the discussion bring it back around to how it relates to your child.
2. Think Out-Loud
Self-talk is so powerful for helping children understand what is happening. For example “Ope, I see that it’s supposed to rain tonight, I better get all the toys put away from outside.” “Our car is almost out of gas, so I am going to stop at the next gas station and fill it up.” “It looks really windy outside, so I am going to wear a jacket when we go out.”
3. Read Bedtime Stories
Talk about the feelings in the story. “What do you think she is feeling?” “What should he do?”
4. Do a Job Together
Rather than assigning your child their own job, do jobs together, this gives you time to talk and laugh together, while also teaching them about how to do the job.
5. Play Games
Games naturally teach children how to take turns, cooperate, handle frustration, and more. Focus on the fun of the game, rather than winning or losing.
6. Prevent Potential Problems
Think through your child’s day at what might bring up issues. Try to talk to them and prepare them beforehand. For example: “Your friend is coming over today, you’ll need to put away any toys you don’t want to share in moms room this morning.” “When we get to field, we will wait in the car for 5-10 minutes until dad is on this side of the field. When we see him almost here mom will get out and grab the food. then we will all calmly walk to the tractor together so daddy can see us. We will get to ride with him for two passes, and then we will need to get back in the car and come home.”