Social And Emotional Development in Children
A child’s ability to interact with other children and adults forms a critical piece of child’s development puzzle.Emotions and social behavior affect a child’s emotional security, sense of self, understanding of the world around them, decision making ability, sense of competency, sense of connectedness and belonging, learning to be persistent in a goal oriented activity, to seek help when it is needed, and participate and benefit from relationships. Children learn comforting or showing concern for others, understanding others and take their needs and views into account and appreciate multiple ways of looking at the same situation. It helps them become aware of their own preferences and the characteristics of those around them. Interaction with their peers teaches them sharing, caring and playing together. With peer interaction children become more aware of their own abilities and achievements by comparing with those of others. A healthy social development can help your child: (1) Develop language skills (2) Build self-esteem and self confidence (3) Strengthen learning skills – adjustment to different school settings and challenges (4) Ability to resolve conflicts with peers (5) Establish a positive attitude In learning to recognize, label, regulate and communicate their own emotions, understand the emotions of others, children build skills that help them negotiate acceptable outcomes in emotionally charged situations and connect with family and peers and people at large. Innovative ways to build a child’s social-emotional skills : (1) Puppets: Playschools teach children social skills using puppets and asking children to solve the puppet’s problems. This is an innovative way to introduce children to feeling words like happy, angry and sad. (2) Playing games: Card games, board games and outdoor games help children learn how to wait for their turn, co-operate, handle frustration and defeat in a fun and positive way. (3) Reading stories: Reading and discussing the characters and events in the story and getting children to share their thoughts and feelings by asking questions helps children to think of outcomes, learn about others feelings and empathy. (4) Doing a Job together: Gardening and simple chores around the house like folding the laundry, setting the table, paint a wall nurtures a child’s bonds and their ability to work as a team. (5) Thinking out loud: When children hear an adults thinking process, it helps them understand how to cope in a certain situation and how to face problems. (6) Preventing potential problems: Helping the child put away toys that they do not want to share before a friend arrives to play, help avert conflicts in a child’s relationships. Research shows that children who use emotion-related words are found to be better liked by their classmates which further helps in forming lasting bonds. Also children who have learned to value others are more likely to appreciate children who are different from them.

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