Encouraging Social and Emotional Growth in Children
It is important that children develop social and emotional skills as they grow. With the right guidance and support, parents and caregivers can help children build the foundations for positive relationships, self-confidence and a positive outlook on life.
Create a safe, loving environment
Creating a safe, loving and supportive home environment is key to social and emotional growth. Children are most likely to succeed when they feel safe and secure. Listen to what your child is saying and encourage them to communicate their thoughts and feelings openly and honestly.
Help your child develop the ability to identify and understand different emotions. Teaching them to recognize and name emotions will help them gain control over their responses. Encouraging your child to use words such as “happy”, “sad”, “angry” or “afraid” to communicate how they are feeling is a good start.
As a parent or caregiver, you are a role model for your child. When possible, try to demonstrate healthy behaviour, such as expressing yourself openly in a respectful way and attempting to resolve conflicts without aggression.
Use positive reinforcement
Regularly acknowledging your child’s positive behaviour and encouraging them when they demonstrate socially and emotionally appropriate behaviour will help them build successful relationships in the future.
Encourage age-appropriate interactions
Help to facilitate age-appropriate interactions with other children, such as organising play dates or helping your child join a sports team or recreational activity. These interactions provide opportunities for children to learn valuable skills such as cooperation, sharing and problem-solving.
Teach problem-solving skills
Help your child learn appropriate ways to express their emotions and how to manage and resolve conflicts. Provide them with constructive strategies for problem-solving, such as taking a break before responding to a challenging situation, or calmly expressing their feelings. A good way to encourage these skills is through role playing different scenarios.
By implementing these strategies, you can help your child build the foundations for a positive attitude and successful social and emotional interactions in the future.