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TIPS FOR BUILDING SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
> Respond quickly to your baby’s cries, so they know they can depend on you to care for them
> Hold, hug and gently rock infants
> Learn your child’s cues for happy, hungry, tired, etc.
> When upset, make sure your baby is comfortable; feed and gently rock or walk her to help calm them.
> Face your toddler when you talk; get down to eye level
> Talk in a soothing voice when diapering or dressing them
> Create predictable routines so your toddler knows what to expect
> Show them they matter, that you care
> React positively when they try a new skill, whether or not they succeed.
> Calmly talk with your preschoolers about subjects and situations that are troubling to them
> Help them find words for their emotions
> Listen to what they are saying, without judging
> Play games that teach emotions and body language
> Choose books about characters who experience a range of feelings
> Give reasons for the behaviour you want
> Teach them family values and positive attitudes
> Be a role model for how to interact with others and have self-control.
learn and practise these skills from
the moment their children are born.
Parents are role models for social and
emotional skills in their day-to-day
interactions with their children. They
also can promote their child’s social and
emotional development in many ways.
• Be warm, responsive and
• Show empathy and cooperation
• Help your child identify and find
the words for their emotions: “Do
you feel sad because you can’t play
with your friend today?”
• Provide clear rules. For example,
no hitting if you are angry, no using
• Coach your child through tough
spots such as when they lose their
favourite toy or when someone
hurts their feelings.
“You wouldn’t expect your child to
learn how to ride a bike without help
and coaching,” Rinaldi says. “Likewise,
learning social and emotional skills also
takes a lot of parental guidance and
support, as well as time and practice.” |a