Developing social emotional skills takes time, practice, and lots of patience. Unlike learning to walk and talk, social emotional skills are not as easy to see. But when we learn to read our child’s cues and understand what he or she is thinking and feeling, we are supporting our child’s healthy development in all areas.
Here are ways you can promote your child’s social emotional health:
– Gently hold, cuddle and read to your child often.
– Enrich daily routines such as meal, bath and nap times, by sharing looks, smiles, conversations and stories.
– Attentively respond to your child’s attempts to communicate with you.
– Take time to follow your child’s lead. Join them in play, and talk with them about their activities whenever possible.
– Guide your child through social situations. Children learn to socialize through practice and experiences that are supported by caring adults.
– Be a positive role model. Give your child opportunities to observe you being a kind, caring person and taking time to safely calm down when upset.
– Help your child learn a variety of words to fully express their feelings.
– Comment on the positive things that your child does.
A variety of online resources are available to help parents promote their children’s social emotional health. See Parent Resources here.
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