What Can I Do?

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:

  • Create a routine for your child. Children thrive with structure, clear expectations and predictable routines
  • Gently hold and cuddle children often. Parents who show love and physical closeness help their child feel secure & connected
  • Consistently meet children’s physical and emotional needs
  • Follow your child’s lead. Join them in one-on-one play and talk about daily activities. Verbal interactions with children help them practice their emerging language skills as well as social skills
  • Gently guide children through social situations. Children learn to socialize through practice and experiences
  • Be a positive role model. Offer children opportunities to observe you being kind and calming down when upset
  • Help children learn a variety of words to express their feelings
  • Be sure your expectations match what your child is socially and emotionally ready to do. Expecting more from children than they are capable of can lead to lots of frustration for both children and their families


A variety of online resources are available to help parents promote their children’s social emotional health. See Parent Resources here.

Download our flyer on social and emotional health