Teaching social and emotional skills
Learning to identify and express emotions as well as how to get along with others is a big part of what children are learning in their early years. Those tantrums and sibling rivalry are all a part of the learning journey. In this section you’ll find ideas for how you can help your child develop the skills needed to navigate their emotions and build healthy relationships with themselves and others. An added perk: by proactively teaching your children these skills you’ll see less of those tantrums and sibling rivalry.
- Create calming or active spaces at home that support emotional skills and appropriate interactions with their surroundings.
- All this time at home with you can mean big feelings when it’s time to go back to work. But we’re here to help make the transition easier in our KinderCare centers! Here’s a story you can read to them to help manage their separation anxiety and get them ready for the change.
- Use the metaphor of a piggy bank to model healthy emotional relationships through social play.
- Create family commitments together with kids 3 years old and up! These guidelines create structures for good behaviors without a list of “don’ts” or commands.
- Try these books and activities for helping kids learn and practice emotional literacy.
- Family game nights do more than provide laughs and silliness. They’re also a great way to teach kids impulse control, cooperation, and sharing.
Dealing with big feelings
When it comes to those not-so-desirable behaviors (hitting, kicking, yelling, whining, biting—you name it!), it’s important to remember a couple of things:
- Kids use behavior as a form of communication. We may not always understand what they’re trying to tell us, but it always has meaning.
- Kids need opportunities to learn positive behaviors. Just like reading or learning to write their name, kids need to be shown what desirable behaviors look like and then given lots of opportunities to practice.
In this section you’ll find ideas for helping your child learn to understand their feelings and find safe, appropriate ways of expressing themselves.
- We all have big feelings that sometimes get the best of us. By connecting with your child before correcting their behaviors, you’ll help them better understand their emotions.
- Asking children to stop doing something of their choice to comply with your requests can be tricky. Here are some supportive methods for teaching kids how to put on their listening ears!
- When children bite, they’re actually trying to communicate something to you. Here are some ways to curb a biting behavior and encourage healthy emotional expression.
Taking care of yourself
To take care of your family, it’s important to take care of yourself. That can be tough though with the many demands we’re faced with each day. We’ve included some quick and simple ways to cope with your own stress and emotions so you’re in a better place to help your family do the same.
- Sometimes all you need to feel more positive is to remind yourself of the good around you. Try this trick for identifying three good things (then help your child do the same!).