It’s common to talk about the importance of social-emotional development for young children. But how important is it? It’s the most crucial developmental factor to help predict school readiness.
Although we think of reading, writing, and numbers as essential skills for kindergarteners, it turns out that self-help skills are as necessary as academic foundation skills.
What’s social-emotional growth?
The terms “social-emotional growth” and “social-emotional learning” seem ubiquitous in early care and education today. But what exactly do these terms mean?
Social-emotional Development is the ability of a child to recognize and manage their emotions and build positive relationships with others. This includes skills such as overcoming challenges and solving conflicts.
It is not a trendy term or fad. There is plenty of evidence that social-emotional development can help you succeed in your later years at work and school. The US Department of Education has identified social-emotional growth as one of five essential domains of school readiness.
Social-emotional learning forms the foundation of cognitive knowledge, such as basic math and science concepts like ABCs and123s. It is so fundamental that early education experts call it ” learning how a human.”
Different early learning philosophies support other social skills. However, there are specific things you can do as a parent, teacher, or both.
An early education setting often includes the following characteristics that are associated with social-emotional growth:
Children younger than five years old can have support from their caregivers while still being able to play independently.
Continuity in care: Children who are accompanied by the same caregiver for at least one year during their first three years of existence can help to form a trusting and secure relationship with their caregiver.
Play-based environments Children develop socially, emotionally, and physically through play in a play environment. They see the world differently, learn to understand differences, and how to interact with other people.
You spend much time with your child as a parent – watching, playing, and enjoying. Playing with other children can help your child grow. You can model healthy emotions and tap into your child’s developmental needs by modeling them. One area is building on play schemas. Try new activities with your child if you feel bored by the monotony of parenting.
Play, learning, and fun are all key ingredients in your child’s social-emotional growth.