Before it get’s too late here comes the post for Day 5 of #AtoZChallenge ‘E as in Emotional Skills’ and its importance in the development of a child.
The development of social and emotional skills is absolutely crucial for boosting mental health as well as for a child to feel, develop and regulate emotions. The idea is to explore, learn and strengthen relationships that are secure in terms of family, culture and community. The key however, is how parents should approach this.
- Responsive Care
Determining a child’s behavioral pattern is all about observation. You might be with your child all the time, without really observing what his/her behavior actually signifies. If you are feeding your child and he grabs the spoon, do not try to snatch it back. Observe! He might be trying to feed himself. The efforts might be slow initially, but it’s a great positive. If you respond positively to what your child is doing, more than half the battle is won.
- Teach empathy and cooperation
Emotional intelligence becomes stronger when children learn to empathize. Ask them questions, “How do you think Kate felt when you broke her favorite Magic Scan Market toy?” Children need to understand the result of their actions on others. Cooperation can be built by allowing your child to interact freely with other children. In time, this will aid problem-solving skills apart from learning about the concept of cooperation.
- Love and Nurture
There is only one way to teach a child to love; love the child! Use opportunities like bath time to show how affectionate you really are. Playing with baby and soothing him/her when distressed can really strengthen the parent child bond. So engage in activities like reading, humming to a child and encouraging words as they stimulate a baby’s growing brain. Nurturing a child in trying times is the challenge.
- Teach the importance of Give and Take
The child must realize that there is joy to be discovered in the ‘give and take’ of relationships. When you play or hang out with your child, ensure that you project that you are deriving as much fun from the interaction as the child. The realization that he/she makes others feel good is good or the child. This will make it easier for the child to share when he/she plays with other children.
- Teach Cultural Appreciation
Children should be taught the importance of valuing their own culture as well as other cultures. Culture is all important to social-emotional development and also affect child-care greatly. Similarly, cultural diversity needs to be taught.
- Settle conflict in a healthy manner
It is better to settle any dispute or conflict among children in a healthy manner. “I know how much you want to play with your favorite racing car. But you can always play with it. Mike is your best friend and our guest. Please let him play with it for a while.” In smaller children, the concept of sharing is particularly difficult to incorporate as understanding of others’ point of view is not developed and neither is self-control. So deal with the situation rather delicately.
- Instill a sense of security
Be sensitive towards your child’s needs as a child needs to feel safe and rely on loved ones when he/she is scared or uncertain in a strange situation. Being sensitive to your child’s needs will increase his sense of trust and security.About the author:
Charu Swaroop contributes to Toy Tasting- video review channel on toys by mothers. When time permits, Charu loves dreaming up and trying new dishes. She has been promising herself to get over her sweet tooth (since 2003), and to trek in Nepal (since 2009).