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How to Provide Social & Emotional Development to Young Children

by Tiffany Raiford

By fostering appropriate social and emotional development when your children are little, you'll increase your chances of raising healthy, happy and well-adjusted young people. If you are a loving, involved and interested parent, it isn’t difficult to provide social and emotional development skills to young children.

Show affection as often as possible. According to Kristin Reinsberg, a licensed marriage and family therapist, your children will develop both socially and emotionally when you regularly show them that they are loved and wanted. Show interest in your child’s emotions by asking her how she feels about events or circumstances. That will help her develop her emotions in a healthy manner.

Encourage him to show his emotions, advises PBS. Children who are able to express a range of emotions are more emotionally developed that children who are not, according to the network. You can help him develop those emotions by teaching him to appropriately express them. For example, when he is angry and throws a toy across the room, you can tell him that it’s OK to be angry, but that he cannot throw objects. Teach him a better way of handling his anger, such as taking deep breaths or walking away from the cause of his anger.

Nurture your own emotional and social needs. According to Kristin Reinsberg, you have to set a good example for your children if you want to foster their social and emotional development. When you take the time to take care of your own emotional and social needs, you are better able to provide your children with their own social and emotional needs.

Play with him. According to PBS, kids learn social development by exploring, and this includes doing simple acts such as playing peek-a-boo or hide and seek with you or others he loves. When he is encouraged to play games with his loved ones, he becomes aware of others, how they interact and that even when he cannot see them, they are still there. Do not be alarmed if he becomes physical when playing with others -- that's part of the social development plan. For example, if he pushes another child down when that child takes a toy from him, you can help him develop his social skills by teaching him the appropriate way to handle the problem.

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