Young children are navigating new social and emotional situations everyday. From friendship skills to problem solving to self-control, there are many things to learn in order to be successful in later childhood. It can be challenging to figure out it all out and children need to be encouraged and supported as they are learning. Remember that emotions can feel really BIG to a young child. So how can you help your child through all of this emotional growth?
- Talk about feelings, label them, and give them names. Talk about situations that you have encountered together when someone was feeling a BIG feeling. I noticed that Sam was really feeling sad when his Mommy dropped him off at preschool today. Did you notice that too? or I could tell that you were feeling frustrated when Emily took your toy at playgroup. Let's make a plan for next time you feel frustrated.
- Read books about feelings. We have many social emotional book recommendations on fledglingkids.com. Each book is chosen because it addresses a feeling, provides a strategy, or helps solve a problem. Be proactive with social emotional books. They should not be read simply to address a behavior that happened. Read them often and use them to start conversations with your child about how he or she is feeling.
Yes, this is touchy-feely, but it is important. By reading books about feelings to your child, you can demystify social situations, increase empathy, and help your child to better understand common life experiences. Your child will feel more comfortable with social interactions,friends and preschool. Furthermore, your child will know what to do when he or she has a BIG feeling such as being really angry, sad or scared.
Time spent reading books is quality time spent connecting with you child. Mix in a conversation about feelings and you have doubled the value of that time.
Let Them Fly!