An Early Childhood Milestone

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Social and emotional skills play a tremendous role in helping your child lead a positive, happy and successful life. If developed from an early stage, these skills can help the child in strengthening his/her mental health, self-esteem, peer-relations and behaviour. These go on to become the building stones to your child’s meaningful future.

Solving conflicts peacefully, having a caring attitude, projecting emotions in a healthy manner are the signs of a balanced and thoughtful adult – and the seeds of all of this can be sown during early childhood

How can we support our children in developing these skills from an early stage and over time?

  1. Model appropriate behaviour: Using kind words and modelling warm, thoughtful, considerate and respectful behaviour gently leads to the mirroring of the same behaviour in children. Later, they naturally adopt this behaviour as their own. The child’s efforts should be appreciated in the process.
  2. Be emotionally literate: Motivate children to express their emotions. Think out loud and share your emotions with your child. If need be, problem solve with them to make them cope with appropriately expressing emotions. This will help the child in understanding the complex web of emotions and stably find their being within them. .
  3. Read and watch content: Read stories and watch videos that have socio-emotional characters and plots. Remember the movie Inside Out? Watch it with your kid, if you haven’t already.
  4. Play games: When you play game with your children, they get exposed to the concept of winning and losing, taking turns, sharing and negotiating. Use this opportunity to channelize their emotions.
  5. Let your child make decisions: Allow your children to make age-appropriate choices. Appreciate them when they make good decisions. Shower them appropriately with positive words of praise and encouragement. In case of harmful or negative decision making, gently reason with them and nudge them to arrive at better choices themselves. Remember, if they do it by choice, they will pursue it longer.

High emotional intelligence is a core competence for leaders of tomorrow. Nurturing your child’s socio-emotional development from an early age will make them grow into an empathetic and confident adults, who live by cherishing values. An emotionally literate child makes for a complete person.