A child begins his social and emotional development from birth. The first five years of your child’s life are considered the most critical stages because it is where the main areas of development prosper, such as motor skills, cognitive, communication, and social and emotional development.
Parents play a vital role in the emotional development of a child because, during childhood, it’s the parents who help them express the emotions that they feel. It’s the parent’s responsibility to teach the child how to manage their emotions.
Emotional development means how children start to understand who they are, what they are feeling, and what to expect when interacting with others. Here are some of the important aspects that a parent should know about a child’s emotional development growing up.
Be Sensitive to Your Child’s Feelings
For you to be able to be sensitive to your child’s feelings, you need to observe your child’s behavior. Toddlers are not well versed in expressing their feelings.
As a parent, be attentive when your child is trying to say something; tell your child what you think he feels like saying. With this, you are giving your child an acknowledgment that what he says matters to you.
You should be able to interpret non-verbal cues that your child shows, such as their facial expression, tone of voice, and gestures. Don’t ignore your child’s feelings of distress and frustration.
Make them feel that you can give them comfort when they are upset about something. To better understand your child, teach them more vocabulary, so it would be easier for them to express what they feel and need.
Reinforce Good Behavior
A way to boost the social and emotional development of the child is through positive reinforcement. Just simply praising your child for doing good deeds, they will demonstrate positive behaviors and favorable emotions towards other people.
What’s good about commending your child’s good behavior is that it makes them feel good about themselves. This will also help them have a better understanding of why it’s important to do desirable acts.
Provide Your Child with Opportunities to Solve Problems Independently
A way to help a child to become dependent is to let them handle their mistakes. Guide your child to evaluate his own problem-solving strategies.
Children tend to have an outburst of emotions when they cannot come up with problem-solving strategies. As a parent, encourage them still to find ways on how to solve their problems. Support your child’s developing skills; help him/her, but don’t do everything for your child, even if it takes longer or is messy.
You can teach your child empathy by means of asking your child how others feel. You may let them watch a video consisting of different emotions portrayed.
Ask them questions like “what’s the story is all about?” How did the story make you feel?” When your child can easily express how he feels, that’s the time that you can ask them about what they think other people feel.
Emotional development during childhood will help children prepare to build good relationships with their peers, especially when they start school.
As a parent, if you don’t have knowledge of how to help the development of the emotional aspect of your child, you may ask for the professional help from a child psychologist, social worker, counselor, etc.