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Kentucky Strengthening Families

Social and Emotional Competence of Children

Social and Emotional Competence of Children

Your children watch your every move and learn from you. You can teach them how to understand and manage their feelings and how to have good relationships. Teaching children how to build healthy relationships will provide life-long benefits.

What it looks like:

  • Families encourage and reinforce positive social skills and set limits in a positive way.
  • Families foster their child’s age appropriate self-regulation.
  • Families help their child manage and communicate feelings.
  • Families understand the importance of social and emotional development in young children.

Everyday actions:

  • Help families understand developmentally appropriate social/emotional skills and behaviors
  • Educate adults on how to encourage children to express feelings through words, artwork and expressive play
  • Help children develop a positive cultural identity and interact in a diverse society
  • Respond proactively when social or emotional development needs extra support
  • Create an environment in which children feel safe to express their emotions

What can I do?

  • Provide regular routines, especially for young children. Make sure everyone who cares for your child is aware of your routines around mealtimes, naps and bedtime
  • Talk with your children about how important feelings are and allow your children to express their emotions
  • Teach your child the words they need to express their feelings ( sad, happy, mad)
  • Encourage children to solve problems (example: sharing toys)
  • Praise your child when he or she shows self-control and expresses feelings with words
  • Be a positive example and show kindness
  • Set up play opportunities and encourage positive play (example: cooperation vs. competition)