October 1, 2018
Little Emotions, Big Skills
Build essential social-emotional skills by helping your child develop tools to manage feelings.
As your child’s mind and body grows, social-emotional skills and well-being do too! Children go through a lot of changes and learn a lot of things about feelings from birth through pre-K. You can nurture that growth every day.
Challenging Behaviors Give You The Chance To Build Connections & Skills
When a baby cries a lot…
- Don’t hesitate to give lots of hugs.
- Use a calm voice.
- Build word skills: “You are crying. Are you sad that you spilled your food?”
- Take care of yourself if you feel maxed out — taking a break is okay!
When toddler meltdowns happen…
- let them know their feelings matter.
- Help them calm down.
- Share skills: “You seem very upset. Let’s take deep breaths together.”
- Know that every person raising children has been there sometime — it’s part of helping them grow up.
When preschool pals get mad at each other…
- Talk about your child’s feelings.
- Help them think about how the other child feels: “How might you feel if…”
- Encourage your child to talk with their friend when they’re calm. Another great strategy is writing or drawing our feelings.
- Chat together about why talking through conflict is important.
Kirsten Eamon-Shine directs Early Learning Indiana’s communications efforts, including the Brighter Futures Indiana website. She loves telling stories that help adults nurture the curiosity and potential of children. She spent over a decade in the youth development field at IUPUI, the Marion County Commission on Youth and Peace Learning Center, and has diverse experience as a digital communications manager and strategist with community-focused organizations and businesses. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Indiana University. She spends her free time reading children’s and grown-ups’ books, enjoying Indianapolis’ cultural and food scenes, and listening to music with her husband and son Emerson, who is somehow old enough to be in kindergarten.
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