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Social Emotional

She’s finding out how to fit in, but still be herself.

Triangle 9

To be “good with people.” It seems like such a simple skill, but it’s such an important one – and your kid is learning it now. She’s seeing how to trust her own skills but still try new things. She’s getting better at predicting how a classmate might react to something, but she still has to be ready for surprises.

Your Pre-Kindergartener

It’s an age when we, as kids, experience plenty of contradictions. As her parent, you probably deal with a wide range of emotions, too. The happy, outgoing kid you dropped off at preschool may be quiet and grumpy when you see her later.

What matters most right now is that she’s learning to deal with her feelings. You’re seeing her getting better and better at explaining what’s going on in her head. Don’t expect her to have full control just yet, of course. Just being there for her, through the ups and downs, is exactly what she needs.

  • Here’s How I Feel

    What does your kid do when he sees a friend is upset? It probably depends on the day – anything from offering comfort to making sure he doesn’t get blamed! But he’s also becoming more aware of his own feelings and learning how to deal with them. Think back to him as a baby, and it’s clear: Your kid has come a long way.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Do children use lots of feeling words throughout the day? Learning to talk about emotions and show empathy for others is essential -- and teachers should be helping them and reacting positively throughout the day. "I hear you saying that you are frustrated."

  • Different is OK

    “Uh-oh,” you think. “I always pick her up from school, but next week I’ll need to find another ride for her. I wonder how she’ll take it?” Then, much to your surprise, she adapts! Your kid is learning, little by little, how to go with the flow. This will make things easier for both of you.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Do teachers support children in managing changes to the daily schedule -- or perhaps some not-all-that-positive ideas? Children are learning about self-control and choice making, and adults should be helping them manage challenges while giving them chances to make their own choices.

  • We Can Work It Out

    You may have had to “step in” when he had disagreements with other kids in the past. Now, don’t be surprised if he’s the one who suggests a solution. Your little peacemaker may not always succeed – or even try – but it’s great to see any attempts. Feel free to help him figure out what will work best.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Children at this age are learning how resolve their own conflicts independently. When a disagreement pops up, are children working through it -- or encouraged to do so? Are teachers ready to support them if and when they need a little help?

  • I Love My Friends

    There’s not much better than having a best friend. And your kid may be in the right stage to experience this now. She could even be ready to show how much she likes another person, whether they’re her own age or an adult, with some kind words or a handmade craft. Awww…

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Friendship and compromise skills blossom in pre-K. Do adults encourage happy and enthusiastic interactions? Do teachers call children by name? Do other children call each other by name?

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Friendship

    Help your child build friendships with playmates. When you talk together, invite your child to think about and share what is fun about a friend. You can build the chat into dinnertime. It’s also great as part of a bedtime routine. “Looks like you and Zane had a blast today! Tell me what you did that had you both laughing so much. What do you want to do with him next time?”

  • Let's Make Faces!

    Get out a mirror and make silly faces together! As you sit side by side, looking in the mirror, make a face. Then, have your child guess your pretend feeling. Be playful with it, and take turns seeing if you can guess the emotion! Talking about feelings during fun times makes it easier to explore them in tough times. If your child loves making faces, consider doing the same with drawings.

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