5 Tips to Promote Social-Emotional Health Among Young Children

  1. Praise. Catch your child being good! Praise your child often for even small accomplishments such as playing nicely with brothers or sisters, helping to pick up toys, waiting her turn or being a good sport.
  2. Play. Talk with your child, tell stories, sing and make rhymes together. It isespecially important to try and reconnect for a few minutes after separations. Include some type of regular physical activity such as a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.
  3. Connect. Make time for a routine that includes regular family meals, when parents and children can sit and talk about their day together. Play the “high-low” game by taking turns sharing the best and not-so-good parts of the day.
  4. Don’t give in, but forgive quickly. Be consistent with limits for your child and enforce a rule with supportive understanding. Encourage learning from mistakes so that they do not happen again. Try giving choices when your child is oppositional (e.g., Would you like me to carry you upstairs to bed or would you like to walk?)
  5. Work through feelings. Everyone experiences anger and stress! Help your child to find acceptable ways of working through these feelings. It is okay to be mad but never okay to hit anyone or destroy property.

Information courtesy of the American Academy for Pediatrics www.aap.org