The next stage to a child’s social and emotional development is learning to adapt to the results they are given. When another child takes away the toy they’re playing with or when they’re being prevented from climbing into dangerous places, these are opportunities for a child to develop better adaptation.
For a young child, the first response would almost always be caving in to the big emotion they are feeling. Thus, the temper tantrums, crying and wailing.
As a parent or caregiver, one should learn how to deal with hearing their little one display dramatic behaviour as a way of coping. Instead of preventing the tantrum from being carried out fully, a parent must let it die down naturally. A parent or caregiver can then communicate with the toddler to help him/her understand what they are feeling. Use simple words that the toddler can understand, so they begin to learn and label their emotions.
Integration: Choosing to be the bigger person
As the child begins to understand the emotions they have, and recognise when, where, and why they are experiencing these emotions, they can then begin to practise self-regulation of the emotions they are feeling. Managing their response when feeling big emotions is a key skill they are learning at this stage.
A child around the age of three to five is now able to understand it’s okay to be frustrated or annoyed but that their behavior shouldn’t be to throw a tantrum. They are able to consider the social environment they are in, control their emotions and behaviour, and most importantly, communicate what they are feeling properly to their peers, adults, or caregivers present.
How to Help Young Children Develop their Social Emotional Skills
Parents and caregivers are the main source of young children when it comes to developing their social emotional learning skills. Here are some ways on how parents and caregivers can cultivate the social and emotional development of little ones.
Encourage self-soothing behaviour