The Importance of Socio-emotional Development
Socio-emotional development is critical during the preschool and kindergarten years (Reschke, 2019; Stanberry, 2019). It has been linked to healthy intellectual growth and is thought to be a foundation for future school achievement (Bohlin & Hagekull, 2009; Stanberry, 2019). Poor socio-emotional development can lead to disruptive behavioral problems that studies have found to be extremely stable across childhood and adolescence (Bohlin & Hagekull, 2009). Recent societal changes have increased the emphasis on cultivating these skills in young children (Lee, 2019).
Socio-emotional development is a combination of social and emotional intelligence (Carter, 2016). It specifically refers to a child’s capacity for self-confidence, trust, and empathy (Carter, 2016; Stanberry, 2019). It also includes being able to use language as a means of expression and cognitive curiosity (Bohlin & Hagekull, 2009; Carter, 2016). Socio-emotional development is influenced by three central factors: biology, including genetics and temperament, environment, including socioeconomic status and support, and relationships. Biology involves factors such as genetics and temperament (Bohlin & Hagekull, 2009).
Fostering Socio-emotional Development
Positive socio-emotional development comes as a result of child curiosity, temperament, parental involvement, and positive interactions. Caregivers are integral to the development of socio-emotional skills and are encouraged to foster several skills to ensure appropropriate development in this area (Bohlin & Hagekull, 2009; Carter, 2016; Reschke, 2019; Stanberry, 2019).
These steps include fostering your child’s...
- Confidence : By means of confidence, children can learn to trust their feelings and participate in child directed activities.
- Curiosity : Children should be encouraged to take interest in the world and things outside of themselves.
- Self-Control : We should provide children with incentive to do things like sit calmly, listen to stories, and provide feedback.
- Relatedness : Leading by example, caregivers should model empathy by showing concern for others, displaying emotions, and accepting emotions. They should also provide their children with opportunities to provide empathy and reward them for doing so.
- Communication : Teaching children to work through their conflicts can foster effective communication. Children she be encouraged to talk about how they feel as well as listen to the thoughts of others.
- Cooperation : Cooperation and interdependence are pivotal to socio-emotional development. It mimics the realities of the real world, fosters empathy, and helps children to communicate effectively.
From what has been studied, we can confidently state that children with socio-emotional intelligence have a greater likelihood of achieving success in school and in life. Therefore time should be taken to ensure the socio-emotional development of your child is on track so that they have what is needed to succeed.
Bohlin, G., & Hagekull, B. (2009). Socio‐emotional development: From infancy to young adulthood. Scandanavian Journal of Psychology, 50(6), 592-601. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00787.x
Carter, D. (2016). Nature-Based Social-Emotional Approach to Supporting Young Children’s Holistic Development in Classrooms With and Without Walls: The Social-Emotional and Environmental Education Development (SEED) Framework. [PDF]. Retrieved from https://naturalstart.org/sites/default/files/journal/5._final_carter.pdf
Lee, M. (2019). Today's preschool incorporates more than ABC's. [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.recorder.com/Trauma-informed-care-29683865
NCSL (2005). Helping your children succeed-Strategies to promote early childhood social and emotional development.
Reschke, K. (2019). Who am I? Developing a sense of self and belonging [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/2648-who-am-i-developing-a-sense-of-self-and-belonging
Stanberry, K. (2019). Understanding Social and emotional development in preschoolers. [Web]. http://www.getreadytoread.org/early-learning-childhood-basics/early-childhood/understanding-social-and-emotional-development-in-preschoolers