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Getting to Know Your Children’s Social Emotional Growth

By : Ida Ayu Diva Saraswati

Children’s social skills begin to develop at birth. As they are motivated, have positive relationships and develop on track, they are more likely to be successful in school. Take a moment to think about who have a big impact on your child when they start to learn about socializing with their environment. In the first stage, parents must support their child's social-emotional development, which are the essential components to the children’s education as well. This helps them feel safe and motivated to express their feelings, needs and thoughts.

Children need guidance to grow in their social-emotional skills and learn to control these. Children’s social-emotional growth is critical to help them to do more than just express their emotions but rather engage in meaningful relationships with others, too. Let’s take a look at these points of social emotional growth.

  1. Relationships with others. Building good communication is an important aspect of their development. It can be seen through the way children make and keep friends. It is like a reflection of how their parents treat them at home. Children’s first education starts at home and broadens through their experiences from the outside world like school and the neighbourhood. Parents, as a social support system, can help children to form their self-image and confidence.

  2. Self-awareness. As children grow, their ability to control their feelings and emotions should also develop and improve. It is reflected in how children take turns in discussions and have conversations with their parents and peers. Aside from this, they are learning to do self-evaluation and differentiate appropriate and inappropriate choices and their consequences.

  3. Children get to manage their emotions. Younger children express their emotions by crying, shouting, hitting when they are feeling frustrated or even by punching things. As they grow older they start to learn how to control it. They will begin to have a better understanding of what emotions are and try to discuss how they feel to people who are close to them. In this stage, they unconsciously develop empathy and sympathy for others.

  4. The ability to cope with stress. Having the feeling of stress is not only faced by adults but also children. That feeling can be the result of a variety of circumstances. As an adult we already know how to cope with it. We can release it by walking, doing sports, meditation or doing things that we like. However, it is different with children who are getting to know about this feeling. As mentioned by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are some causes why children get stressed.

  • Feeling pressure to get good grades

  • Feeling left out of a group of peers

  • Not having done homework

  • Not being good enough at sports

  • Being late for school

  • Having parents argue in front of them

Primary school aged children are experiencing many things related to their emotions. They learn it through imitating, watching and responding to the social behaviors of others. They also learn it from others responding to their emotions. Healthy social-emotional growth is strongly related to the supportive parents and caregivers. Responsive and supportive parents are essential to help children communicate their emotions and express their feelings in order to experience healthy social-emotional growth.

Alzahrani, A., Alharbi, M., Alodwani, A. (2019). The Effect of Social-Emotional Competence on Children Academic Achievement and Behavioral Development. International Education Studies. 12(12).

Boyd, J.,Barnett , W., etc. (2005). Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool Education. Retrieved's_Social_and_Emotional_Development_Through_Preschool_Education

Koivula, M & Huttunen, K. (2018). Children’s Social-Emotional Development and its Support: Guest Editorial. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research. 7(2). 177-183

Soundy, C. S., & Stout, N. L. (2002). Fostering the Emotional and Language Needs of Young Learners. Young Children, March 2002, 20-24.


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