The term “social-emotional development” refers to the process by which youngsters discover how to communicate their emotions, build relationships, and hone their social abilities. This lesson serves as an introduction to the social and emotional development of children during the preschool years, as well as an examination of the significance of this development for the children’s overall development and learning.
Consider what has transpired over the course of the last few days. What are some of the feelings that you experienced? Do you remember being happy, unhappy, furious, afraid, or upset as a result of hearing news, having a conversation, or getting into an argument? Now think about how the emotions you were experiencing at the time might have impacted some of the social interactions you had or the relationships you had with other people.
Emotions have an effect on who we are, as well as on our ability to pay attention, remember, and learn new information; on our capacity to build connections; and on both our physical and mental health. They also have an impact on our actions, behaviors, and the relationships we have with other people. Recall some joyful moments from your past. How did those emotions influence your behavior, and how did that, in turn, effect the encounters you had? Now, think back to moments when you were sad, angry, or otherwise upset. How did those feelings affect the way you behaved and the people you interacted with?
A meaningful and successful involvement in life events, both in our professional and our personal lives, requires the development of fundamental skills, including the ability to label, identify, and manage emotions. The capacity to comprehend one’s own feelings and to make effective use of those feelings to direct one’s thoughts and behavior is what is meant by the phrase “emotional intelligence.” The ability to successfully control your feelings and steer clear of irritation and disappointment is a benefit of developing your emotional intelligence. The quality of our lives and the interactions we have with other people can both be significantly impacted by our emotions.
Social-Emotional development– What is it?
At birth, children already start the process of developing their social and emotional skills. According to research, children are born already having the ability to connect with other people who are in their surroundings. When a child’s emotional and physical needs are satisfied, learning pathways to the brain are developed. These pathways lead to learning, which in turn leads to development in all areas of child development. Emotional cues, such as smiling, sobbing, or expressing interest and attention, have a significant impact on the actions and reactions of other people. Similarly, the emotional responses of other people might have an effect on the social behaviors of youngsters. As children get older and continue to develop, the social and emotional skills they use become less focused on getting their own needs met by their caregivers and more focused on taking part in routines and enjoying experiences with friends and caregivers. This shift occurs because children’s needs change as they get older and as they develop.
The early years of childhood are a crucial period for the development of favorable attitudes toward oneself, toward other people, and toward the greater environment. Young children learn and grow in the context of their interactions, and when they are supported, cared for, and welcomed by both adults and their peers, they have a greater chance of becoming well-adjusted adults. On the other hand, children who are not properly cared for, who are rejected, or who are abused are at an increased risk of experiencing difficulties in their social and mental health.
It is critical to promote the mental, social, and emotional well-being of preschoolers for the following reasons:
- Relationships formed in childhood lay the groundwork for either a healthy or dysfunctional development of the brain.
- Failure in early schooling is a predictor of failure in later schooling, and early school failure is a predictor of poor social, emotional, and behavioral development.
- Early intervention has been shown to lessen the need for more expensive therapies later on.
Investing in children at a young age will enable them to contribute to society in their adult years.
Take a minute to give some thought to the meaning of social and emotional development in your life. What springs to mind right away? How do you describe the process of social and emotional growth to other people? In the following, we will examine five of the most important skills necessary for social and emotional growth. It is essential to keep in mind that children in preschool are still developing these skills to varying degrees. We shouldn’t expect preschoolers to have advanced social awareness or decision-making skills; instead, we should recognize that they are on the path to acquiring these skills, with guidance and support from their families and teachers. Preschoolers are on the path to acquiring these skills, with guidance and support from their families and teachers.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning identifies the following five fundamental components as constituting social and emotional development, which is often referred to as social-emotional learning.
- Self awareness
This is the capacity to appropriately detect one’s own thoughts and emotions, as well as the influence such things have on one’s conduct. This entails having an accurate assessment of one’s own skills and limitations, as well as having a well-grounded feeling of confidence and optimism in one’s abilities.
When a preschooler is able to understand and name their own feelings, we have evidence that this is the case. For instance, a preschooler might tell their teacher, “I am sad because I do not want to share my toy from home.” This would be an effective way for them to control their negative feelings. Additionally, children in preschool age range exhibit self-awareness when they identify and express their feelings through the use of props such as dolls.
- Self management
This is the capacity to effectively regulate one’s feelings, ideas, and actions in response to a variety of challenging circumstances. This encompasses the management of stress, the control of impulses, the motivation of oneself, the setting of personal and academic objectives, and the working toward the achievement of those goals.
Self-management can be seen in preschoolers when they are able to wait their turn, accept reminders about free play ending and clean up, and follow routines with simple reminders. Other examples of self-management include the ability to share.
- Social awareness
This is the capacity to understand social norms for behavior, empathize with people whose backgrounds and cultures are different from one’s own, take the perspective of others from different backgrounds and cultures, and recognize the resources and supports available within the family, the school, and the community.
When a preschooler expresses sympathy for a friend who is feeling down, helps another child rebuild their block town after it has been knocked over, or offers to help a peer who is upset after spilling milk, they are developing their social awareness. Other examples include helping another child rebuild their block town after it has been knocked over. Children as young as preschoolers can demonstrate a capacity for social awareness when they show care for the requirements of others.
- Relationship skills
This refers to one’s capacity to form and sustain positive and mutually beneficial connections with a wide variety of people and organizations. This includes the ability to communicate effectively, to actively listen, to cooperate, to avoid giving in to social pressure, to resolve conflicts, and to seek or offer assistance when it is required.
When a conflict with a peer begins, preschoolers demonstrate their developing relationship skills by seeking support from a teacher or making suggestions to peers about ways in which they can work together. Words, rather than actions, are the primary means by which preschoolers communicate their intense emotions.
- Proper decision making
This is the capacity to make decisions regarding one’s personal behavior and one’s interactions with other people that are constructive and courteous. This includes taking into consideration ethical standards, concerns regarding safety, social norms, the realistic evaluation of the repercussions of various acts, as well as one’s own and other people’s well-being.
A preschooler is demonstrating responsible decision-making when they wait for another kid to finish playing on a swing before using it themselves, when they offer to share their paint with a classmate, or when they hold a bubble wand so that a classmate can blow bubbles.
The role of families in Social – Emotional Development
Children hone their social and emotional abilities within the context of their connections with the adults who are primarily responsible for their care, as well as within the context of their families and cultures. Think about how different people are in our society. You can probably understand that this diversity is also evident in the manner in which families from various cultures educate children how to handle their feelings, interact with others, and participate in community activities. Children in various societies are taught, for instance, to avoid making direct eye contact with other people. In several other cultures, maintaining eye contact throughout conversation is considered to be of the utmost importance. Parenting styles and the manner in which people are instructed to deal with their feelings, including stress management and coming to terms with adversity, are also influenced by culture.
The importance of one’s family can have an effect on one’s social and emotional development. For instance, certain families may place a high importance on discussing feelings and expressing them as they arise, but other families may place a higher value on doing the opposite of what was just mentioned. When interacting with the families of the children in your care as well as the children themselves, your role as a preschool teacher requires you to be aware to, and respectful of, individual differences in social and emotional development.