Part of the framework for early school success is a child's social and emotional development. A positive self-concept, appropriate self-control, and awareness of interacting with others will help your child learn. Play is a great vehicle to build self-confidence and relationships.
Here are five easy ways to help your child practice and develop these crucial skills.
- Set up “play-dates” with classmates or neighborhood children. In good weather make sure there is lots of outdoor play. If indoors, make sure it’s a “no electronics” time.
- Encourage individual creative play by giving your child a few objects and let them create something. For example, paper plates, ribbon, brown paper bags, old buttons, crayons, glue, and scissors, etc.
- Take 20-30 minutes to explore a park with a slide, swings, jungle gyms, etc. Observe how your child interacts with other children. If your child was shy, or too aggressive “role play” on the way home about what could have been done or said to interact differently.
- Practice “conversation skills.” Model good speaking (eye contact, clear voice) and good listening (eye contact, nodding) so that your child learns good conversation consists of these two parts.
- Teach responsibility with a small daily or weekly “job.” (Setting the table, putting objects in the recycling bin, separating darks and lights for the laundry, etc.)