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Activities for Children's Emotional & Social Development

by
author image Sharon H. Bolling
Sharon Bolling holds a master's in counseling and human development with a concentration in school counseling from Radford University. She is an experienced instructor of both high school and college students. She has been writing for Demand Media online since April 2013.
Activities for Children's Emotional & Social Development
Young girls playing board game. Photo Credit Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images

Activities that stimulate social and emotional development can enhance your child's ability to relate with others and boost feelings of confidence. Social and emotional competence is important for academic and occupational success. Healthy social and emotional skills can reduce the chances of risky behaviors and prepare your child for the challenges of life.

Promote Personal Growth

Recognize the uniqueness of your child's interests. Find community programs, after-school activities, sports or classes that foster growth in those areas. Acknowledge accomplishments and provide encouragement to nurture your child's participation in these activities, suggests the Edutopia website, a project of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. When engaged in conversation, give attention to your child's interests. By embracing individuality, you can help your child feel confident enough to pursue personal passions.

Value Storytime

Begin a habit of reading to your child early. This not only enhances language ability but also can provide a platform to connect with your child by giving examples of socially and emotionally healthy behaviors through stories, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website notes. When characters in books behave appropriately, you can talk to your child about these positive behaviors. In the same vein, when you read about inappropriate behaviors, discuss the impact of the character's negative actions and what could have been done differently.

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Interactive Play

Children benefit from playing with other kids their age. Socializing can equip your child with problem solving skills in relational matters. For younger children, these early social experiences provide an opportunity to practice interacting with others in an appropriate way. When difficult situations arise, teach your child how to find appropriate solutions. Ask your child questions that lead to the best choices, such as "what do you think you should do?" or "if you choose this solution, what will the consequences be?"

Positive Parenting

Using the right parenting techniques may complement your child's involvement in social activities. Respond to your child calmly and gently when problematic circumstances occur, be willing to apologize when you are wrong and avoid humiliating or mocking your child, CASEL advises. NYC Project Launch urges parents to set and then stick by clear boundaries while showing understanding, respect and patience. Offer support and foster emotional growth by acknowledging your child's feelings and listening to any concerns.

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References

Demand Media