Positive social and emotional development plays an important role in your child growing into a well adjusted adult. A strong foundation in social and emotional development is how your child will build self confidence, empathy, and the ability to form meaningful and lasting relationships throughout their life.
DEFINITION OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Social development is all about the ability to relate to others and form positive relationships. Socialization is such an integral part of life, so it’s no surprise that social development holds such importance to peoples’ success and well-being. It is important to foster strong social development in children so that they may be successful in joining groups, working with others, and building meaningful and lasting relationships. By age five, your child has grown tremendously in the area of social development since they were an infant.
5-YEAR-OLD SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
- Wants to be like their friends
- Shows independence
- Able to tell the difference between make believe and reality
- Wants to please their friends
- Follows rules more willingly
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
5-year-olds are excellent story tellers. Having them create their own social stories is a great way to practice social skills. At this age, children often know how to respond to different social situations when talking about it, but it is different when it is real. Practicing these scenarios through stories can make it easier to handle in real life.
Games that help your preschooler regulate their behavior are also great social learning activities. “Simon Says” and “Red Light, Green Light” are great games for practicing following directions, as well as getting your child to practice regulating their own behavior.
DEFINITION OF EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Emotional development is learning how to identify, manage, and express emotions, as well how to relate to others’. Having a strong foundation in emotional intelligence will set your child up for success in their personal relationships throughout their lives and promotes more prosocial behavior. It also gives them the tools that they need to successfully navigate difficult situations in life.
5-YEAR-OLD EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
- Expresses emotions verbally
- Has fewer outbursts of anger
- Needs help identifying and talking about more complex emotions
- Expresses likes and dislikes
- Shows increasing independence
EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
Engage in pretend play with your preschooler and you will be supporting the learning of many social and emotional skills. Participating in group dramatic pretend play helps with emotional self-regulation. Some great pretend play scenarios for preschoolers are pretending to be chefs, playing a make-believe family, or pretending to be working in a grocery store. Whatever type of dramatic pretend play you choose, it will benefit your child’s emotional development greatly.
Interpreting facial expressions is an important social-emotional skill that helps people anticipate what other people will do, and what others need. You can support your preschoolers ability to read facial expressions by playing games like emotion charades. Have children take turns acting out emotions and guessing what emotion is being displayed. Talk about key features that they will notice for each emotion. For example, when someone is sad their lips will curve downward. When someone is mad their eyebrows furrow.