Social -Emotional Resources
As you search for the best child care program for your family, don't forget to consider a very important area of child development: learning social and emotional skills, or how to get along with others and how to understand and express feelings in an appropriate way. Social and emotional skills are the foundation of all learning in the early years, and affect a child's behavior at home and with others, their ability to make friends, their willingness to try new things and handle frustrations, and future success in school and in life. Teachers who focus on helping children develop social-emotional skills are truly getting these early learners ready for school! Below you'll find a variety of resources to help you think about supporting your child's social-emotional development.
- The Classroom Social Emotional Checklist for Parents will help you view a classroom through a social-emotional lens. Spend some time in the classroom and ask yourself if you would enjoy spending your days there...how does it feel to you? Look around the physical space. Notice how the day flows. Observe the teacher interacting with the children. Print this checklist for referral as you visit each classroom you consider.
- NC's Office of School Readiness at the Department of Public Instruction developed a brochure to help parents know What to Look for in a High-Quality Inclusive Preschool Prosocial Learning Environment. In addition to listing specific environmental and caregiver attributes that support prosocial learning, this brochure describes social and emotional skills that 3, 4, and pre-K 5-year-old children should have.
- Plays Well with Others is an age-related guide to a young child's typical social-emotional development, and what behaviors might be worth asking about. If a behavior seems unusual, occurs repeatedly, or is long-lasting, this may mean the child could benefit from some extra help. Catching problems at an early age makes them much easier to solve! The guide also includes ideas for things a parent can do to support their child's social and emotional development.
- The Family Routine Guide, available in both English and Spanish, was developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning to assist parents and caregivers in developing a plan to support young children who are using challenging behavior. Children engage in challenging behavior for a variety of reasons, but all children use challenging behavior to communicate messages. Challenging behavior typically communicates either:
- a need to escape or avoid a person/activity,
- a desire to obtain someone/something, or
- a need to change their level of stimulation.
Once parents understand the purpose or meaning of the behavior, they can begin to select strategies to change the behavior. They can do this by selecting prevention strategies, teaching new skills, and changing the way they respond in an effort to eliminate or minimize the challenging behavior. The Family Routine Guide includes strategies for 16 common routines and activities that occur during a family's week.
- Positive Solutions for Families provides 8 practical tips for parenting young children with challenging behavior. Developed by the Center for Evidence Based Practices at the University of South Florida, these tips can help families develop specific approaches that can be used in everyday life.
- Helping Children Play and Learn Together, published in the January 2010 issue of Young Children* magazine from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), explores how carefully arranging the environment, focusing on children's skills and strengths, and regularly celebrating these strengths within early childhood settings can help promote peer interaction among all children. The article was co-authored by Michaelene M. Ostrosky, PhD, professor of special education at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, and Hedda Meadan, PhD, assistant professor of special education at Illinois State University. *Young Children is a peer-reviewed journal regularly published by NAEYC and contains articles of importance to the field of early childhood education.
- The website for the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI) includes a Families Community where information and select resources have been compiled specifically with the needs of families in mind. Many of the materials are also available in Spanish and Chinese translations. The community Includes:
- The website for Zero To Three, a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers and parents to improve knowledge and know-how on nurturing early development, provides a number of parenting resources.