Learning and experiencing the world

Socio-emotional well-being is established through nurturing relationships and community experiences.

Socio-emotional well-being is established through nurturing relationships and community experiences.

It allows children and adults to grow into caring, emotionally healthy individuals.

The ability to understand emotion, initiate and maintain secure relationships are all important aspects of early social-emotional functioning. The causes of different emotions and the thoughts and beliefs they represent begin to be understood by children four to five years of age.

It is during this time that a child learns how to meet other children, how to solve problems, how to take turns, and how to communicate effectively. However there are some differences between children. Parenting style, parent-child attachment, parent-child conversations, and the parents approach to discipline all have an effect on a child’s emotional understanding.

Self Concept: Young children develop their self-concept very early in life. Parents can assist in forming a child’s self-concept by recognizing unique qualities that the child possesses, and by paying attention to the child’s temperament.

Self Confidence: Children with self-confidence have a feeling of internal worth which in turn makes it easier for them to face challenges and to work with others.

When children lack this confidence, their focus tends to be on failure rather than success.

Self Esteem: Compliment your child often. Encourage your child to make nice comments about and show appreciation for others.

Encourage them to make their own choices. Show that your child’s opinion is important by actively listening while they are speaking. Explain reasons for your actions, and encourage your children to try new and challenging activities.

Additional tips to keep in mind: Honest Recognition and Praise: Parents should focus on being more specific when praising their children.

Instead of saying “good job,” point out something specific that the child has done. For example, if a child is coloring tell them how well they did by staying within the lines, or how you love the many different colors they used.

Respect: Show respect by offering your child choices and by respecting their decisions. By showing confidence in your child’s ability to make decisions, parents are able to build their self- esteem. Make sure to explain the reasons behind set rules or decisions that are made. Try not to talk about children in front of them unless they are included in the conversation.

Competence: Encourage your child to make their own choices and to be independent. Provide experiences and activities that will encourage their success. Provide opportunities that are challenging, but not frustrating. Offer activities that encourage creativity which allows children to express themselves. Present opportunities for children to interact with others their age and to discover how to get along with them, such as play dates.

Model behaviour: Model the behaviour you would like to see as it is the best way for children to develop socially, including being respectful (saying please and thank you and asking for their help with tasks). Be sure to give a comment to your child when they are behaving appropriately (e.g. thank you for chewing with your mouth closed, I like how you said thank you for that gift).

Sharing from the heart: Create an environment of kindness and generosity as children will then be able to naturally ‘share from the heart.’ Explain how sharing and being considerate makes others feel happy and good too.

Childhood gives children a chance to learn about the world and others.

To support their socio-emotional development, it is necessary for children to experience people and situations that model effective behaviour, healthy expressions of emotions and positive social interactions as this will enable them to develop their own ways of dealing with everyday life challenges.

Positive Parenting appears every week in LIFE. This week’s column was written by Sharla Astels, an second-year student in marriage and family therapy working with Family Services of Central Alberta. Astels can be reached by calling 403-343-6400 or www.fsca.ca.

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month