The findings based on “Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness” by Damon E. Jones, PhD, Mark Greenberg, PhD, and Max Crowley, PhD, 2015 has found that they grow up to be more confident, resilient, empathetic and rational by 25 years of age.
- Learning to play with other children
Playing is a primary catalyst in nurturing children’s development. Children learn how to negotiate, problem solving, take turns, share, tolerance, rules and experiment during playtime.
Help your children in cultivating these crucial skills by giving them a safe environment to play with other children. Children need to be observed during playtime but not to be dictated by adults. Playing is the profession of children.
- Problem solving learning
For example, in fighting over a toy, what should be done?
Do not attempt to solve the problem for them but teach them to negotiate on how to reach a solution.
Ask the children to explain what happened, do not be biased, brainstorm on what to do. Even if the idea comes from a little child, do not make little of them, appreciate their ideas.
Asses the solution that was discussed. Toddlers learn effectively through role playing. Role play on the discussed solution. If the solution is not working, try another idea. Teach them to learn from mistakes.
Despite how tedious it might be; the effect is everlasting.
- Identify and label each emotion
Most tantrums are because of big feelings or unresolved feelings without knowing how to take care of them. (Adults also experience this if not trained since young).
Anger, disappointment, sad, happy. Learn to label these emotions, do not overlook them. Accept all emotions but not all attitudes. Guide your children.
When they understand their own feelings, they will learn to understand the feelings of others.
Teach children to identify and label the feelings of other in nurturing empathy.
Read books out-loud with your children. By reading books to your children, they are exposed to numerous conflicts and emotions in the story without the children themselves going through them.
The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.
- Managing to control impulses
The part of the brain that controls ‘executive functions’ or the ability to think before acting have not yet developed in children.
Children are very impulsive; they act on impulse or in other words on a whim. This is normal for children.
However, they need to be given a choice to control their impulses because the development of children from 0 -6 years old is rapid.
- Take turns when playing
- Follow the rules
- Be patient when seeking something, set a rule when a toy will be bought for them, not every time they wish for it
- Teach them to save money in a mini-bank
- Tell them “No” for this that are not needed
- Eat together with them
- Teach them how to help each other
Children are born good and will always want to do good. Make this a permanent trait in them.
When children help, appreciate them and praise their effort. They will be motivated to help more.
Assign household chores appropriate to the age of children. Encourage them to help their siblings.
No need to reward them each time they help so that an intrinsic impulse is developed and not motivated with reward.
Teach children to say thank you for those who provide help; to the cashier, waiter, doctor/nurse, neighbour. Teach them to appreciate the help of others.
It all starts at home and then is extended in society. Teach them to donate, help around.
During the phase of age 0 – 6 years old, the
aspects that needs emphasis are social skills and emotional development even more
so than overly stressing on academic intelligence.
 Damon E. Jones, Mark Greenberg, Max Crowley, “Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness”, American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 11 (November 1, 2015): pp. 2283-2290.
 Uhls, Y.T., Michikyan, M., Morris, J., Garcia, D., Small, G.W., Zgourou, E., & Greenfield, P.M. (2014). Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues. Computers in Human Behavior, 39, 387-392.