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Expert Insight – Healthy Social-Emotional Development

Professor of Child Development at Early Start Marc de Rosnay discusses what healthy social-emotional development looks like in early childhood and how parents can best think about the development of their children’s social-emotional skills.

Key takeaways

  • Every child is different. How parents try to define if their child is OK is often determined by their own childhood experiences, which may or not be helpful. Professor de Rosnay talks about more helpful ways to determine the answer to that question for your child.
  • Young children, even very young infants, understand emotions but do not have the language to communicate these emotions or understand others’ emotions. What they learn in their first years from their parents, is how to interact socially in a way that is reciprocal, respectful and with emotion.
  • One way to help children develop socially and emotionally is to take advantage of experiences around them and suggest ways of interacting. For example, if a child near them is crying, suggest how they might provide comfort or some way to help that child. Children develop these skills at different rates and in different ways – not acting empathetically does not mean they don’t care!
  • Children build their social-emotional skills through experiences. It’s important to allow your child to act freely, choose their own experiences, and make independent friendships to practice their social-emotional skills.
  • Social-emotional skills are complex and can take time to learn and lots of practice to do it with confidence.

Watch the video to learn more.

Research = Experiences

Play is one of the most powerful ways to learn. That’s why all our experiences are informed by early childhood researchers from UOW.

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