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by Tweety Yates, Ph.D.

One thing we know for sure…social-emotional development is very important! In fact, social-emotional development is sometimes referred to as the “secret ingredient” for children’s success. And that is because it has been shown to be fundamental to children’s early learning and development. Social-emotional development begins at birth and is a life-long process. Children who have a strong social-emotional foundation not only do better academically but also tend to be happier, have more friends, and show greater motivation to learn.

What kinds of skills are we talking about when we refer to social-emotional development? Below is a list of a few of these skills. It’s all about helping young children feel competent and confident as they begin to learn how to:

  • Develop relationships
  • Make friends
  • Self-regulate
  • Label, understand, express & manage their emotions
  • Become empathetic
  • Persist at tasks to master new skills
  • Problem solve

If social-emotional development is so important, what can we do to ensure that our infants, toddlers, and preschoolers have lots of opportunities to practice and develop these skills? In our webinar, Supporting the Social-Emotional Development of Young Children: Ideas, Strategies, and Resources we discuss: ideas, strategies, and resources for developing relationships and friendships; how to understand, label, and manage emotions; and problem-solving!

Image from, CC0