Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children learn best when they feel understood, accepted, and loved. A focus on attachment to your children will help them to be healthy, happy learners.
Being calm, organised and reassuring will help. Children learn so much from observing those around them. As a parent, it is crucial that you are conscious of the behaviour that you model to the children around you.
Keep a stress-free environment
Create spaces where children can rest and have quiet times. Children learn best in a calm, comfortable environment. They will be tired when they return home from nursery and will need opportunities to rest. Consider cosy restful areas, den spaces and times for mindfulness or yoga.
Let children know that all emotions are allowed. When a child is experiencing new or unfamiliar emotions for the first time, it’s pretty scary. You can help them to understand those emotions by giving it a name, acknowledging and validating what they are going through. It shows empathy and helps them to reinforce how they are feeling, which can help to develop the self-regulation they need. Use phrases like ‘I know that you’re upset’ or ‘I can see that you’re angry’, and children will know that it’s OK to feel how they feel.
Allow children to problem-solve
Build independence Problem-solving skills are all too easily left undeveloped when parents step in too quickly to offer their own solution to a problem. The home environment is not setup to allow for independence skills such as self-selecting and completing a task independently. Your approach will have to be patient, be prepared to repeat yourself and your instructions, proceed with praise and positivity, and let them know when they’ve done a good job. Your support will mean a lot to them developing and building their confidence.
Choose your words carefully
Be positive Choice of words and tones of voice have a big impact on children allaying and understanding their fears better. Use open-ended questions (i.e. How did that make you feel?) don't be dismissive, and keep positive in the way you speak with children. Understanding is the start to moving on, being happy and ready to learn.
· Allow them time to resolve conflict
· Empower them to ask for help or ‘teamwork’
· Model positive language to communicate feelings
· Encourage children to use phrases such as: ‘Stop’ ‘This is my play’ ‘I don’t want to share right now’ ‘I will let you know when I have finished’
· Using the toilet and washing hands
· Taking shoes off and putting away
· Putting shoes on – choosing sensible footwear
· Taking off cats or coats and hanging on a peg
· Carrying own bags
· Putting on own socks and assisting with dressing
· Self serving food and using cutlery correctly
· Self selection of snacks and drinks – pouring water from a jug
· Assisting with putting on suncream
· Allow them time to lead play
· Value their choices and support their ideas
· Encourage children to make decisions
· In cooperate boundaries which meet the children where they are at
· Modelling language which teaches them to value and respect each other’s choices
· Promote ‘having a go’ attitude
· Encourage them not to give up
· Offer ‘teamwork’ to help (so not doing it for them)
· Create challenges – obstacles courses or scavenger hunts
· Allow them to problem solve for themselves
· ‘Bite your tongue’ and not give them the answers straight away
· Allow them to assess their own risk (within reason)