Happy, sad, angry, excited—no matter the emotion, your child uses their social-emotional skills to express it. Social-emotional skills are not only important to show and control emotions, but also to understand the emotions of others and connect with them. They are the building blocks of our relationships with others.

Watch to learn more about what social-emotional skills look like, and how you can encourage the development of your child’s skills! To learn even more, visit the social-emotional page.

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This video is a part of our Parents’ Guide series. View the entire series for quick videos, packed full of development info and tips.

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What are social-emotional skills?

They are essential for connecting with each other. They help us understand, experience, express, and manage emotions. These skills also allow us to develop meaningful relationships with others. Here are some examples of these skills being used every day:

  1. Recognizing is someone is sad, and asking if they’re ok.
  2. Expressing yourself with friends in a different way than with parents.
  3. Understanding your thoughts and feelings, and being able to relate to others.

Social-emotional growth starts at birth and continues through adulthood. Here are some ways to work on social-emotional development:

  • Model behaviors you want your child to show
  • Be responsive to your child’s emotions to develop trust
  • Ask open-ended questions to help develop problem-solving skills
  • Use stories to talk about social situations and how people might be feeling
  • Encourage kids to try new things and learn how much they can do
  • Play games to teach kids how to share, take turns, and negotiate
  • Ask your child questions when they’re upset to learn why they’re upset
  • Sit with your child when they’re using a screen and make it a social activity

This will help kids make friends, resolve conflicts, and much more! So work on those social-emotional skills!