Everyone needs to be pushed from time to time, this applies to adults as well as children. Without being pushed it is too easy to fall into a routine and develop a comfort zone. The problem with this is that you will inadvertently hold yourself back. This can be a real issue when facing new challenges. The inability to step outside your comfort zone can have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
That is why you need to set social and emotional goals for children. Although it can be difficult to decide what goals to set, this guide will help you In addition, it is worth chatting to your child care team to make sure you are all moving in the same direction.
Deciding The Goals
It can be difficult to decide what social and emotional goals to set for your children. The best approach is to look at what social and emotional skills they currently have and consider what they should have. If they are old enough to talk to you about these goals, that will help. Not only can you set the goals together, but this will also help to motivate them to achieve them.
When setting the goals you need to consider the skills that you would expect a child of their age to have. This is dependent on age but most children should be able to:
- Understand emotions and control their own
- Listen to others
- Interact with others and share toys/tools
- Ask for help when needed
- Focus on a single task
- Shown compassion and empathy when the situation demands it
- Know how to calm themselves
Implementing The Goals
The most difficult part of this is not deciding the goals. Once you start thinking about what your child should be able to do emotionally and socially, it is easy to see where they are lacking. The trick is to tackle one goal at a time and to break the goal into smaller goals. This makes it easier to achieve and helps your child to stay motivated as they feel like they are succeeding.
For example, if your child needs to learn to interact with other children more, or better, you should set them a goal of making one friend. That is one person they can share things with and play nicely with. The secondary goal can be extending this to two and then more.
It can help to give your child an incentive, such as a special day out when they show they have reached a goal.
In order to ensure your child is moving toward a goal you will need to chat with their child care center regularly and your child. Ideally, discuss progress with your child every week. This will help them keep moving forward but it will also aid their listening and communication skills. Both of which are essential parts of emotional and social development.
With a little patience, you can guide your child willing in the right direction and improve their quality of life, today and in the future.