This is the second post in a series of posts on social and emotional communication with children aged two years and under.
This post will review some of the ways parents can help their baby or young toddler learn about their emotions and how to express themselves.
- Keep your child’s temperament in mind:
- Temperament is the way a young child routinely interacts with the world and responds to stimuli. Temperament is thought to be innate, not learned and a key characteristic of each child that may predict personality traits later in life.
- Temperament is important when it comes to social and emotional communication because it can influence the intensity with which your child experiences emotions and their style of expressing them.
- It is important to note that there is no “right” or “wrong” temperament. Temperament is simply a categorization of behaviour that can be helpful in getting to know how to interact with your child an how your child will interact with you.
- Talk about feelings:
- This sounds like a cliché but it is important for you to talk about feelings. Even if your children has not developed language enough to understand it is good for you to get into the habit of labelling emotions so that when your child is at the point where they are starting to speak to express themselves, they also development the habit of labelling how they are feeling.
- It is easier to communicate and deal with emotions if we know what they are.
- Be a role model:
- Lead by example and do your best to show children how to appropriately handle negative emotions through your actions.
In the next post we will discuss strategies and activities that can be targeted at specific age groups to improve social and emotional communications.