It’s easy to forget that infants and toddlers can experience strong negative emotions such as stress or pressure just like any adult can. When not addressed properly, children will not learn how to cope with their varying emotions and it could negatively impact their emotional growth. After core care needs are met; sustenance, comfort, and health, it is important to communicate and interact with your child as much as possible to encourage social-emotional development.
Most children will easily feel overwhelmed if they are experiencing too many or too much of something. Try to make sure your child is not overwhelmed when introducing them to new people or things. Instilling a routine and talking about upcoming changes will help your child learn how to adjust to different situations. If excessive change is unavoidable, make sure to give your child lots support and reassurance.
Here are a few suggestions for promoting your child’s well-being:
* Have frequent conversations with young children
* Allow children time to express their feelings and ideas
* Promote a sense of accomplishment by asking your toddler for help in simple household tasks
* Allow children to make decisions, e.g. “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” and “Here are three outfits, you can choose the one you want to wear today”
* Give children time to respond to requests
* Provide ample opportunities for children to explore or have fun at their own pace
* Establish routines and prioritize family togetherness at home, e.g. Storytime bedtime
* Prepare children for changes, e.g. “After lunch, we are going to the park.”
* Set limits for children that they can understand
* Acknowledge children’s fears and offer support