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Why is Social Emotional Development Important?

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Presentation on theme: "Why is Social Emotional Development Important?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parents and the Promotion of Social Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers

2 Why is Social Emotional Development Important?
Infants and toddlers whose families and other caregivers focus on building trust and healthy relationships set the stage for a lifetime of learning. “Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and toddler Programs.” Michigan State Board of Education, 2006 Segue to next slide: So what do we mean by social emotional development

3 Social Competence Social competence is usually defined as the capacity to initiate and maintain satisfying relationships with peers, as well as to be able to form friendships with some of them. (Katz & McClellan, 1997) This capacity to get along with peers is the best single predictor of adult adaptation, not IQ, not grades or classroom behavior. (Hartup, 1992) For children headed to preschool or K, this means simply the ability to get along with others. As the slide says, the single best predictor of adult adaptation is not IQ, not school grades and not classroom behavior but, rather the adequacy with which the child gets along with other children. Unfortunately the converse is also true: children who are generally disliked, who are aggressive and disruptive, who are unable to sustain close relationships with other children, and who cannot establish a place for themselves in the peer culture are seriously at risk of difficulties at school and later problems with employment, parenting, and other important aspects of adult life. (Hartup. 1992) Social competence goes hand in hand with the ability to understand and empathize with others’ feelings (segue to next slide)

4 Emotional Competence Usually defined as awareness of one’s own and others’ feelings, the capacity to empathize with others, to distinguish between inner feelings and the outward expression of them, and awareness of the place of emotions in relationships. (Saarni, 1999) Most simply, for toddlers or children entering K this means having words to identify their emotions as well as having some socially appropriate ways of expressing their emotions. Can begin to talk here about how to help a young child express emotions (or save the discussion for later: slide 9 “What Can Parents Do”). Ideas to help a young child learn to express emotions: Play “feelings game”- take turns acting out emotions while the other(s) guess; Look at pictures and talk about what you think the person is feeling; Children need to see adults handle emotions in appropriate ways (OK to talk through our feelings for the child to see and hear); Discuss the handout “Creative Ways to express feelings” Let group brainstorm other ideas

5 An important lesson to draw from the entire literature on successful early interventions is that it is the social skills and motivation of the child that are more easily altered – not IQ. These social and emotional skills affect performance in school and in the workplace. We too often have a bias toward believing that only cognitive skills are of fundamental importance to success in life. James J. Heckman, PhD Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, 2000 State reports on the percentage of children not ready to succeed in school range form 20% to 49%. According to a report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: K teachers report the single greatest challenge they face is that a majority of the children lack some or all of the needed S-E competencies needed to learn. According to a publication by Zero to Three- “Heart Smart: the emotional foundations of school readiness” school readiness depends largely on characteristics formed by the age of three, not a fund of knowledge, not the ability to read or recite the alphabet, nor familiarity with numbers or colors. Characteristics: curious confident, conscious of what behavior is expected of them, comfortable in seeking assistance, and able to get along with others. Neurons to Neighborhoods identified 3 qualities that children need to be ready for school: intellectual skills, motivation to learn, and strong social emotional capacity. (National center for children in poverty: Health, social development and enthusiasm may be of equal or greater importance than cognitive development and early literacy. (National Education Goals Panel). Healthy social emotional development forms the foundation for emerging literacy and numeracy skills.Five domains encompassed in school readiness: 1) physical well being and motor development; 2) social and emotional development; 3) approaches to learning; 4) language development; 5)cognition and general development. Health, social development and enthusiasm may be of equal or greater importance than cognitive development and early literacy. (National Education Goals Panel). Healthy social emotional development forms the foundation for emerging literacy and numeracy skills. A child who is socially ready for school should be able to make friends, get along with peers, and communicate well with teachers and peers = better school outcomes. These social interaction skills related to race and ethnicity but more closely related to SES and mothers educational level.

6 Social Emotional Development and School Readiness
According to MDE “Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten” Early Learning Expectation 1: Children develop and exhibit a healthy sense of self. Early Learning Expectation 2: Children show increasing ability to regulate how they express their emotions. Early Learning Expectation 3: Children develop healthy relationships with other children and adults. See Word document: “Slide 6 Social Emotional Development PPT”

7 Why Else Should We Be Concerned?
Good Attachment Early Brain Development Fewer Behavior Problems Less Risky Behavior As A Teen Future Success As An Adult See Word document: “Slide #7 Social Emotional PPT” as this will not all print out on Notes page. 1. Attachment occurs during the first six months of life and refers to a loving, secure relationship with the child’s primary caregiver(s). This relationship forms a blueprint for future relationships. S-E skills develop within the context of a close nurturing bond with a primary caregiver – a bond that helps very young children to develop trust, empathy, compassion and a conscience. ( 2. Latest research on brain development shows that early attachments have a vital influence on brain development and that everyone who cares for young children-parents, family, friends, neighbors, childcare providers- can make a difference. That is, there is growing biological evidence that infants need sensitive, responsive care in order for the parts of their brain that control emotions to develop properly. (“Ready to Succeed” Zero to Three, 1998) The outside world shapes the brain’s wiring The outside world is experienced through the senses-seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting-enabling the brain to create or modify connections The brain operates on a “use it or lose it” principle Relationships w/other people early in life are the major source of development of the social and emotional parts of the brain National Governer’s Assn. Center for best practices: 3. The prevalence of problematic behaviors in young children is about 10%. Higher in lo income children, about 27%. (Due to the psychosocial stressors; important to note that for those children living in low SES conditions social emotional adjustment/skills serve an important protective function.) Data suggests between 4-6% of preschoolers have serious emotional and behavioral disorders, and 16-30% pose on-going problems to teachers.(Raver & Knitzer) 20 years of research has now clearly established that aggressive young children who are rejected by their classmates in their first years of schooling are at grave risk for lower academic achievement, greater likelihood of grade retention, greater likelihood of dropping out of school, and greater risk of delinquency and committing juvenile offenses in adolescence. (Raver) The good news: The research suggests that while emotional & behavioral problems are costly to their chances of success, these problems are identifiable early, amenable to change, and can be reduced over time. (Raver, 2002) 4. Univ. of Minnesota “Mother-Child Study” was launched in 1975 and followed 176 children for 19 years and found that among those who did not receive sensitive, responsive care in the first few weeks of life were at significantly higher risk of poor developmental outcomes. For example: (reported in Ready to Succeed) Had more difficulty forming relationships with peers in preschool and early adolescence Had lower levels of school achievement, esp. in adolescence Were more likely to require special ed. (72% were in sp ed by 3rd grade) Exhibited more behavior problems Were more likely to use drugs and alcohol during adolescence 5. Same study showed that the risks aren’t only for school difficulties, includes later problems with employment, parenting and adjustment in adult life.

8 How can we make a difference as parents?
Relationships are the key, be warm, loving and responsive to child’s cues and clues Talk, sing, read to your child Provide consistent routines Encourage safe exploration & play, limit TV Model appropriate display of emotions, teach feeling words Help children to feel good about themselves Teach respect for differences Assure consistent, quality childcare Take care of yourself Seek resources when needed See Word document: “Slide #8 Social Emotional PPT”, which provides discussion ideas and background material for the facilitator.

9 Summary For children from birth to three years of age, the development of healthy social emotional skills is the foundation that supports their emerging literacy and numeracy skills. These skills develop within the context of a close , nurturing bond with a primary caregiver – a bond that helps very young children to develop trust, empathy, compassion, and a conscience. Zero To Three, July 2002

10 References “Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten” Michigan State Board of Education. March 8, 2005 “Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and toddler Programs” Michigan State Board of Education. September 12, 2006 From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. The National Academy Press, 2001 Hartup, W.W. (1992). Having friends, making friends, and keeping friends. Urbana, IL: ERIC CEECE “Heart Smart: the emotional foundations of school readiness” Zero to Three (1992) National Education Goals Panel (1990) Raver, C. Cybele. Emotions matter: Making the case for the role of emotional development for early school readiness. Society for Research in Child Development, 2002 “Set for Success: Building a strong foundation for school readiness based on the Social Emotional development of young children” The Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation. (2002) Zero to Three Tip of the month, July Prepared by: Mike Acosta, School Social Worker Wexford Missaukee I.S.D.

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