What can families do to prepare for and encourage Social and Emotional Competence?  

Social-Emotional Competence

  • Give examples for how children can cope with a range of emotions in a healthy way (i.e. through role play, puppets, social-emotional literature for children). Max's family can find books in their language that model positive social skill.   

  • Reinforce positive social interactions such as greeting one another, sharing, taking turns. On playdates, Max's family can help to facilitate positive interactions between him and the children he plays with. His parents can also model trust and respect between one other and with the educations.   

  • Observe and find inspiration within the child's classroom. For example, a classroom may have a "cosy corner" which a child can use to self-regulate their emotions in times of frustration. Families may decide that they want something like this in their homes as well. Perhaps Max's educators help him to take body breaks throughout the day to help him self-regulate and take a break when he is being unsafe. These can be used in the home as well. 

  • Give children opportunities throughout the day to demonstrate their abilities (i.e. participating in daily rituals such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, mealtime, etc.). Max may not have had many opportunities like this in his first months in Germany. Perhaps once he is in kindergarten, his family can give him choices such as picking out which shirt he wants to wear in the morning or if he wants to help put the dishes away after mealtimes. 

  • Give children space and support to figure out their own abilities and what they can do independently while still feeling comfortable asking for help.   

  • Show support of the educators and classroom through reflecting positively with the child about their day, and using encouraging phrases such as, "you are going to have a great day," when talking about kindergarten as well as utilizing the materials provided by the educators to help make this transition as easy as possible.