Social and Emotional Development: Something We Can All Support

When we speak about kindergarten readiness, we often prioritize the critical cognitive skills, like simple memorization or early steps of math. These cognitive skills often overshadow basic social and emotional skills like knowing appropriate classroom behaviors, or demonstrating basic interpersonal skills. We go to school to learn more than basic shapes, numbers, and letters; we go to school to learn how to make friends, how to interact with others, and how to respect authority figures like teachers.

These social and emotional skills are solid foundations for a child's educational and life success. However, children need to learn about acceptable classroom behaviors long before they ever reach school. Parents are a child's first teacher, and by encouraging emotional and social development, such skills will help foster positive and beneficial relationships with future teachers in the classroom. Parents and pre-school teachers help to build early social and emotional skills, supporting a child's success in school and life. In turn, children who feel a strong sense of community and self-worth in their classroom are more likely to enjoy school, trust and respect their teachers, savor being challenged, empathize with others, and resolve conflicts fairly and without force. Overall, that's a set of outcomes that we can all support!