5 Ways Parents and Teachers Support Social and Emotional Development
There’s an old adage that you’ve no doubt heard, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While as parent you are your child’s first teacher, entering school is a huge step in his/her social and emotional development. Teachers and parents play an important role in development and should communicate regularly and effectively in order to foster positive development in children.
Parents as Teachers
Before birth, babies are already learning about the environment they will be born into. Your child hears the accent of your voice, tastes the foods you eat, and will remember familiar sounds. He/she feels your touch and discerns the difference between parent and stranger. Even this early on, your child is learning where she/he fits in the family dynamic and is absorbing the culture she’ll join at birth.
Children learn expressions, emotions, coping mechanisms, and words from parents and caregivers first. Consequently, parents may be the first to notice any irregularities in development.
Depending on the number of children in your family, your child may or may not be exposed to others socially before they enter school. To encourage social development, you can expose your child to other children on a regular basis. Playdates with friends and relatives of a similar age present excellent teaching moments. Your normally quiet toddler may suddenly feel frustration when her cousin takes a toy. Now’s the time to talk about emotions and teach good reactions!
Teachers Can Identify Irregularities
Being with your child all of the time, most often in the comfort of your own home, you may not notice if your child is presenting with worrisome or delayed social-emotional development. Teachers have the advantage of seeing your child in a social setting daily, and also have a greater sense of what is typical and atypical development due to being around more kids than you.
Teachers are Resources
Your child’s teacher could help you identify problems your child is experiencing and may be able to point you towards resources as well. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping your child correct their own responses, but it in some situations help is needed. Your child’s teacher can put you in touch with therapeutic services if necessary, and will most likely know a few techniques you can use at home as well.
Coordinating regular meeting and times to communicate with your child’s teacher can be very helpful in monitoring your child’s development. Your child spends several hours a day at school. His teacher will observe behaviors that may not come out at home. Be assured that his teacher is not picking on him. His teacher has his best interests as heart, as well as those of the other children. Work together to find solutions and don’t write off any concerns your child’s school may have. Collaboration is key whether your child has typical social-emotional development or delays that may need professional attention.