Parent A: I feel frustrated every time my 3-yrs old girl throws tantrums. It drives me crazy…what should I do?
Parent B: My boy’s preschool teacher always told me that he gave other children a hard time at school by yelling and kicking. How should I deal with this at home with him?
Does any of the scenarios seem familiar or ever happened to you? It would be totally normal if the answer is ‘yes’. Just like adults, when younger children’s emotions hit the peak, they will act differently as they normally do, especially when they just start their preschool or daycare and begin to interact with other kids.
From 2 – 3 yrs old, children can learn to handle the stimulus or impulses from external environment through appropriate methods. When children are 3-5 yrs old, expressing feelings and dealing with emotions will be important focuses in their early development. Besides their education at school or daycare, it is highly recommended to strengthen their social emotional skills at home with the parents.
Here are some suggestions that may help the parents to respond to children’s emotion and enhance their social-emotional skills at home:
1. Two-ways communication:
it is crucial for the parents to communicate with their children regularly and verbally, which can also benefit children’s language and literacy development in early stage. Adults can play as a listener that give their children more opportunities to voice out their feelings and opinions.
2. Solve the problems with the children:
Kids are more likely to experience temper or depression when they encounter challenges. Parents are encouraged to discuss with the kids about how to tackle the problems. Instead of solving the problems FOR the children, parents can be supportive and help their little ones to deal with the challenges together.
3. Exercise and routine:
regular exercise and good daily routines can help the children to control pressure and maintain good emotional condition. According to scientific research, our brain will release endorphin, which triggers positive feelings in the body.
4. Stories about character education:
parents can read stories or folklores that talk about emotion control and character education with their children. After the story-telling, adults can encourage the children to share their feedback with them. For character education and EQ stories, you can check Ni Hao Chinese EQ Story series for multiple topics such as honesty, patience, kindness, punctuality, forgiveness, etc.