Importance of Fostering Social Emotional Development in Young Children

Mom having a group of children sitting on the floor of a bedroom playing together because of the Importance of Fostering Social Emotional Development in Young Children.

There are so many things you worry about as a parent. You may be lying awake at night thinking, “Is my child…”

  • Growing at the rate they should be?
  • Eating enough?
  • Safe?
  • Learning?

And with the Pandemic more and more parents are worried about their child’s mental health due to not being able to socialize.

Importance of Fostering Social Emotional Development in Young Children 

Social-Emotional Development is a vital factor of a child’s success later in life. These skills are critical for children to learn and grow and become successful in all realms of life. Thankfully there are activities to foster their development in this area of their life. 


What is Social Emotional Development? 

It encompasses so many different aspects of your child’s mental health. It is how they see themselves and the world around them. Environmental factors, as well as personal experiences, affects the social-emotional development of children.


Social Emotional Development includes:

  • Child’s experiences
  • The child’s expressions
  • Management of emotions
  • Being able to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others
  • Both intrapersonal and interpersonal processes  

Why is a Child’s Social-Emotional Development Important? 


To identify and understand their own emotions and those of others, children need to mature socially and emotionally. This allows children to manage and understand the emotional states of themselves and others.  

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Children need to know how to manage and regulate behaviors, develop empathy for others, and maintain relationships. These skills are what children need to master to be successful later in life.  

Children learn how to manage and regulate this development by the people around them. Parents, grandparents, and teachers can all foster these skills. The consistent experiences with people around them help children learn about relationships and explore emotions through predictable healthy interactions.  


How to Foster Social Emotional Development in Young Children


There are many ways to foster a child’s development. Daily interactions include the following activities depending on age:

  • Teaching skills such as listening and conflict resolution and turn-taking
  • Be affectionate and nurturing by holding, comforting, and talking with your child
  • For babies, provide a “give-and-take” relationship by playing games like peek-a-boo
  • Provide support for your child by responding to their needs when practicing new skills while also providing help if needed
  • Support your child’s developing abilities by assisting when needed, but do not do everything for him even when it takes longer or is messy.

Areas of Self Regulation

There are three main areas of children’s self-regulation development. 

#1 Acting

    • Problem-solving with increased independence
    • Interacting appropriately with teachers and peers such as sharing
    • Avoiding negative impulses like hitting, biting, and yelling
    • Knowing how to negotiate conflict solutions with peers

#2 Feeling

    • Correctly identifying emotions in themselves and others
    • Regulating emotions correctly, such as excitement, anger, and frustration
    • Empathy and understanding others’ views

#3 Thinking

    • Screening distractions
    • Planning steps and strategies to complete given tasks or activities
    • Focusing attention on lessons or activities


Providing positive opportunities for young children to learn how to manage behaviors in different life areas allows them to become a more productive citizen later in life. When children have a solid foundation in social and emotional development, they are more likely to succeed in school.  

These children also know how to respond better around their peers and in stressful situations. Teaching the skills early allows for fewer issues later in life. Once the students learn then, they know how to respond appropriately in various situations.  

Additional Resources to Foster Children’s Developmental Skills 

This development is critical for young children to succeed later in life and interact with others appropriately. If these skills are not taught at an early age, it is challenging to teach when they are older. This is due to replacement behaviors that have already been created.    

What part of your child’s development are you most worried about? Please share your experience with us below in the comments. 

If you are looking for more resources to help your child, here are a few articles to check out: 


Do you have a child that needs more one on one assistance?  

We offer one-on-one special education tutoring that can be done from anywhere the student is! Why? Because our special education experts conduct their sessions online!

Get started with a free consultation today!



A group of children playing musical instruments together because of the importance of fostering social emotional development in young children.
Fostering Social Emotional Development skills in your children is important to be successful at school, home, and for the rest of their lives.

Picture of Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

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