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Ready for Kindergarten: Social and Emotional Intelligence

Getting ready for kindergarten - social and emotional development

 

Last year I ran a series teamed up with several blog friends to run a series on getting kids ready for kindergarten, and – since Lily will be my third child to start Kindergarten this fall (how do they grow up so fast?!), I’m participating in the same series again this year! We will be talking about topics that are useful for parents, whether you homeschool or send your child to a public or private school. This week we’re writing about getting kids ready for kindergarten by developing social and emotional intelligence.

Ready for Kindergarten: Developing Social and Emotional Intelligence

I believe that social and emotional intelligence are two of the most important life skills for children growing up in a modern world! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help kids develop these skills at home, while creating memories and having fun! I wrote about developing social and emotional skills last year as well, so this year I am adding three very simple additions to last year’s list!

Kindergarten Ready - social and emotional development

Trust and Responsibility

Kids thrive when adults give them trust and responsibility! In our home I create opportunities for my kids to feel trust and responsibility by putting them in charge of their own chores, but also by providing special opportunities to exercise this trust, fro small gestures like being allowed to take the key out to check the mail at the community mailbox for our housing unit to larger responsibilities, like holding a baby.

Art is a wonderful emotional outlet for kids

Encourage Creativity

Art is a wonderful way for kids to explore emotions, and creative play is a great way for kids to try out different social situations! Kids need time and space to play out social and emotional situations that they observe and experience, and creative activities give them that space as well as a way to express themselves.

Send your child to kindergarten with the skills they need

 Be Affectionate

Kindergarten is often a time when kids are expected to suddenly start acting much older – our social, emotional, and academic expectations for kids often jump at around this age. These higher expectations mean that our kids need our support more than ever. Make sure that your child’s new-found independence doesn’t mean that they miss out on parental attention and affection.

Get Ready for K Through Play button

How do you help your kids develop emotional and social skills? Here are some great ideas from my co-hosts for this series, and clicking on the button above will take you to the links from my blog for both last year and this year!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

14 thoughts on “Ready for Kindergarten: Social and Emotional Intelligence”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    This is one of the many reasons I love your blog… kids need responsibility, trust, time, space, affection!! Yay for Lily!! How she’s grown!!!

  2. First, congrats to your little (or not so little!) girl. What a fantastic stage for her to enter.

    In our home, we help build our kids’ confidence so that they feel ready socially and emotionally. Some of the ways include what you mentioned: giving them responsibilities. Letting them try, and fail, and try again. We’re also big on empathy and pointing out emotions, whether it’s theirs or another child’s. I’ve read that having a sense of empathy makes kids a “good friend” because they’re more attuned with what their peers must be feeling and can be more supportive than someone who isn’t as attuned.

  3. Lily seems really ready for Kindergarten thanks to all that you do at home but thanks for sharing your wonderful tips!!! You are truly an expert at getting kids ready for Kindergarten!!!

  4. Love what you said about trust. So good for kids to be given situations where they feel trusted. I think it really boosts their self-confidence!

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