Young children learn healthy social and emotional skills over time.
Skills like making friends, dealing with anger, managing conflict, caring for others, patience, and following the rules are qualities that grow throughout the arc of social-emotional development. Children who learn to understand and comfort others make friends more easily. Empathy is an important part of interacting with others effectively. Parents/caregivers help their children develop empathy by modeling it, helping the child to understand how others feel, and providing opportunities for children to work and play together.
Resources are available for parents/caregivers who need additional support for their child’s social and emotional development. Infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) is a prevention-based service that pairs a mental health consultant with families and adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as childcare, preschool, and at home. You can speak to your child care provider, preschool, or your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) office for information about consultations
To learn more about your preschool child’s social and emotional development, visit the sites below:
- Building and Sustaining Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
- Serve and Return
- Illinois Action Plan to Integrate Early Childhood Mental Health into Child- and Family-Serving Systems, Prenatal through Age Five
- Kids Who Care - Tip Sheets