How Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Prepares Kids in the Virtual World

How Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Prepares Kids in the Virtual World

In collaboration with Nestlé Start Healthy Stay Healthy. 

Early childhood is a stage of dynamic changes for children. Till the age of five, children acquire several emotional and social skills that they will use throughout their life to respond to the world.  

Social and emotional skills help kids perceive technology in the virtual world to a great extent. Now that technology has found its way in every home, children, from the age of two, start learning to recognise technological devices and operate phones, computer screens, and other technical objects soon after they learn to walk. While these skills begin to develop at an early stage, it is important that they lay a stronger foundation and make children confident and future-ready.  

What Are Social-Emotional Skills?

Social-emotional skills are those skills that help children connect to their environment through sensory emotions. Parents and caregivers play a primary role in the development of socio-emotional skills right from the moment they start interacting with kids. They influence children’s beliefs and cultural values through their daily interactions and humble attitude. This helps kids develop healthy relationships with friends and family members, empathise with others, resolve conflicts, make appropriate decisions, follow instructions, manage stress and anxiety, and so on. 

Benefits of Social and Emotional Development

Several studies, including the American Journal of Public Health, have found that social and emotional learning in early childhood can increase the chances of getting college degrees that pave the way to a brighter future. Let’s check out some of its benefits. 

  • Children with strong socio-emotional skills tend to be happier and have the ability to resolve life challenges easily. 
  • Children tend to have a positive attitude towards foreign situations and are eager to participate in classroom activities. They also show excellent academic performance. 
  • Children who are emotionally healthy are able to establish healthy relationships and are more prosocial. It means they show qualities of being kind, emphatic, calm, etc. 
  • Socio-emotional learning helps reduce anxiety and stress build-up in children, and at the same time, increase confidence and a positive attitude. 
  • The ability to make sound decisions and resist negative social pressure also improves.
  • These skills also make children aware of their emotions and feelings and help them regulate wisely.

The Importance of Socio-Emotional Skills in the Virtual World

From learning to playing, everything is going digital. Audio-visual storybooks, 2D and 3D graphical environments, animated characters, etc., have the potential to engage your child’s different senses at a time. Since the changes in your child’s brain are happening rapidly, it is essential that these skills are imparted at the right time to help him function effectively in academics, work, and life. 

Otherwise, the lack of socio-emotional skills can lead to poor mental health, withdrawn and impulsive behaviour, inability to adapt to new situations or lack of grasp of technology and academics. Hence, the importance of social and emotional development is for a child to test out his imagination, abilities, and self-control.

How Nutrition Plays a Vital Role in Social and Emotional Development

Nutrition is one of the crucial pillars in the development of mental and socio-emotional skills right from the period of infancy to childhood. Nutrients, such as phospholipids, folic acid, DHA, ARA, choline, iron, and sphingomyelin, are essential in your baby’s diet to establish brain connections and nurture his flexible thinking.

As a parent, you might encounter situations when your baby fusses about certain foods. In this case, you can try to use social and emotional activities while feeding him. For example, while feeding your child, you can make funny faces, read a storybook to him, or play games like puzzles. This way you will not only be able to feed him but also help him develop his socio-emotional skills. 

Early childhood is a golden phase for the development of social and emotional skills. The quality of skills and experiences a child gets in his childhood shapes his future. It is also important to remember that every child has his own pace of learning. Some may be on the constant run to explore things around them, while some may love to observe the world silently. It is important that parents be supportive and encouraging and nurture their kid’s natural inclinations towards learning. 

Be sure to consult your paediatrician or a child psychologist in any case of clarifications regarding your baby’s nutrition or social and emotional development.

Also Read:

Moral Development in Children
Physical Development in Early Childhood

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