Home Preschool Curriculum Guide
Developed by Fran Wisniewski for UniversalPreschool.com
With Contributions and Editing by Diane Flynn Keith
Social & Emotional Development
There are many activities you can do at home and within your extended community to help your child develop social and emotional skills. Some of these skills are only necessary to learn in the preschool years (ages 2-5) if you intend to place your child in a public or private school for kindergarten.
Children who are not institutionalized will learn these skills quite naturally at their own developmental pace (perhaps, but not necessarily, between the ages of 2-5). If a child is placed in a preschool, they may be forced to learn these skills before they are developmentally ready. That can cause stress, anxiety, and behavioral and learning problems.
We've provided this list of social and emotional skills so you will know what is expected of a young child in order to be ready to attend kindergarten away from home. Here are the skills preschool educators think children ages 2-5 should develop in order to begin formal academic learning in the institutional school environment:
A child should:
- Be able to be apart from parents or primary care givers for 2-3 hours without being upset
- Meet visitors without shyness
- Talks easily and able to enter into casual conversation
- Know his/her full name
- Know parents' names
- Know home address
- Know home phone number (including area code)
- Know his or her own sex (male/female)
- Take care of toilet needs independently
- Dress himself/herself
- Know how to use handkerchief or tissue
- Brush teeth independently
- Carry a plate of food without spilling
- Cares for own belongings
- Puts away toys
- Help family with chores
- Cross residential street safely
- Maintain self-control
- Play with other children
- Share with others
- Get along well with other children
- Recognize authority
- Able to work independently
- Able to stay on task
- Feel good about self
The emotional health of your child is extremely important. If you do not intend to institutionalize your child in public or private schools then there is no need or hurry to push your child to learn all of these skills — especially if it doesn't seem developmentally appropriate for your child. If you do plan to institutionalize your child in school, then what follows is a list of activities you can do to help your preschooler learn these skills.
Be Able To Be Apart From Parents Or Primary Care Givers For 2-3 Hours Without Being Upset
Some children have temperaments that allow them to adapt to new people and situations easily. They are relatively comfortable being apart from mom and dad and in the care of other people. Some children have a difficult time with transitions and change. They may experience a lot of separation anxiety if mom or dad (or their primary caregiver) is not present. Either way, helping a child develop the ability to be apart from mom or dad in the care of someone else requires empathy for the child's feelings, lots of patience, and practice.
You can help your child through separation anxiety by making sure they are very familiar with any new caregiver or babysitter. Start out slowly. Invite the caregiver (whether a relative, friend, or hired help) to just come over to your home and hang out with you and your child for an hour or two. Let the caregiver see your routine, and learn your child's likes and dislikes. Do that several times until your child feels safe and enjoys the caregiver's company. Then, you can try leaving the room while your child stays with the caregiver. If that goes well, try leaving the house to run an errand while your child stays with the caregiver. Be sure to reassure your child that you will return by a particular time — and then make sure that you do. Eventually, you may work up to a separation of 2-3 hours.
Again, children will adjust to separation differently. You must do your best to respect your child's emotional needs. If your child is inconsolable when you leave — your child isn't ready for separation. You may need to rethink your plans until your child is ready to be apart from you. Other ideas that may work include:
- Employ a "mother's helper." Have an older child you trust from the neighborhood (or a friend) come and play with your child for a couple of hours a week in your home (while you are there). It will help your child get used to being in the company of and cared for by someone else.
- Visit relatives and friends. Arrange for your child to visit a trusted relative's or neighbor's home for an hour or two.
- Make play dates. Take turns making play dates with other parents. For example, your friend's child plays at your house for an hour on Tuesdays, and your child goes to their home for an hour on Thursdays.
- Go to children's library events. Some libraries have story time for 3-5 year olds, and allow parents to leave the room while the child listens to the story. Of course, you must stay close by, in case your child should need you, but it may be a way to help ease your child into the idea of temporary separation from you.
- Join a gymnastics program for little kids, or some other kind of recreational activity. Your child may want you to stay and watch at first. Eventually, your child may feel comfortable if you leave while he/she takes the class.
- Read books about children who experience separation anxiety. It may help to define and clarify their feelings, while providing some coping mechanisms. Try, The Good-bye Book by Judith Viorst, and Mommy Don't Go by Elizabeth Crary.
- Read the article "Parting Without Such Sorrow" with suggestions for how to help you and your child overcome separation anxiety.
Meet Visitors Without Shyness
Young children may feel a little shy when they first meet strangers — or even relatives they have never met before. Little kids may feel anxiety due to the spotlight of attention they receive when they meet someone new. Sometimes a child described as "shy" is simply slow to warm up. They prefer to watch and observe new people and situations from a distance, and then, when they understand it better and feel comfortable, they will approach the people or join in the activity. Some children outgrow shyness, and others may be timid throughout their lives. Read "Shyness and Children" for a better understanding of the causes of shyness and learn strategies for helping your child cope with shyness.
One thing is clear: A child should never be ridiculed for being shy. In fact, it's wise to avoid labeling your child as "shy" and discourage other people from doing that as well. Instead, parents can try to teach their children skills to overcome or manage their feelings of shyness. Talking about feelings can help. Here are some books that shy children may especially enjoy reading and discussing:
- Shy Charles by Rosemary Wells
- So Shy by Vicki Morrison
- Little Miss Shy by Roger Hargreaves
Remember that children learn by example — so show them how to politely greet people with a smile and a handshake, by doing it yourself.
Talks Easily and Able To Enter into Casual Conversation
Practice makes perfect. Engage your child in conversation everyday. Ask your child questions and really listen to the answers she/he gives. Talk about everything! Ask what they want to eat, what clothing they want to wear, and what they want to do each day. Ask about their likes and dislikes. Talk about the weather, food, pets, things, and other people. Your child will become more comfortable with speech the more they get the chance to talk. Listen to your child's stories and jokes. Take turns reciting rhymes, poems and fairy tales you enjoy.
Talking to your child often will help them feel comfortable talking not only to you — but to other people as well. When you are talking to others, ask your child questions to include them in the conversation. Let your child talk on the telephone to friends and relatives. Teach your child the social graces of good conversation. Teach them to be polite by waiting for an opening and not talking over others.
Knows Full Name
Use these activities to help your child learn and remember their full name:
- Call your child by their full name from time to time.
- Write your child's name on paper and show them each word — first name, middle name, and last name.
- Make an, "All About Me" book and include your child's full name in the pages. Read it often. Add to it often!
- Insert your child's full name into a rhyme or a song.
- Use your child's full name when you introduce them to others.
- Encourage your child to use their full name when they introduce themselves.
- Have a tea party with dolls and stuffed animals and introduce your child by his/her full name to each "guest."
Knows Parents' Names
It is important for your child to know the first and last names of both of their parents. (This is especially helpful in the event you are ever separated, or your child becomes lost.)
- Tell your child your first and last name (especially if you have a different last name from your child).
- Write your name on paper and show it to your child. Compare it to their name and point out how they are alike or different.
- Ask your child if they remember your name from time to time — for example, while you're driving in the car or standing in line at the post office or bank.
- Have a "Teddy Bear Tea Party" and ask your child to introduce you by your full name to all of the "guests."
Knows Home Address
- Tell your child your home address.
- Go outside and show your child your house number where it's posted on the mailbox, side of the house, or curb.
- Show them the street sign with the name of your street.
- Tell them what city and state you live in. Show them on a map.
- Help your child to make a map of your street and show them where you live. Tell them the address.
- Have your child practice saying his/her address.
- Have your child tell his/her stuffed animals and dolls their home address.
- Set your child's address to a familiar tune — it will be easier to remember.
Knows Home Phone Number
- Tell your child your telephone number.
- Show your child how to dial your phone number on a real phone.
- Have your child tell his/her stuffed animals and dolls their phone number.
- Set your phone number to a familiar tune to make it easy to remember.
Play the "Roll Your Phone Number" Game!
Put each number of your phone number on a separate index card and have your child put them in the proper order as they say each number out loud. Play a dice game where your child tries to roll the numbers in your phone number and match them to the numbers on the index cards.
Note: Buy blank dice from an educational store or cover regular dice with masking tape and write a real number on each side (no dots). Remember regular dice do not have the #0 so if you need that number, blank out another number with masking tape and write a zero in its place. The Crayola website has printable paper dice you can make. Registration (free) is required by Crayola to access the materials. Or try using this free cube pattern.
Knows His or Her Own Sex
Parents may not feel comfortable talking to their children about genitals, but it's important for children to know the proper names of their body parts in the event that they need to communicate their needs to others and be understood. This is particularly true during toilet training time. For example if you call your son or daughter's genitals a "woo-woo" a trusted caregiver or doctor may not understand what body part your child is talking about! Use the real names, and help your child understand the difference between a boy and a girl. If you are bashful about talking to your child about their genitals, ask your librarian for books that will help you and your child to explain the human body. Here are some links to articles that may be helpful:
Takes Care of Toilet Needs Independently
Help your child learn proper bathroom procedure including how to wipe themselves clean, to flush the toilet when they are done, to readjust their clothing before leaving the bathroom, to wash hands when finished and to throw away paper towels. Show your child good hygiene by practicing it yourself. Keep checking your child until you are sure they are cleaning themselves properly and they can do it on their own. Here's a link to an article that may be helpful:
- Potty Training — Advice from Renowned Pediatrician, Dr. Greene
Dresses Himself or Herself
- Encourage your child to dress him/herself.
- Show him/her the difference between the inside and outside of clothes by showing how labels and seams are usually on the inside. (If you have a child who is sensitive to "scratchy" labels — cut them out of their clothing.)
- Show him/her how to put on/take off and pull on/pull off clothing.
- Show him/her how to button, zip, snap, tie, use Velcro closures, etc.
- Store your child's clothing in drawers and closets that are easily accessible at their height so they can dress independently.
- Encourage dress-up play with costumes and old clothes — it provides practice.
- Encourage your child to practice dressing dolls and stuffed animals.
- Read "Dressed for Success" for more tips on teaching your preschooler how to dress independently.
Knows How To Use Handkerchief Or Tissue
Most children are introduced to a hanky or tissue early in life when mom dries a tear, wipes a runny nose, or cleans up a jelly-smeared face. Schools are germ-factories and cold viruses run rampant. That's why educators want kids to know how to use a tissue — they would prefer not to wipe 20 runny noses. Learning to blow your nose takes practice. Demonstrate how to do it and encourage your child to try too. Children may have a difficult time understanding how to blow. Can they blow bubbles? Can they blow air and imitate "Mr. Wind." If they can, teaching them to blow through their nose will be easier as they can grasp the concept. Here is an article with activities you can try to teach them this skill.
Show your child how to brush their teeth. Demonstrate for them with your own teeth. Let them brush right beside you in front of a mirror. Provide simple explanations about what kind of toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss to use. It might help to have your child brush his/her teeth to a 2-3 minute song, 2x a day. Here are some more tips and links to articles for teaching kids how to brush and floss independently:
- Brushing and Flossing Your Child's Teeth
- Tips from parents for getting young children to brush their teeth.
- Tooth songs and poems
- More dental songs and poems
- Make your own toothpaste! It is a bit salty but it works very well!
- Crest: Experiment to show how acids can hurt teeth.
Carry A Plate Of Food Without Spilling
- Encourage your child to carry food from the kitchen to the table on a sturdy plate. Start out by letting him/her carry a small bowl of solid food such as rice, cereal, or pasta. Put just a little bit of food on your child's plate when you begin. Gradually, let your child help you carry larger bowls of food to the table. To avoid major spills, put a tight cover on the bowl. This will not only save your child's self esteem but will also save your floor and a major clean up if your child drops it!
- Have tea parties with your child and let him/her serve you by carrying a tray of snacks to the table.
Cares For Own Belongings
- Set a good example. Show your child how to care for things by taking good care of your own things.
- Encourage your child to put their toys away neatly.
- Buy things that your child will really treasure — it will motivate him/her to take good care of it.
- Allow your child to help with laundry and encourage them to put away their own clothing.
- Buy clothing your child wants and likes, it will help him/her to have a sense of pride in what they wear and they will be more inclined to take good care of it.
- Get a library card for your child and teach him/her to take good care of their rented library books.
- Allow your child to help put away groceries, or put away clean dishes.
- Make sure there are plenty of shelves and drawers for storing personal belongings such as toys, clothes, shoes, art supplies, CDs, etc., that your child can easily reach.
- You might enjoy these tips from The Fly Lady.
Puts Away Toys
- Beat the clock! Set a time for 2-5 minutes and see if your child can clean up before the timer goes off.
- Sing a Clean-up Song: Sing one or two of these fun songs while your child cleans up their toys.
- Clean up with Barney and We're Going to Clean up Our Room by Barney
- Young children are capable of helping to clean up after themselves but they will need a little guidance. Walk around with a laundry basket, wagon, or another item that holds toys and tell your child what to pick up. For example, "please pick up the yellow truck under the table."
- Call for a clean up time a few times a day; this way the mess won't build up! Clean up before lunch and dinner and then again as part of the bedtime ritual. This way your child can start with a fresh play area after meals and when they wake up in the morning.
- Keeping some of your child's creations out for a while is nice because the parent that works out of the home will get to see what the child has done that day. You might want to display art projects and pictures as well. Don't let it build up! Have your child's creations last only until the next one that begs to be on display. You might want to designate an area of your home for just this purpose.
- Flashlight Clean-Up! -- This fun game really helps when your child isn't sure where to start to clean up their room. Use a flashlight. The first toy that the flashlight beam lands on is the first toy to pick up. Turn off the flashlight while your child picks up the toy and puts it away. Then, turn it on again and shine the light on another toy. Keep going until the room is tidy.
- Read How to Clean Your Room by Eileen Spinelli.
Helps Family With Chores
Your child can help do simple tasks all around the house such as:
- Sort colors into piles or baskets.
- Sort socks, underwear, fold washcloths and help put away clothes.
- Put the detergent in the washing machine with parental supervision.
- Put the fabric softener sheet into the dryer.
- If you put your clothes out on a line, children can give you clothespins and hand you clothing.
- Help set the table (dishes, silverware, napkins...etc.)
- Help carry covered bowls of food (not hot) to the table, and a carton of milk or juice.
- Put condiments on the table, and serving utensils.
- Clean up after a meal by putting condiments away, putting dishes in the sink and by putting dishes in the dishwasher.
- Help you wash and dry dishes. Note: This requires parental supervision. Be careful of too hot water, and sharp objects such as knives. Teach your child to handle a knife properly or not at all.
Other Household Jobs:
- Clean up after craft projects by putting away crayons and paper, placing paint brushes in the sink (to be washed), and throwing away left over scrap papers. They can put away play dough (parents, make sure lids are tight).
- Sweep floors and use a dustpan with a little help from a parent or with a child-sized broom and dustpan.
- Clean up a spill with a paper towel or sponge.
- Carry things into the house after shopping.
- Make a bed reasonably well and they can take everything off the bed for laundry day.
- Help prepare meals, make deserts (cakes, Jell-O, pudding and other yummy things!) and cook under supervision.
- Help decorate for the holidays.
- They can help dust the areas they can reach.
- Help with yard work:
- Rake leaves into piles with child size yard tools.
- Help garden by digging holes and putting plants/seeds in the ground and watering. Later they can help pick weeds and harvest veggies.
- Help pick up litter around the yard (give them gloves for this task).
- Clean up their yard and riding toys.
- They can help wash the car.
- Select fruits and vegetables.
- Help look for items in the store.
- Help carry bags to and from the car.
Cross Residential Street Safely
Although young children should not cross a street alone, they should know how too. Teach your child to: Stop, Look, and Listen! The best way for kids to learn is for a parent to teach them how to look both ways when crossing. Practice when crossing streets as you take a walk — and while in parking lots when you go shopping. Have your child tell you when it is safe to cross.
Roll Play: Do a roll play game with your child where you are about to cross a street, ask him/her what to do first. Stop! Then, look both ways (left and right, then left again) and listen for oncoming cars. Then when it is safe to cross: Go! Have your child teach their dolls and stuffed animals too!
Read books that help children (ages 4-8) understand how to cross the street safely:
- Look Both Ways: A Cautionary Tale by Diane Shore.
- I Can Be Safe: A First Look at Safety by Pat Thomas.
- Be a model of self-control for your child. Children mimic what they see.
- Teach your child to talk about what is bothering them as opposed to yelling, hitting, and throwing a temper tantrum.
- Children have a right to their feelings but they should not abuse you! Keep a calm head and maintain your need for respect firmly but kindly.
- Check out these tips for how to teach a child self-control.
- Help Your Child Learn Responsible Behavior (with activities for children)
- How to Teach Your Children Discipline
- An interesting article with research on the consequences of spanking.
- Read books that talk about moods and feelings such as Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis
Plays With Other Children
In addition to playing with brothers and sisters or neighborhood friends, here are some ideas to help your child learn to play well with others:
- Join a playgroup (check your local parenting newsmagazine for listings) or join a local homeschool support group.
- Once you meet other children, set up play dates for your child.
- Go to the park often so that your child can play with other kids.
- Join "mommy and me" classes through your local park & recreation department to meet and play with other children.
Shares With Others
While some young children may share without a moment's hesitation, for most young children sharing does not come naturally. Don't be horrified if your two-, three-, four-, or five-year-old child doesn't want to share. It's normal.
Until a child reaches age 6 or 7, they may not have the cognitive development to be able to consider the needs of others enough to be able to or want to share. You can see the problem, can't you? If you put your young child in an environment, such as a preschool or kindergarten, where there are many children and only one kind of particular toy — there are bound to be behavioral problems centered around sharing.
That's why teachers would prefer that every young child understand the concept of sharing and taking turns before entering school. If we just waited until a child was developmentally ready to share (age 6-7 or so) before we put them in school, this probably wouldn't be such an issue. However, since society continues to force children to adapt to environments that are developmentally inappropriate, educators will want young children to possess the skill to cooperatively share before entering school. You can certainly help a young child begin to understand the concept of sharing and taking turns. This takes patience and practice. Here are a few ideas that may help:
- Model sharing every day for your child. One of the most common things we share is food. Talk about the fact that you are sharing your apple (or whatever) with your child. If your child gives you one of his/her raisins — say, "Thank you for sharing your raisins with me." He or she will begin to get the idea.
- Take turns doing activities. Take turns doing chores such as cleaning and cooking. Play games that require players to take turns. (Harvest Time by Family Pastimes is a wonderful cooperative game for young children that encourages cooperation and sharing.)
- Observe other people sharing. When you and your child see a "sharing moment" comment on the fact that someone shared something with someone else. Simply bring it to your child's attention in a matter-of-fact way.
- Read the article, Learning To Share, for some helpful tips and ideas.
- Read books about sharing such as:
- Let's Share by P.K. Hallinan
- Share and Take Turns by Cheri Meiners
- It's Sharing Day! by Kirsten Larsen
- Sharing Time by Elizabeth Verdick
- Mine! Mine! Mine! by Shelly Becker
Gets Along Well With Other Children
Children will learn how to socialize and get along with others if that behavior is modeled for them everyday of their lives. Maintain good, respectful relationships with family members and friends so that your child can see and learn what constitutes good relationships. Encourage your child to be kind to others and complement them when they are kind and thoughtful. Point out inappropriate behavior and talk about other ways to handle difficult situations with people. Here are some other resources that may be helpful:
- Getting Along Together: Developing Social Competence in Young Children by PBS
- How To Be A Friend by Laurie Krasny Brown
- Join In And Play (Learning To Get Along) by Cheri Meiners
- How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson
- Words Are Not For Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick
- Teeth Are Not For Biting by Elizabeth Verdick
- Feet Are Not For Kicking by Elizabeth Verdick
- Raise Your Child's Social IQ: Stepping Stones to People Skills for Kids by Cathi Cohen
This "skill" is obviously required in a school setting, so that the teacher can control the students. (More on that in a minute...)
Most children, even those who don't attend school, recognize their parents and other adults as authority figures to one degree or another. Most children, when placed in an environment such as a Sunday school class, or a dance class, or a martial arts class, etc., will recognize the teacher as the authority figure in charge. This is especially true if their parents have modeled for them how to behave in various learning environments such as "mommy and me" classes, sports and recreation classes, library story-times, docent-led museum or zoo tours or field trips, and church services. Healthy, normal kids naturally pick up social cues as they are exposed to new environments and situations, and will undoubtedly intuit how to behave with any given authority figure if it has been appropriately modeled for them.
Of course, for their own safety, young children should be taught to immediately respond to the authority of police and fire personnel and security people in the event of an emergency. Again, this is something parents can model for their children. Arrange for tours of the local police station or firehouse. These agencies will talk to your children and let them know what to do in the event of an emergency. 4-5 year olds can learn a great deal and so will you!
Back to school... When a child goes to school they must understand who is in charge — namely, the teacher. They must follow the teacher's orders, and do what they are told, whether they want to or not. They must be polite and conform to the classroom rules and behavior required by the teacher whether it is relevant to their interests and needs or not. They have no power to defy the teacher or to remove themselves from that situation. There are very few other situations in life where that is true — except for prison. No wonder students get angry, act out, or become depressed and unhappy.
Authoritarianism is a useful crowd control technique in classrooms and penitentiaries. Unfortunately, when children experience it on a daily basis for years on end, it can lead to the loss of individuality and personal integrity. Children learn to subject their own interests and needs and conform to the needs of an authority outside of themselves. They learn to follow, not lead. The younger a child is placed in this kind of environment, the greater the risk for harm.
If your child goes to a government school, they will have to learn to exist in that hostile environment. There may not be an effective way to fully prepare any child for school or to protect them from the harm that may come from attending school.
That said, there are coping strategies and experiences that will help prepare a child for dealing with situations in the real world where they may need to recognize and subjugate themselves to an authority figure. These same strategies will help them transition into a school environment (but proceed at your own risk):
- Introduce yourself and your child to the teacher or person in charge. Tell your child that this person will tell them what to do, and will help them if they need help.
- Explain the rules and guidelines for behavior in each place you visit whether it's a museum, a library, a store, a school, or a friend's home. In order to enjoy the privilege of being in these places, you must abide by their rules -- even it they don't match your own house rules or the rules of other places. (For example, you may run at the zoo but you can't run in the museum. You may use loud voices outside, but you use a quiet voice or whisper in the library. You may allow everyone to walk around in shoes at your home, but your friend may have a "no shoes worn in the house" rule.)
- Teach your child how to listen attentively.
- Teach your child how to raise their hand to make a comment or ask a question.
- Teach your child polite manners including using phases such as, please, thank you, excuse me, etc. Read these books about polite manners:
- My Manners Matter: A First Look At Being Polite by Pat Thomas
- Are You Quite Polite: Silly Dilly Manners Songs by Alan Katz
- Be Polite and Kind (Learning To Get Along) by Cheri Meiners
Able To Work Independently
- Encourage your child to try and do new things all by him/herself. Show them how to do something like getting dressed, brushing their teeth, cracking an egg for breakfast, feeding the dog, taking out the garbage, pulling weeds, etc., Then let them try it by themselves (while you keep a watchful eye). Trying to step back can be very difficult for some parents but it really is the best thing to encourage independence. Just watch for a little while before you step in to help. When your child asks, be ready and willing to lend a hand or to give them a different perspective on the situation.
- Give your child a chance to figure things out for themselves. As long as they can't get hurt and don't become overly frustrated let them keep trying to do for themselves. This can be very frustrating for the parent but it will really pay off when you see the, "I got it!" look of excitement and pride on his/her beautiful little face!
- Encourage independent play. When children learn how to play independently, it promotes creativity and helps aid their self-esteem and sense of pride. It instills confidence in their ability and motivates them to do other things independently.
Able To Stay On Task
This is another "skill" that educators think young children should have before they attend school. In school, kids have to do the work assigned and complete it. Unfortunately, the "busy work" assigned in school may have no meaning or relevance to the child. Who can blame a child for not staying on task when the task is boring or seems pointless? The problem is that bored children may become frustrated and act out or become disruptive. Rather than find a suitable learning experience for that child, we are seeing more and more children (even in preschool) given a pseudo-diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder and then put on psychotropic drugs that make them passive and compliant. It's abusive, and a national disgrace and disaster.
Fortunately, in the home setting, little kids aren't required to "stay on task" for a prescribed period of time. They can learn much more naturally and effectively as their interest, ability, and curiosity dictate.
Children can be quite focused and stay on task if they are really interested in what they are doing and if it speaks to their developmental needs. Sometimes kids need a break from the task at hand. In the natural setting of home, they can leave it, and then return later to try again with renewed interest and a fresh perspective. Interest-initiated learning is a better way for young children to learn. As they grow they gain ability, skill, and confidence, and are able to better tackle academic tasks whether they continue to learn at home or go to school.
Feels Good About Self
- Hug and cuddle your child and say, "I love you," frequently throughout the day. Show them that they are loveable.
- Use respectful language and a loving tone of voice when speaking to your child.
- Acknowledge your child's achievements and accomplishments. Keep it real, upbeat and positive - children know when you are insincere, or know when the praise doesn't match the deed.
- Show appreciation and thank your child for helping you with chores.
- Display your child's photographs around the house and send their pictures to loved ones.
- Start an "All About Me" scrapbook.
- Display your child's artwork around the house.
- Listen attentively to your child.
- Answer your child's questions with facts, clarity, and honesty.
- Read Your Child's Self-Esteem by Dorothy Briggs. Written with deep respect for the developing child, it will positively influence the way you interact with your child for years to come.
- Read these articles about developing children's self-esteem:
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