You have already been helping your child learn about social and emotional development skills at home. During the preschool years, you will want to continue building these skills. Spending time with your child and showing your love will help your child feel secure and will build the confidence to try new things. Talking about feelings will help your child identify and manage emotions. For example, if a play date gets canceled, you might say, “I know you’re sad that your friend can’t come over.”

To help your child learn to manage strong emotions you might try helping your child to count to 10 before he or she gets angry and lashes out. Encouraging him or her to use positive self-talk such as saying, “I know I can do this” will help when frustration takes over during a new task.

If your child has a conflict or other problem, ask what’s wrong and how it makes him or her feel.   This helps you both understand the problem better. Then ask your child to think of ways to solve the problem. Offer suggestions if needed. After discussing the pros and cons of each idea, help your child work out what choice is likely to work best.

Praise your child when he or she takes steps to solve problems on his or her own.