Why Social and Emotional Skills
are So Important
A Parent's Guide to Preschool
Diane Trister Dodge and Joanna Phinney
Who does best in school?

Children who know how to make friends

Children who can cooperate with others

Children who can control their emotions

Children with strong social and emotional skills are more likely to be successful in
school and in life than children who do not have these skills. That's why we want to
help your child develop self-confidence, self-control, and the ability to make friends.

Developing self-confidence. Confident children have a "can-do attitude" about
life. They are not afraid to try new things. They don't give up when something is
difficult--they keep trying until they get it. To build self-confidence, we plan activities
and provide materials that are challenging for children-but not too challenging-so
they experience success. We see what interests children. We encourage them to
experiment and find answers to their own questions as they play.

Learning self-control. Children with self-control are able to manage their
emotions and not simply act out if they are angry or frustrated. They talk about the
problem rather than calling another child names and using threats to get their way.
We teach children how to calm down and help them use words to get their needs
met: "I don't like it when you hit me. Stop it!" or "I was still playing with the shovel.
You can have it when I'm finished."

Making friends. Every child needs a friend. Children who do not have friends are
often unhappy. They worry about why others don't like them. They feel alone. As
they get older, children without friends often have trouble learning and may resist
going to school. We watch for any problems and we teach children how to make
and keep a friend.

Children learn social and emotional skills form the ways people treat them. When
you visit our classroom, you will see and hear what we do to help children develop
social and emotional skills.
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Why Social and Emotional Skills
are So Important