How To Manage Your Primary School Child’s Social And Emotional Development Better
Your child might exhibit changes in behaviour and needs so here are ways to handle them better
January 2, 2021
Just as your wants and needs change over time, the same applies to your child. And as your child starts and to go through primary school, you might notice a stark change in behaviour from your child. Your role as a parent changes now while they are rapidly growing up and learning about the world around them. Here are nine ways you can handle their social and emotional development better.
How To Manage Your Primary School Child's Social And Emotional Development Better
Accept that they are growing up
Change is a continuous part of your child’s life. Even though you might want them to stay exactly as they are, they won’t. So don’t fight their growth and development and don’t react against it.
Be prepared to adapt your parenting to their age. What worked with them a few years ago may not be as effective now.
Your child is very independent and has lots of friends, but still wants you to be a part of their lives. Don’t let yourself to move into the shadows. You are no different from every other parent whose parenting confidence starts to wobble as they watch their little one grow up.
But stay involved with them, anyway, as much as you can. Don’t become a bystander.
Use less criticism
Your primary schooler is probably less compliant than they were before. Perhaps they huff and puff when you tell them to do homework or moan when you ask them to tidy their room.
Resist the temptation to criticise them for this. Instead, offer to show them how to cope with these tasks if they think they can’t manage on their own.
Be more supportive
Your tween has the same psychological needs as they had when they were younger, but they meet these needs differently now that they are older.
They want to make more decisions about their clothes, activities and friends and they need you to guide and support them with these choices.
Encourage them to try new activities
What fascinated your child when they were younger might seem totally uninteresting to them now. That’s why they would rather practise their musical instrument than, say, play a board game with you.
Go with the flow, acknowledge that they are expressing their individuality and show enthusiasm for their new interests.
You don’t need to be a super-funny, or a super-athletic, or super-whatever type of parent. Your child loves you for who are you; she doesn’t want you to be someone else.
So, if you’d rather chat with them than, say, ride together, then do it. It’s the time that you share together with them that matters, not what you actually do together.
Tell them that you know they are growing up but that you still want to hear all their news and stories about school and friends and that you still want them to share her concerns with you.
Don’t feel awkward about saying this to them – they will be delighted to hear you still care.
Spend more time with them
Make an effort to spend more time every day with them, perhaps playing a game, watching Youtube, or just talking.
This helps you both keep in touch and keeps your relationship strong. They thrive with your attention and they still enjoy hanging out with you even though they are older.
Respect their privacy
Your kid has a right to privacy when getting dressed, washing, or chatting with her friends.
Explain to them that you understand and respect this, adding that, for example, you won’t barge into their room unannounced and won’t interrupt her conversations with their pals.
This article was first published in Young Parents.