Supporting your Child's Social-Emotional Development: Parenting is a Journey

As a parent or caregiver, you know that having a young child comes with both joys and challenges. You learn new things about them and how to manage different situations every day. This is a process that will last throughout your journey of caring for your child.

Take time to connect with your child each day—from the moment they’re born. Your loving care and response along the way will help them grow up feeling safe, secure, and confident in the world.

Here are a few tips to help you build a strong, loving relationship with your child:

Tune into your child

  • Every child is unique. What makes your child feel happy? Sad? Excited? Fussy? Take time to connect and think about where these feelings are coming from. What makes them behave or respond in certain ways?

Think about your own childhood

  • How does your own childhood affect the way you feel about your child? Being aware of this can help you be better prepared as a parent and respond positively to your child.

Respond calmly and consistently

  • Try to respond in a calm way, especially when your child is fussy or upset. This will teach the how to manage their emotions too.

Pause, breathe, and reflect

  • It’s normal for any parent to feel tired or frustrated at times. Give yourself time and space to breathe, reflect on the situation, and feel calm again.