Parenting Tips

HMG Moments

As a parent, you already have what it takes to help your young child learn and grow. Supporting children’s emotional and social development is just as important as supporting their physical development.

You can support your child’s social and emotional skill development everyday by teaching them to…
Understand Feelings of Others
  • Help children name feelings
  • Identify feelings they see in others
  • When reading together, ask your child how they think the characters feel

HMG Moment: Play “feelings charades”- take turns making facial expressions and naming the emotions.

HMG Moment: Read book about friendship and talk about what makes a good friend.

Learn To Share
  • Use a timer so everyone gets to play with a favorite toy
  • Put away items your child doesn’t want to share during a playdate, like a special stuffed animal 
  • Lead by example; let your child see you share

HMG Moment: Celebrate success - when you see your child sharing, let them know what a great job they did.

HMG Moment: Play games that encourage turn taking like throwing a ball or a board game.

Express Feelings
  • Praise your child for identifying emotions
  • Stay calm and show your child empathy when strong emotions arise
  • Teach problem-solving to manage emotions

HMG Moment: Blow some bubbles for “calm breathing” when your child is anxious or upset.

HMG Moment: Reflect and say back what you hear your child say- “I understand you’re mad it’s time to leave."

Establish Routines
  • Make routines consistent and predictable
  • Teach your child how to be flexible - sometimes there may be unexpected interruptions in their routine
  • Have a bedtime ritual

HMG Moment: Make a meal together part of your routine, a great way to spend time together at the start or end of your busy day.

HMG Moment: Create a weekly chose list for the whole family.

Get Along
  • Create opportunities to play with other children
  • Let children try to resolve problems on their own
  • Teach your child how to trade

HMG Moment: Do a puzzle! A fun way to practice working together and taking turns. 

HMG Moment: Model good manners; use “please” and “thank you.”

Show You Care
  • Tell them you love them
  • Let them help you, even if it takes longer 
  • Spend time together

HMG Moment: Give your child the gift of your full attention - read a bedtime story every night.

HMG Moment: Tell your child one thing you love about them everyday.

Build Relationships
  • Make time every day to play with your child
  • Respect your child’s feelings
  • Schedule playdates with other children

HMG Moment: Read books about friendship and talk about what makes a good friend.

HMG Moment: Let your child teach you about what interests them.