Resources for Families

Social Development Tips for Pre-School Children

Interaction with Others

  • Share with other children
  • Say "hello" & answer simple questions
  • Ask for help when he needs it
  • Use polite words, like "please" thank you"
  • Recognize feelings by looking at people


  • Wait for her turn, this may be hard for them
  • Be able to get quiet after an activity
  • Use words to get what he wants
  • Complete tasks
  • Use table manners
  • Keep away from dangerous objects


  • Dress themselves
  • Eat foods that are different
  • Use the potty
  • Brush teeth


  • Separate easily from parents
  • Say what she is feeling
  • Know his address


Ways to Encourage Your Child

Give your child easy things to share: blocks, paper, crayons.
Tell him that you are proud of him for sharing.

Take your child with you to shop & to visit friends. Help her, but do not make her talk.

Let your child try things by himself first, then give him help
when he asks.

Be a positive role model and use polite words when speaking to your child. She will learn from hearing you.

Make different faces in the mirror with your child. Talk about what the faces show.


When playing games with your child be sure to say, "My turn" & "Your turn."

Help your child calm down by playing quiet music while she draws or does puzzles.

When your child asks for something calmly, listen to him. When he demands, shouts, hits or throws let him know that this behavior will not get him what he wants.

Give your child small jobs: pick up sticks, sort laundry, feed the dog. Thank her for helping the family.

Show your child how he is expected to eat at school: chew with closed mouth, use a napkin.

Use the game "I Spy Something Dangerous." Point to things around your home that can hurt: matches, knives, pills.


Your child can do zippers & buttons, but cannot tie her shoes. Let her pick out what she wants to wear.

Expose your child to many different foods; do not make him eat any one food.

Make sure your child wears clothes that are easy to take off.

Help her to feel proud and grown up.

Brush your teeth with your child. Make sure he watches you apply the toothpaste & brushing inside & out for two minutes.


Allow your child to play on the playground while you watch from a distance.

Encourage your child to spend time visiting friends or family members without you.

Help your child talk about what they are feeling, "You look mad. Is that right? Tell me what made you mad."

Send your child mail, help him mail things, show & read him his address.


Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc. 2002