Building Emotional Readiness
in Young Children

The importance of emotional readiness for young children



Building emotional readiness does not require anything extraordinary, rather, it depends on ordinary moments.

It requires that caring adults understand the significance of early childhood development and the importance of everyday interactions with a infant or young child.


Parenting and caregiving practices that support emotional readiness include:

  • Commitment to building a relationship with the baby in which the caregiver/parent is willing to consider and act upon the baby’s point of view before their own
  • Growing knowledge, curiosity and interest in child development
  • Strategies for managing the ups and down of caring for young children
  • Healthy, responsive and sensitive relationships in which another adult:
    • Makes you happy
    • Listens to you and believes in your aspirations
    • Is predictably supportive
    • Communicates love and respect

What can caring adults do to build emotional readiness in young children?

  • Smile and laugh often, creating promoting fun and enjoyment of relationships.
  • Model strategies for waiting, having patience.
  • Create a feeling of emotional safety in the classroom.
  • Post the children’s work at their eye-level.
  • Have clear boundaries / non-negotiables / ”not okay” behaviors
  • Remain calm at all times when with the children.
  • Model kindness and empathy.
  • Address hurt feelings. (don’t ignore and hope will go away)
  • Model feelings/vulnerability and strategies for managing
  • Consistent, reliable and predictable including consequences.
  • Create strategy for problem solving.
  • Provide controlled options.
  • Sing, play and instrument, create a rhythm.

What can you do when things aren’t going well?

  • Take deep breaths
  • Watch a ted talk or best video
  • Talk about problems in past tense and then think about it in a positive way.