Report: Expressing Warmth and Affection to Children
Report » Expressing Warmth and Affection to Children
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Vanderbilt University
This What Works Brief is part of a continuing series of short, easy-to-read, “how to” information packets on a variety of evidence-based practices, strategies, and intervention procedures. The Briefs are designed to help teachers support young children’s social and emotional development. They include examples and vignettes that illustrate how practical strategies might be used in a variety of early childhood settings and home environments.Warmth and affection are aspects of positive teacher-child relationships that are critical for children’s well-being in early education settings (see What Works Brief #12: Building Positive Teacher-Child Relationships). Expressions of warmth and affection occur as teachers and other caregivers protect, guide, communicate, teach, and play with children. They help set the tone for all of these interactions, can reassure and comfort children, and may help them to relax. Teachers who are warm and affectionate show children that they like them, enjoy being with them, are having fun with them, and are pleased with their efforts and accomplishments. Expressions of warmth and affection are most effective in the context of an ongoing positive relationship between a child and a caregiver; they also contribute to making that relationship positive and authentic.