The social skills that we develop as children truly prepare us for life as an adult. The socialization techniques a child learns during play and their day care experiences, like playing well with other children, taking turns, sharing, forming friendships, and solving problems, form the foundation for later relationships with our co-workers, friends, and family.
Each of those early skills are expanded, honed, and fine-tunes over our lifetimes, but the very basic building blocks of our socialization abilities start to take shape when we are still very young. Interacting with adults and other children in a structured, supervised, and safe day care centre setting tends to encourage our little ones to develop those critical socialisation skills quicker.
Here are the benefits to child care centres in terms of developing your child’s socialisation skills.
- High-quality Guardian Australian child care centres offer children the following benefits for socialisation skills:
- Help honing communication skills
- Teach little ones how to take turns and share with others
- Help children learn how to make new friends, play well with other children, and how to work as part of a team
- Encourage children to demonstrate compassion, inclusion, and cooperation
- Teach compromise, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution techniques
- Teach children to listen to and respect non-parental authority figures
- Allow for children to interact with other children and adults, helping to ease separation anxiety issues
- Allow children time to adjust to routines and school schedules
Each of these social skills will also help your child with the transition to kindergarten. Most kindergarten teachers agree that children who are ready to learn are the ones who come to school with good behaviour-management and socialisation skills. Younger children, overall, tend to learn best by doing the types of activities they find interesting, whether it’s chatting to their teachers, playing in groups, or participating in story time. In other words, the type of social learning that takes places in day care centres.
Social Skills Development – a Time Line
Not sure where your child should be in terms of social development? You can use the below as a guide:
- 2 – 3-year olds should be able to make social contact with others physically and verbally. They should seek out attention from others, make eye contact, and take turns talking.
- 3 – 4-year olds ought to be able to take turns when they are playing with games, stuffed animals, and toys with other children. They should also initiate verbal communication with properly formed words.
- 4 – 5-year olds are able to use direct requests, show more cooperation with their peers, and are able to pretend play and chat.
- 5-to-6-year olds can please their friends, apologise, and know their manners. They’re also more competitive when playing, strategic in bargaining, and understand good sportsmanship and fair play.
Another important part of developing your child’s socialisation skills is playdates. A playdate is a great way to introduce little ones to the idea of using rules when friends visit and to teach them how to be polite to visitors. You can go through the different things children can do together, and then have your child offer his or her guest a few activities to do. They can then carry these skills through at day care, or perhaps, they are already learning them.