The benefits of socialising with children are numerous.
Not only does it help them develop their communication skills, but they also learn how to take turns, share and cooperate, and manage conflict and emotional situations.
One of the primary concerns of parents struggling to decide which daycare is right for them is whether or not the daycare setting provides adequate socialisation for children.
While finding adequate child care is a must for many families, others must weigh the benefits of daycare vs. staying home.
The arguments on all sides are passionate and deeply personal. Is the home the best place to socialise small children? What are the effects of daycare on child development?
Once upon a time, parenting magazines and mom-gurus didn't question the benefits of sending a child to daycare.
Times have changed, and parents increasingly question the importance of daycare in child development.
However, early childhood education, and daycare, in particular, can positively influence the socialisation of a child.
What Is Socialising?
Socialising is simply interacting with others.
It is essential that these skills are developed at a young age and that connections begin to form because it has an impact at every stage of your child's life.
Not encouraging socialising can have significant effects on a child's mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
For example, a study found children can become overly anxious and avoidant throughout their lives when left alone for an extended period.
There are many ways you can recognise and celebrate socialising, including identifying social milestones from an early age, such as:
- First word
- First steps
- First playdate
- First day at childcare or school
And many more. But this is a critical way to encourage socialising, remove the fear of more difficult social tasks, and show the importance of dating to your child.
Why Is Socialising Important?
Social development is tied to many other parts of your baby's overall development, which is why it's important to start socialisation with other children at a young age.
Social interaction helps young children start developing their sense of self and start to learn what others expect from them.
Sending your child to a preschool or child care centre can give them the social interaction they need with children their age and help them reach other developmental milestones. socialisation for kids
By playing with other children, they learn skills that stick with them their whole life. Young children are selfish by nature.
Putting them in preschool or child care helps your child naturally come out of that phase. Sharing, setting boundaries, and problem-solving all come from socialising and interacting.
Children learn to have empathy for other people; recognise when their friends are sad or mad or even happy!
Kids eventually will start to use these skills at home with their parents, siblings, or even pets.
Your child's preschool will also help them to learn discipline and consequences for their behaviour.
As they develop and pick up social cues, they learn what behaviours or reactions are appropriate and which ones aren't.
Going to preschool or child care gives them the consistency needed for their social development. As your little ones grow, so will their maturity.
So many decisions go into choosing the right preschool and the right timing. But laying the foundation for socialisation and problem solving is crucial at a young age.
Socialisation for children is another factor that benefits their development, and a child care setting can support that!
Do you know that socialisation for your child is also a key component along with the other essential elements necessary for proper personality development?
Every parent wants their children to learn and interact with the environment and other people and grow up to be wise and responsible individuals.
Socialisation plays an essential part in this, by familiarising children with what to do, how to react and interact in a society, how to live with people of diverse backgrounds and preferences and so on.
So, the sooner your child can socialise and interact with their environment, the higher chances they have of growing up to be supporting individuals with open minds.
If you want your child to develop some critical socialising skills, you need to help them interact with children of their age at an early stage.
Socialising at a young age is essential because your child will develop the skills needed to help with healthy development and relationships, such as the following.
Understanding and developing various communication skills will help your child as they go through different stages of their life, such as starting child care, starting school or engaging in sporting/ extracurricular activities.
Socialising allows kids to communicate with others outside of their immediate family and will help them understand risk-taking, social cues, how to listen and understand others.
It is also important to note that communication skills come in many forms, such as non-verbal and verbal communication, e.g. chattiness, showing interest, and hand gestures.
So you shouldn't worry if your child is not as chatty as the person next to them.
Confidence And Independence
Socialising allows kids to build skills that will help them be confident and autonomous later in life.
Social interactions will help children develop their self-esteem and build resilience towards the unknown, and, in turn, create connections that make new social interactions less scary.
This is an essential skill for the first day of school because school can be a big and scary new environment for your child.
Having resilience and confidence also means that your child is more likely to participate in healthy risk-taking such as going swimming or talking to someone new.
Socialising teaches children to share and makes them less selfish.
Being egocentric is normal behaviour for young children, particularly for first or only children. In their minds, the world revolves around what they can see instead of what they can't see or can imagine.
Socialising encourages children to interact with others and share resources and knowledge.
By sharing their knowledge, stories and resources, they are beginning to understand the concept of others that will help with creative and logical thinking later on in life.
Additionally, sharing and socialising helps children (and adults) make friends, and friends are critical to a child's emotional and mental wellbeing (see below).
Socialising introduces your child to new ideas, new concepts and differences, but it also helps to develop empathy.
Empathy is an essential quality because it helps children be kind and caring to others.
Socialising, as mentioned above, is not just talking but listening, watching and reacting as well.
Watching a person help someone hurt or stand up to others for someone being mistreated is an essential lesson in empathy that can only be taught via socialising.
Empathetic children will also be more accepting, open, and resilient in the future as they have developed skills to face confrontation, communicate, and positively integrate into new environments.
Finally, socialising is most essential to help your child make friends.
Friends are essential for several reasons, such as increasing your child's vocabulary, creating connections that encourage different ways of thinking, and creating lifelong memories that you and your child will treasure.
Friends are a network outside of immediate family that your child can rely on for help and support them through crucial stages in their life, such as starting school, playing sport/extracurricular activity or their first recital.
In particular, they can get excited about essential events when their friends are involved because your child feels supported.
Friends are the essence of our social network at all stages of our life, and they help reduce stress at times and improve our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Benefits Of Socialisation For Children In Child Care Centres
Socialisation with adults and children outside the family forms the foundation upon which many other aspects of childhood development are established and grown over time. Exposing children to others is beneficial from a very early age, helping them gain self-confidence and overcome any feelings of shyness.
For a child to live successfully within our society, they must interact with others positively and healthily.
Therefore, it is essential that we encourage and watch over our children's social interactions and teach them productive ways to interact with their peers and adults.
These skills must be developed over time through instruction, reinforcement and lots of practice.
A child care centre offers a safe, supportive space for children to develop social skills with children of all ages and adults in the form of caregivers, volunteers and guests.
The following are the top ways child care centres can have a positive effect on early childhood socialisation.
Learning To Be Part Of A-Team
The child care centre experience helps to teach children how to be a part of a team. Taking turns, sharing, and manners are all modelled and encouraged in the classroom.
Children learn how to be good friends and what the boundaries of appropriate behaviours are in varied situations.
Learning To Solve Problems
Building problem solving and reasoning skills are part of the curriculum in any high-quality child care facility.
Children learn not to give up when confronting difficulties and develop strategies for solving life's problems, whether academic or social.
Most parents have no idea what the early signs of learning disorders are. Others are reluctant to accept that their child may be facing cognitive or intellectual challenges.
The trained staff in child care centres know how to spot signs of intellectual disability and behavioural challenges early.
With early intervention, children can be set on a productive path and pursue their greatness.
Get Ready For School
Child care centres help children ease into a school-like routine with daily schedules that include circle time and designated outdoor playtime.
A well-equipped and well-staffed child care facility not only mimics a school-like environment but actively encourages age-appropriate learning and learning through play.
Language Skills Development
Exposure to a wide variety of words in the early childhood years has lasting effects on a child's developing mind.
Communicating with a wide range of people of varying ages helps your child to master verbal skills.
Child care facilities often incorporate a language arts curriculum into their schedule.
Storytime, dramatic play, and even conversing with other children help your child develop the skills to express themselves verbally.
Children who don't have adequate verbal skills often become frustrated and exhibit various anti-social behaviours.
Respect For Authority
While respect begins in the home, learning to respect authority other than one's parents is a skill many young children struggle with.
Children quickly learn that respect for authority has real-world consequences.
They are caring for toys, following instructions, sitting quietly while listening to a story or watching a television show require children to listen to authority and comply.
They learn that if authority is ignored or defied, the consequences are broken toys and provoking classmates who are unable to enjoy the activity.
Easing Separation And Forging New Bonds.
Separation anxiety is reduced by socialising.
When children can play and interact with other children of their age or older, their language skills develop more rapidly.
Spending time in a childcare setting can contribute positively to a child's understanding of the spoken word as they engage in storytelling, dramatic play, or simply through conversation with others.
One of the great benefits of early childhood education centres is that they often offer the chance for children to work together with their peers.
Many activities for preschool-aged children are focused on teamwork to allow children to learn essential skills such as respecting the opinions of others, careful listening, equality and cooperation.
In most child care facilities, toys and equipment must be shared among all children in the group, and if a child wants to play, they must wait for their turn.
An excellent social benefit of early childhood education is that your child will begin to understand the concept of sharing, which caregivers will model to encourage cooperation and equality among children.
A daycare or preschool setting will allow children to learn to interact with peers and how to listen to authority figures outside of their parents.
The social benefits of early childhood education extend beyond respect for authority to include care for their surroundings and belongings.
This type of respect is easily taught in a child care centre, where toys and supplies must be shared and cared for by all group members.
Social Interaction For Young Children
With a child older than one year, you can be more ambitious.
You can invite a child of the same age to play at your house and ask your child to show them their toys and play with them.
However, be cautious. The concept of socialising will take some time to get used to, and both children might not be willing to share at first.
Be prepared for it and don't be disappointed. As soon as you sense that the children are becoming restless, it is high time to end the playdate so that the visit ends on a good note.
You can also take one or a couple of other children to the zoo or park with your child to allow them to interact with children of their age.
There is a chance that your child might enjoy playing with one or a couple of children their age when they can choose whom they like best, and that would break the ice!
Though it may seem like a difficult task to teach a child, some subtleties of social interaction, such as being polite, taking turns in conversations, and distinguishing verbal and non-verbal social cues, are not impossible to learn over time.
When a child attends a child care or preschool program, they are exposed to various people and different kinds of social interaction that will help them learn how to interact with others politely and productively.
Ultimately, proper socialisation can offer a child many benefits well into their adult life.
Children who attend child care, even part-time, learn to function independently of their parents for an extended period.
They learn, necessarily, that parents can be trusted to return. But, leaving is not the same as being abandoned.
They learn that routines and people other than their parents can be trusted and counted on to meet their needs.
Not only that, but they learn to develop strong peer relationships.
And at the end of the day, they meet their parents with beautiful experiences and stories to share with their parents and "presents" to give.
In short, their world expands exponentially, and that eases the transition into school.
Quality child care is a challenge to find, as each parent must decide which facilities and programs best fit their needs.
Some parents will not consider a child care facility that doesn't allow them to monitor the classroom from their computer.
Children with special needs would need a facility with trained medical professionals on staff. And many others need flexible hours to meet their demanding schedules.
Regardless of your own child care needs, you can be sure that the child care experience will positively affect socialisation for children.
Socialization, in fact, is an important part of your child's development overall — with social milestones helping your child to “manage personal feelings, understand others' feelings and needs, and interact in a respectful and acceptable way.” Read on to learn how socialization benefits toddlers.
- Don't push too hard. ...
- Don't feel like you have to keep your child at home. ...
- Do plan playdates at your house first. ...
- Do encourage your child to join clubs or other activities. ...
- Do plan family activities. ...
- Do rehearse ahead of time for situations that make your child nervous.
- Mental Health. Socialization can help improve our mental and emotional health. ...
- Confidence and self-esteem. ...
- Increased quality of life. ...
- Reduced blood pressure. ...
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer's. ...
- Boost immunity and other physical health benefits. ...
- Increased brain health. ...
- Promotes purpose.