Benefits of Socializing in Early Childhood Development

Benefits of Socializing in Early Childhood Development

Parents do whatever they can to ensure their child is raised the best possible way - whether it be a nutritious diet from a young age or even playing classical music for them while they’re still in the womb - but there’s only so much a parent can do on their own. While children learn many of their social skills from their parents and family, most of a child’s social development is learned through their peers and in activities that can be introduced in school or when enrolled in day care. The earlier these social skills are developed and practiced, the more likely it is that child becomes a confident and engaging adult.

What Are Social Skills and Why Are They Important?

Social skills can be verbal or nonverbal behaviors and interactions with peers and the environment. They can range anywhere from empathy, generosity, helpfulness, problem solving, negotiating, or just communicating with others. As children grow, their subconscious understanding and grasp on these skills lay the foundation for the rest of their relationships, even as adults. Toddlers who understand how to share toys with classmates are more likely to display helpfulness and generosity with their belongings or space, and in turn, are often happier as they age.

It’s been proven that children are more open to learning when they’re young - some refer to this as being an “information sponge” - meaning that every moment a child experiences in this time is a learning one. This is an unparalleled time in a developing brain. Whether the experience be watching television or playing on a jungle-gym in the sandbox with their friends, each moment molds the way children view the world. If a child develops their social skills at this time in their development, they’re more likely to be positively influenced by their effect on their environment, and eventually, in their lives and careers.

How Day Care Can Help

While enrolled in day care, children are not only introduced to vital social settings through their peers, they can also partake in activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them at home. Activities such as dance, art, and music all encourage children to be creative and outgoing in public situations where as sports can teach children to be cooperative with others and be better equipped at making new friends in unfamiliar surroundings.

While children are in a learning setting, they grow to understand social cues and authoritative figures (in their teachers and caretakers). While there is no denying the learning power of a parent, the skills learned in public settings are a completely separate set than ones learned at home. If learning solely in one’s own household, a child might learn how talk with their parents or family in a way that would be ineffective in outside relationships and could lead to a negative turn in familial relationships due to feelings of being a social outcast.

When a child knows how to balance relationships between family and social surroundings, that is truly when a child can learn to live a happy and social life. And although leaving home for the first time to go to school or day care can initially be a scary event, it’s the ability to adapt and overcome that same nervous energy that helps a child thrive in the outside world as they’re older.

Young children have the benefit of being able to absorb their surroundings with a gleaming, hopeful perspective; therefore, encouraging the development of a child’s social skills at a young age is the best way to invest in a child’s overall happiness and success as an adult. Children are never too young to start learning (nor is anyone too old to keep learning), and by learning in settings such as day cares or with friends, your child will be in the best environment for developing social skills in order to become a well-rounded individual.