Social development is one of the key goals of early education. Spending time in a daycare center can be extremely valuable for helping a child reach social development milestones, but there are many things parents can do to help their children socialize both in and out of daycare. To encourage your child’s social development, keep these tips in mind:
Practice Taking Turns
Sharing and taking turns is part of life in daycare centers and beyond, but it’s a skill that takes some practice. Your child will share during activities in the daycare center, but you can support his or her development of this skill by practicing at home. Play games with your child that require you to take turns. If your child has siblings, encourage them to practice sharing things, like favorite toys, the last cookie, or even chores. Taking turns and sharing will become more natural for your child with this kind of practice.
Encourage Verbal Communication
It’s natural for small children to express distress by crying, but as your child approaches daycare age, encourage your child to use words to communicate his or her needs. When you need to correct your child, explain the reason why you’re disciplining him or her and discuss why his or her behavior upset you. Most importantly, let your child use words to work out disagreements with siblings and friends. Avoid the temptation to step in unless absolutely necessary. The more your child solves problems with verbal communication, the more he or she will become comfortable with this important skill.
There’s no substitution for interaction with other children when it comes to helping your child build his or her social skills. At daycare, the opportunities for interaction are plentiful, but be sure not to isolate your child outside of daycare hours. Host playdates for neighbors and family friends, and allow your child to attend playdates in other homes. Playing with other children is the best practice for creating healthy social skills.
The team at A Child’s World is committed to helping the children in our care get the social interaction they need. Call us at (215) 519-1993 to learn more about our curriculum and our dedication to your child’s social and academic development.