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Social Skills

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 The Top Three Social Skills Your Child Must Master

Have you ever found a colleague to be annoying, rude or too self-centered? Perhaps you have a colleague who is too easily offended or one who is always engaging in one-upmanship. Have you ever wondered why these people did not learn how to get along with others somewhere along the way? These people may never have been taught how to properly navigate their emotions and social situations.

Quality Early Childhood Educators value the role of great social skills as a crucial component of early education. A good Early Childhood Educator cares passionately about helping children learn to be socially successful. They do not want your child to grow up to be the co-worker that others avoid.

While temperament types (Flexible, Fearful or Feisty) are fairly well set from birth, social skills are best learned at a young age. Two of the most important skills a child can learn before entering kindergarten are to get along well with others and understand the rules of social situations.

Quality Early Childhood Educators care deeply about working with families to help children learn to operate in and be successful in many social situations by supporting children in learning how to manage emotions and negotiate with others.

Imagine being the child who enters kindergarten with few social skills. It is demoralizing to enter the classroom each day as “that kid”—the one who is frequently being redirected, scolded, avoided, or punished for not being able to negotiate social situations. Imagine being the child who can’t seem to figure out how to get along with others and make friends.

“That kid” frequently loses the enthusiasm and joy young children have about school much faster than their peers. They also have fewer friends and tend to have friends who also have difficulty with social situations.

An adult who is too easily offended is difficult to be around and has very little chance of long-term success at work and in personal situations. Some of these people withdraw or cry while others respond with anger and abuse. This is a person who needed positive support as a child to guide him/her in how to deal with criticism or teasing.

This support was lacking for this child who grew up to find frustration and fear when dealing with others. An adult who provokes others by bullying, taking credit for the work of others, and not taking “no” for an answer is often someone who struggles with self-doubt and has responded to that insecurity by being aggressive.

Your child’s pre-school and child care should place a high value on social skills as it is a strong indicator of future success at home, school and work. Ask your child’s teacher about how he/she is helping children identify emotions, deal with emotions and get along with others. Since different educational philosophies emphasize different skills consider if your child care or pre-school places a strong value on social skills.

Talk to your center director and your child’s teacher. Ask about your child’s temperament and how it helps or hinders social skills development. Ask about ways you might help your child be more successful in handling emotions and social situations.

The top three social skills for preschoolers are:

  • Getting along with others
  • Understanding the rules of social situations
  • Dealing with criticism or teasing

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