The toddler years bring lots of developmental milestones. Starting at the age of two, a child’s brain tissue uses as much energy as that of an adult’s. This energy is used in developing many different skills – including social skills. Once a child enters preschool, their social skills rapidly develop because they are exposed to people other than their parents or siblings. They begin to interact and socialize with fellow students, teachers, and other staff at school. Socialization, just like cognitive development, plays an important role in early education and promotes positive outcomes later in life.
Here are some of the important social skills developed in preschool:
Expression of Emotions
Babies express their emotions through crying. They cry when they’re sleepy, hungry, or when they feel discomfort. When a child enters preschool, they are taught to put a name to what they’re feeling. Child care centers teach students to distinguish emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, and excitement. Once children learn to put a name to what they feel, they are then taught how to cope with them. Children begin to use words, rather than actions, to express their needs and feelings. They also begin to understand that other people have feelings, too.
While everyone is born with listening skills, these skills need to be enhanced as people grow older. Listening skills are vital as without them, children cannot learn. Children need listening skills to develop other skills such as speaking, comprehension, and focus. At school, children are taught to listen to instructions and follow them correctly. They are engaged in different games, helping them to understand the importance of respect and taking turns.
The communication skills that children develop at a young age are essential for their integration into society. Preschool education teaches children how to make eye contact with the person speaking to them as it is an indication that they are listening. They are also taught to distinguish between rude and polite communication. In addition, they learn how to speak properly when talking to peers and adults.
In a classroom setting, children are encouraged to work in groups. They will learn that each member has a specific task and that all tasks need to be done to complete the project. This way, children will begin to understand the importance of cooperation, learn how to work effectively in a group, and work through a miscommunication.
As children begin to interact with their peers, they develop traits like kindness and being supportive and trustworthy. Forming friendships provide them with emotional and social support which they may need as they grow older.
Preschool provides a great opportunity for children to gain independence and self-awareness. This new environment fosters a child’s curious mind and willingness to explore new things. Children begin to make decisions independently, consider new ideas, and try new things. They also develop a sense of confidence and personal accomplishment.
As shown above, preschool education plays an important role in a child’s social skills development. Children are taught how to interact with peers, describe how they feel, listen and respect others, and gain independence.