Every expert in the field of education knows how to say that children’s social abilities affect their situation at school and later also their abilities in the labor market, but are these abilities significant already at the age of a few months? In the last two decades, the field of infant research has grown and expanded greatly, especially the study of infant brain development and the connection of this development to emotional and social abilities. The issue of the social development of infants is constantly evolving and therefore, it is known that it is best to develop skills as early as possible.
How can you help a child develop social skills?
It is important to encourage your child to be around other children as early as possible. Oftentimes, people send their children to a nursery or baby day care which can help them develop skills, learn to play well and learn the fundamentals of social skills; which may be playing with other children, learning to share and helping other children.
What if you worry your child won’t be comfortable?
As with any component in children’s development, infants’ behavior stems from both congenital genetic factors and the effect of parental behavior per se, for example – whether they are sociable, how they relate, how they treat other family members, and whether they have friends and their relationship to the toddler. There are also other factors such as the emotional expression towards the child, the way the parents mediate the social reality, and the number of social options they offer the child. Stranger anxiety is a congenital phenomenon that is important for the child’s survival, and its purpose is to protect it from strangers who may harm it. Parents can assist their youngsters with feeling more comfortable around strangers but this can take time.
At what age does it make sense to introduce friends to toddlers?
At about six months of age the child begins to express great interest in the world around them. Whilst this is a little too early to develop their skills, it will be around this time that you will start to notice a more inquisitive personality developing. They will try to grasp at things, laugh at things, make eye contact, try to speak and all of these things should be nurtured.
Why is it so important and how can children be taught to be empathetic at an early age?
We are born with curiosity and the seed for social skills and with their help of parents and those around us, toddlers grow and develop abilities of cooperation, reciprocity, dialogue, and more because these are the basic components of life. Empathy is the emotion that allows us to be attentive to the needs of other people, especially to those close to us, but also to others. When children develop social skills early on, they will learn about emotions, how other children react to things, and the ways in which it is polite and respectful to interact with them.