Child social development is an important aspect of your child’s healthy growth and development. Children need to learn to interact with their peers and with adults in a socially acceptable way, which allows them to eventually form healthy relationships and fit into social situations comfortably.
Your interactions with your young child establish the building blocks for healthy social development with your child. By giving your baby lots of love and by attending to their needs you establish a bond with your baby, which allows them to grow in a comfortable, confident and socially healthy atmosphere.
As a preschool child develops improved language skills social development plays an important role in their lives, as they become more involved with the people around them. At this stage of social development friendships become more important. Preschool children often play with same-sex friends, and begin forming ‘best friend’ bonds with certain peers.
Companionship, attention and approval become more important to a preschool child. Children at this age often like playing apart from their parents, either on their own or with other children. But preschoolers at this stage of social development often still need an adult close by to get materials or settle disputes. Child social development skills can be a challenge at this age as children are often required to compromise, take turns and share for the first time in their lives.
Social development at the preschool age often revolves around learning how to share toys. Although preschool children are beginning to interact more with their friends and play together as apposed to just playing beside a friend, their play is not usually very organized. They don’t typically set goals or stick with a theme when playing. But if an adult is organizing a game, they are developing the ability to play along and follow the rules.
Preschool social development tends to revolve around a friendship of only a few friends. Children at this age start to develop a sense of humor and laughter becomes a fun way to express their happiness.
A preschool child who has the opportunity to join an early learning program is given opportunities for developing healthy social development. Preschool children have opportunities in an early learning setting to learn to work together, to compromise, to share and take turns, and to empathize with their peers.
Child social development is also encouraged in a preschool program through opportunities to play and develop friendships with peers. Dramatic play areas within a preschool program allow a child the opportunity to engage in imaginary play with their peers which is an excellent way to foster social development.
At the preschool stage of social development children learn gender roles, which is to say that they learn the behaviors that are typically expected of girls or boys. They also realize the physical differences between girls and boys.
Parents can further assist in child social development by encouraging their child’s socially acceptable behavior through consistent and positive discipline.