Sunday, 31 December 2017

Understanding children’s friendships

Social relationships are learnt early and parents and other family members have an important task in supporting young children to feel at ease and enjoy the company of others.  As young children start to form their early contacts, other areas of their development are benefitting too.

Communication and Language

Children initially communicate with others through body language and gesture, and as their vocabulary increases, through words.  Lev Veygotsky, a Russian developmental psychologist, suggested children learn much by themselves, but even more from others.

Physical Development

Chasing and catching are great games and new ways to foster relationships, running, stopping, starting and avoiding being caught are good to play with children.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

To learn to share, take turns and work with others is learnt through collaborative activities, and this is an important area for parents to model.  Encourage children to follow their own conscience rather than simply complying with the requirements of good manners.

Self regulation

Children need to learn to control or regulate their behaviour rather than being controlled or regulated.  It’s important that young children begin to see how their parents and others in the family behave and model appropriate behaviours.  Yes it’s quite possible to coerce children into doing as they are told, but sound moral development in a child should develop intrinsically to shape attitudes and dispositions and foster positive relationships with others.

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