Why other children are so important to your child
In the first months of life, the parents are the navel of the world for their child. This changes with age and that's a good thing. Because dealing with other people, especially with other children, is a field in which children can get to know the full complexity of human communication.
At about three, children begin to play actively with other children. In the past, contact is usually limited to playing side-by-side, and real interactions are rare. And yet, even in this time of the first game attempts children benefit from dealing with their peers.
Development of social behavior
Until the social behavior of a child is fully developed, it is almost adult. Because the contact between people is varied and it is important to adapt to new situations, to judge them and to act appropriately. The first steps are taken by children with their parents, at the age of three they start to develop these skills together with other children. For us it looks like aimless gambling or superfluous quarrels. What actually happens is real work for children, because they learn a lot:
- Contact: How do I approach others, which actions produce the desired result. The children test all possibilities. How does it work if you give something to another child, what happens if you take something from him? The child also learns that not all children react the same way.
- Resolving conflicts: Quite often there are violent disputes among children, which easily degenerate into fisticuffs. Especially when such conflicts are gently accompanied by adults, children learn so much. How do I best put my opinion? Talking is often better than slapping and stinging. Sometimes one achieves one's goal more easily by partial yielding than by defiant reactions.
- Compassion: This is also best learned from children in contact with others, because they can put themselves in many situations well. The doll is broken, Lisa bends her knee, the notebook is ruined by a blot. However, here again a sensitive accompaniment by adults is required.
- Consideration: Here, the children also benefit from being with other children, because the consideration is done at eye level, so to speak. These abilities are particularly impressive in integration kindergartens. There, children learn that there are handicaps that significantly affect others' ability to act, such as when a child sits in a wheelchair, suffers from spasticity or can not walk properly.
Meeting at eye level
When dealing with other children, your child experiences for the first time that there are others who are similar to him, who think and feel similar and have similar experiences. It encounters a world that it can understand and empathize with, unlike that of adults, because it is part of it. It compares itself and other children, experiences that others are alike and that other children also win or fail. At the same time it can better gauge how its own capabilities are developed. This is enormously important as an addition to the positive feedback of the parents, because it not only receives confirmation from the outside, but also develops a feeling for itself.
And it gets suggestions that adults can not give it. Because children see the world with different eyes, are more open to miracles and curious about the possibilities that life offers. When kids are lost in the game, nothing is impossible. The sandpit becomes a wonderland, the puddle in the meadow to the infinite Atlantic, where the ships sail where they want. Together, children create worlds of fantasy, simultaneously expanding their horizons and training creativity.
On the way to becoming an adult social being, children also go through difficult times. Mostly we do not even understand what actually went into our otherwise cooperative child: Suddenly it does not want to share anymore, beats around, instigates meaningless quarrels. These phases are - unless there are currently grave family or other problems - test runs, series of experiments in which the child tests, what happens when it suddenly behaves quite differently. Here a child of parents and other caregivers should receive clear feedback, but also support. Whoever disputes and does not want to share stays alone. This experience makes your child and if the development is not slowed, this can have a negative effect in the long term. It is no longer liked and has no partners anymore. Sometimes it is not easy to get out of this situation. To keep it from getting stuck in this counterproductive behavior, you should help it to switch back. Explain to him the effect of his behavior and help it to turn back. Thus, the friend with whom your child has suddenly fed may be invited to play in the afternoon, or a taken or destroyed toy may be returned or replaced.
Your child learns a lot during his first years of life. A good kindergarten and a gentle accompaniment by the adults can positively support its development here. And as always, a child passes on what he or she learns from their parents - including other children. Therefore, the parents are a crucial yardstick with which conditions the child takes on the great task of learning social behavior.
I´m looking forward to your experiences and additions.
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