Social development school age children : Social Development

Social development school age children

Friends are vital to school-age children's healthy development. Research has found that children who lack friends can suffer from emotional and mental difficulties later in life. Friendships provide children with more than just fun playmates. Friendships help children develop emotionally and morally. In interacting with friends, children learn many social skills, such as how to communicate, cooperate, and solve problems. They practice controlling their emotions and responding to the emotions of others. They develop the ability to think through and negotiate different situations that arise in their relationships. Having friends even affects children's school performance. Children tend to have better attitudes about school and learning when they have friends there. In short, children benefit greatly from having friends.

Figure 1.

What parents can do to help child make friends

Parents play a crucial role in their child's social development. A child is not born with social skills. He needs parents who take an active role in preparing him to interact successfully with his peers. The most important thing parents can do for their child is to develop a loving, accepting, and respectful relationship with him. This warm relationship sets the stage for all future relationships, including friendships. It helps the child develop the basic trust and self-confidence necessary to go out and meet others. It provides a firm foundation on which the child can develop social skills.

Parents also teach their child various social skills by being a good role model. That is, a child learns from how his parents interact with him and other people. He learns how to meet people and talk to them, to tell stories and jokes, and to cooperate with others and ask for favors. He learns how to win or lose well, to apologize and accept apologies. He learns to accept compliments graciously and to show admiration and appreciation. Furthermore, he learns to be patient, respectful, and considerate. Parents help their child learn how to be a person others like to be around by showing him with their own actions.

You can do a great deal to prepare your child to make friends by maintaining a warm relationship with him and being a good role model. Below are some additional ways you can help prepare your child.

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