22 Apr · Tim Carter · No Comments

Being an only child often has its own social challenges. Only children are known to be less socially congruent that their counterparts with siblings. Children function best in inclusive settings where each one of them is an important part of a community or group. This is one of the main reasons why preschool is very important. Below are several reasons why preschool can help an only child develop better social skills.

1. INTRODUCTION TO PEERS.

The preschool years often mark a child’s introduction to the world of peers and peer interactions. Research indicates that promoting positive contact and co-operation between children of different groups can improve relationships and attitudes. Whenever differences are celebrated and similarities are discovered, children learn to appreciate their peers, value themselves and develop meaningful relationships with one another. This type of interactive environment is often absent at home for only children. Such children will benefit in many ways from positive peer interactions. During preschool, friendship foster a sense of connection and security gradually building self-confidence and self-esteem thus helping young children adapt more readily to social environments. Moreover, friendships provide important opportunities for children to learn more about other people and develop understanding.

2. DIFFERENT PLAYTIME.

The home setting offers a limited playtime experience for an only child. This can have a negative impact on their social skills. Preschool has a role to play in the way a child experiences playtime. For instance, a three year old child may seek out peers who are playing with something of interest or be attracted to exterior appearances. 4 and 5 year old children tend to select friends with common playtime interests and spend time together absorbed in these activities. Older preschoolers will often participate in complex peer play more regularly and for longer periods. This is because they are more curious about other children and will make efforts to engage and connect. What all this reveals is that preschool offers a platform for different stages of child social development through playtime. A broader range of playmates exposes children to diversity in their playtime experiences. As the children try separate activities and methods of interaction and communication, they are equipped with the necessary social skills to interact positively in a wider range of social situations and groups. An only child will have a better playtime experience in preschool consequently developing their social flexibility.

3. CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

It this world, there will always be conflict. As such, it is very important for children to develop conflict resolution skills at an earlier age. Only children lack siblings and therefore will have less opportunities of testing their conflict resolution skills at home. Preschool offers an environment where simple conflicts occur between children. These can be arguments over toys, friends or play areas. In this environment they can learn that people have different perspectives and they need to respect that. Daycare managers can often help young children resolve these conflicts in ways that benefit all parties and foster learning. Evidently, preschool is a very importance part of childcare. Not only does it encourage the improvement of social skills it has a list of many other beneficial aspects to the development of a child such as sharing, empathy, understanding, co-existence and unity.

Tim Carter

I’m Tim Carter, a thirty something year old, husband, father, childcare owner, and chocolate brownie lover. I believe children deserve better and only hope this blog will create a little change.