Social development is the process by which the child learns to interact with those around him , from his reference persons with whom he establishes attachment when he is a baby, to his friends or peers, through the complex network that makes up the society in which he lives.
Little by little, children become aware of the social, of the norms and rules that govern their environment, while they develop and strengthen the skills necessary to function in that environment (social skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, etc. .)
Parents can teach our children to relate positively with others , since children’s social relationships will largely determine their well-being and happiness.
But, how can we favor the social development of our children? We give you the keys!
1) Respect their rhythms and their needs
Children are sociable by nature, and they themselves will gradually discover what it means to play in a group and have a gang of friends .
But until this time comes, children will go through different phases in their development; from parallel play, around 12 months and up to two or three years old, through cooperative play and the discovery of that great friendship, around six or seven years old.
Although it is very beneficial to promote the socialization of our children, we must take into account these important aspects of their development, as well as other issues arising from their needs and tastes.
In this sense, parents should not:
- Forcing the child to “socialize” when he is not developmentally ready for it.
- Forcing the child to share their toys with other children, because in many cases, this refusal is due to a matter of immaturity.
- Forcing the child to interact or play with others if he or she is especially shy, introverted, or just doesn’t feel like it at the time.
2) Foster a positive and respectful climate at home
Our children learn how they should relate to others through the example that we parents give them and the way we treat and interact with them since they are babies.
For this reason, if our children grow up in a positive and respectful environment , where dialogue, trust and empathy are encouraged, and where emotional management is key to their development, the relationships that they gradually establish with their peers will be based on the same approach.
In the same way, it is also important to work with them on certain aspects such as decision-making, conflict resolution or assertiveness, as they are key skills in human relations .
3) Encourage outdoor play every day
Experts have warned on too many occasions how little time children spend outdoors each day. This not only harms their motor and intellectual development and even their health, but also prevents socialization and proper emotional development.
For this reason, whenever possible we should ensure that our children play outside for a while each day (in the park, on the street, in the countryside…), be in contact with other children, interact with them, imagine stories , experiment with natural elements…
4) Plan group activities
But in addition to playing outdoors and not directed, parents can promote the socialization of our children by organizing group activities with their friends , such as a snack at home, a pajama party, an excursion with classmates…
It will be easier for us to prepare something fun and original if we take advantage of certain calendar festivities (birthdays, Halloween, Easter, summer theme parties…), but the truth is that any excuse is a good one when it comes to surprising our little ones at the same time. that we favor their socialization.
5) Look for extracurricular activities according to the interests of the child
Many parents also turn to after-school activities to encourage their children’s socialization .
As long as the child can choose them freely and we do not overload their schedule, these types of activities not only allow the child to enhance their skills and talents, but also open their circle of friends and meet other children who share their same tastes and interests.
More articles on how to enhance the development of children
- The five things that our children can do every day to enhance their intellectual development
- The nine routines that children can do every day to take care of their physical well-being
- The five routines that children can do every day to take care of their emotional well-being
Photos | photo 4 ( Rodnae Productions – Pexels), rest of photos (iStock)
Acknowledgments | Ana Marsá, communication coordinator at The English Montessori School
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