Emotional Development

Nurturing Social and Emotional Development in Young Children

4 March 2024
Posted by: Chelsea

Social and Emotional Development in Young Children: It’s very easy to become slightly fixated on children’s ‘learning’ which is seen as teaching them things like facts and skills.

So, if one is searching for something like “child care near me”, there is a natural tendency to look for a childcare centre’s program of subjects and skills. True, things like early phonics programs can be hugely important in developing reading and articulatory skills. Yet it’s also imperative to concentrate on a child’s social and emotional development at the same time.

Search for “child care near me” and wider programs

Many parents understand that childcare and early learning are not necessarily the same thing.

Childcare can be passive because in most cases, children will be happy to cope if just left to play amongst themselves under adult supervision. There is nothing wrong with that and by contrast, unstructured play is essential as part of early childhood development.

Childcare though can also be active and involve forms of activities and play that are intentionally designed to help a child’s learning and their social development.

Why is social development important?

Human beings are essentially social animals. Although the level of our need to participate in social activities may vary from one person to another, almost all of us need to engage with others to feel fulfilled and/or part of a greater whole.

Our ability to do so though will depend upon our social skills and emotional orientation. Most adults recognise that some people seem to have better social skills than others, including things such as the ability to integrate and cooperate with others.

Many factors influence the development of our personalities and those components of such relating to social skills. They are certainly in part inherited but they’re also heavily influenced by environmental circumstances when we’re children and into our teenage years.

That’s why early learning centres that combine childcare with social and emotional development should be especially attractive. They may well have a very important effect on a child’s later successes in being able to engage more easily with those around them.

What is social and emotional development?

This essentially involves the preparation and delivery of activities that:

  • encourage children to ask questions but also to pay attention when being spoken to;
  • develop role-playing covering a wide variety of pretend social situations and their emotional consequences;
  • create opportunities for them to demonstrate positive social behaviours, as well as recognising and praising them when delivered;
  • allow the discussion of the nature of empathy with them and then engaging in play that provides opportunities for it to be shown;
  • playing in ways that allow them to consider their emotions and those of others, including the need to understand how important emotional control is.

There is ample evidence to show that children that have been involved in social and emotional play of this type, subsequently find it easier to cooperate with and learn from other people around them. That is usually a very significant advantage as they progress into full formal education.
This can be a slightly difficult approach to describe in a brief article, so why not call us to make an appointment to come and see how we put this into action on a daily basis?

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