If you have kept your child home during the pandemic and you’re now worried they have no social skills or have regressed- you are not alone. Covid-19 lockdowns and isolations were definitely hard on everyone and children are no exceptions. Taking your child back to school can be a difficult transition but it is worthwhile in helping with your child’s development. Here are 6 ways going to Pre-School helps your child’s social development:
1. How to get along with others
Pre-school presents the opportunity for children to learn how to play with other children; taking turns talking and using toys, as well as sharing. This is especially helpful to a lot of children who may be the only child at home and may not get as many opportunities to learn these skills.
2. Making Friends
Children see others their age and are immediately curious to interact and play together. In their world, every child is a friend! To encourage your little one try challenging them to learn at least one child’s name a week and you will be amazed at how much more interest they will have to know who their new friends are in class. School is also a great place to meet parents willing to plan play-dates with you and your baby.
3. Building Independence
It is often harder on the parents to see their little babies wander off into the world, in a new environment without them, for the first time. Both parent and child can struggle with separation anxiety and that is quite normal. The structure and routine school offers help build resilience and independence. Children quickly learn what is expected of them and how to complete tasks on their own.
4. Self Expression
From answering questions, singing, art and movement, children learn how to express thoughts and emotions. School provides a safe environment to experiment and explore and children express themselves best through play in this way.
5. Self-control and soothing
Under the age of 7 years old, children are mostly emotional beings and their executive function is limited. They are taught how to recognize emotions like happy, sad, scared etc. This assists with regulating emotions and learning empathy.
6.Respect and kindness
- Respect and Kindness
Watching Teacher responding to and validating emotions helps children learn appropriate ways to respond to others. In the school environment they learn about caring, listening and following instructions.
It may not seem like it at first, when you drop off your child and they cry or they don’t want to go to school some days. Once the separation anxiety subsides, your little one will be set for a path to greater mental health and social development. All it takes is consistence, patience and encouragement.