If children can do well developing key social skills in their early years, they may be more prone to becoming successful in the future as adults. Every parent wants their children to grow up to be successful. So what are the specials keys needed to help early childhood development so that children can become successful adults? Is it academic performance, their chosen career, or is the financial situation of the parents a deciding factor?
Parents who want to know whether their children will have a promising future, only need to take a look at their children’s social skills.
Harvard University has conducted a study on 1,000 students in their early childhood years (kindergarten to preschool). The results showed that the interpersonal skills demonstrated by children in their early childhood years largely determine their future success and achievements as adults.
There is also a Chinese proverb: “I see the old at the age of three.” Meaning, that you can predict an adult’s future character, personality, and success just by observing them in their early childhood years.
A great deal can be discovered by observing a young child during play and their interaction with others. Children’s responses, to issues, during interpersonal play, can reveal whether they have the ability or possess unique personal techniques to manage and resolve conflicts. All of this can further reveal whether they display leadership qualities or not and if they have a sense of conviction and stand up for what is right to them.
The best time to cultivate interpersonal communication is when the child is 2-6 years old. If parents can cherish this stage and cultivate their children’s social skills, they will be able to confidently interact with others in society.
Here are important social skills essential for early childhood development.
Parents should listen to their children attentively when they are speaking and refrain from interrupting them to state their own opinion or viewpoint. Only by setting such an example as this to children can they understand that “listening” is showing respect for other people.
When a child has formed this habit of listening, he will portray a humble character, be sincerely welcomed by his peers, and show more self-restraint and respect toward others during interactions with them.
A person who constantly hesitates to make a decision will be labeled as being “indecisive,” which can hardly be respected by others. Parents should cultivate their children’s ability to think independently from an early age so that they can become more decisive, independent, and socially adjusted individuals.
To do this, parents may let their children practice making choices and teaching them to analyze the pros and cons of a given situation. Once the child makes a decision, parents should try to support their children in order to increase their confidence in making personal, independent choices.
Being able to ask for help is a sign of a confident person. A confident person can usually recognize their own shortcomings and will openly ask another person, who is more knowledgeable, for help. This shows they respect the other person’s knowledge and abilities. This is a trait of a socially well-adjusted, self-confident, and knowledgeable individual.
Parents who teach their children, before entering kindergarten, to be proactive in seeking help from their teacher or classmates when they encounter difficulties will help foster and build this positive trait in their children. The ability of the child to seek help in a timely manner not only helps them solve their problems, it also effectively narrows social distancing due to negative misunderstandings and establishes friendlier relationships.
Getting along peacefully
Throughout the early years, parents would be wise in teaching their children how to conduct themselves in different social settings. Cultivating the habit of effective communication will greatly help children, as adults, in their later years. Parents who expose their children to different social settings and demonstrate how to speak and act politely will foster this same skill in their children.
Communicating and discussing with their children about different scenarios that could happen to them at school or out in society will help parents and children come up with appropriate solutions. For instance, you can ask your child what they would do in these scenarios: “If you are misunderstood by your classmates, or if your classmate accidentally grabs your or other’s things by mistake, how would you treat them?” In these instances, parents can guide their children to get along peacefully with others by modeling effective ways of communicating.
Sense of responsibility
Fostering a sense of responsibility in children can begin early in the home before they enter kindergarten. Parents can provide their children with age-appropriate chores to do in the home to encourage doing things independently and fostering a sense of personal responsibility. They will learn to assume family responsibilities at an early age.
In order for parents to cultivate a child’s sense of responsibility, they need to trust and allow them to do things independently, even if it is not always to their liking and standard. Refrain from negatively interfering, as the child may give up and stop trying; instead, aim at creating a playful environment, since children love to play. They will learn to handle things well by themselves, independently and with a sense of responsibility.