Socialization: An Important Skill for your Preschooler

Preschool may be a child’s first introduction to a community of similarly aged peers.  While different preschools have their own philosophies with regards to education and learning environments, one thing remains the same:  preschoolers need to learn how to socialize with others.

Socialization is one of the many developmental benefits to be gained from a good preschool experience.  The key difference in the home and preschool socialization experiences usually is the degree to which a child has the opportunity to interact with their peers.  At home, because of any number of circumstances, a child may have little opportunity to play, learn, share, or otherwise interact with other children of similar ages without their parents being involved.  In preschool, children learn how to interact with each other using their own communication skills.  Building a child’s communication skill is important for learning proper socialization.

A child needs to build their sense of confidence and self esteem.  This means, he or she needs to feel good about themselves.  Giving a child praise for good choices or complimenting him or her on a project they made helps a child build their confidence.  However, that is confidence and self esteem from parents or adults.  Preschool socialization helps develop confidence with peers.

Sharing and cooperation are two other important socialization skills.  A way to help develop these skills is by playing games, singing songs or reading stories.

For your young child, play is important work.  He or she grows, learns and investigates the world through play.  Curiosity plays a key role in this exploration which also helps with developing socialization skills.

Communication is a key part of socialization.  Your child expressing themselves and representing his ideas, feelings, and knowledge about the world is a key skill for your child.  When a situation or conflict occurs, ask your child how he or she feels.  By talking it through you can help your child understand his or her feelings.

When you incorporate any of the above mentioned ideas, you are developing your child’s socialization.  The world is a big place where a child needs to learn how to communicate and express their ideas independently.

Robin Hagy
Bethany Preschool Director
rhagy@bethanyumchurch.com