If you observe a preschool classroom, you will see children interacting in a variety of ways. Maybe it’s giving a classmate a compliment, asking to use a toy or just carrying a conversation with others. No matter what the discussion might be, these toddlers are building critical social and emotional intelligence that will be a foundation for their future.
According to a study featured in the article “Helping Children Play and Learn Together,” having social experiences can impact a child’s life in a variety of ways.
“The absence of positive social interactions in childhood is linked to negative consequences later in life, such as withdrawal, loneliness, depression, and feelings of anxiety. In addition, low acceptance by peers in the early years is a predictor of grade retention, school dropout, and mental health and behavior problems.”
Research continues to show that children thrive when they have dependable relationships. Those relationships allow preschoolers to experience security, interaction with others and encourages exploration.
Preschools work to give children the opportunity to grow their socialization by building communities within classrooms. Communities offer children a chance to learn and grow socially in a safe and positive environment. Kate Kane wrote a blog post on the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) website called “Back to School – Why Creating Classroom Community is So Important,” sharing why it is so important to offer these opportunities to children.
“Strong communities have members who have shared goals and experiences, who feel empowered to contribute, who trust in one another, and who feel understood and capable as individuals,” she said. “These attributes enable teamwork, cooperation, a willingness to negotiate, and the ability to draw on one another’s skills.”
The lasting impact of preschoolers building social skills is one that cannot be denied and should not be overlooked. One of the biggest benefits of allowing children to flourish in these communities is preparing children for kindergarten and beyond. As a toddler’s confidence in social situations grows, they are also able to gain a sense of self continuing to propel them to positive experiences later in life.