Thursday, 25 April 2013

S is for.........Socialising


                                  Socialising is great for children, but also for parents too!

Everyone loves socialising! It is great to get out there and meet up with good friends and maybe even make more at the same time! But socialising is also a fantastic learning opportunity for children too!

I am going to describe this from a personal viewpoint. As a stay at home Mum, I found that it can be quite isolating to be at home with a baby or young child. You can actually become quite depressed with looking at the same 4 walls each day and have no adult conversation. I soon realised the only was to get over this is to socialise with other parents.

From an early age, I took my daughter along to different classes at a local children's massage, tums to mums, time for me and baby signing as well as joining a baby ballet class at another setting nearby. We have also attended story times in libraries, rhyme times and tried some different toddler groups. Through doing this, not only have I made some good friends, but my daughter has too! (The photo above is of one of these friends, who we met when they were both only a few months old)

From attending these groups, and from her 2 mornings in Preschool, she has learnt the vital social skills which help her develop in her other areas of learning. She is learning to communicate, share and take turns with other children as well as understanding social rules from watching me communicate with others. I have taken her along to some Mum's networking groups too, where she has witnessed me talking in front of groups of people as well as talking to other adults on a one to one basis. By witnessing this, I am keen that she will learn how to feel confident enough to approach people to talk to and learn how to use language and body language to portray herself in social situations.

Interestingly enough, some research by Dr Cynthia Erdley from the University of Maine in the US states that children's friendships brings "lifelong benefits" leading to children who are far less likely to feel loneliness and depression as adults and therefore experience more positive success in their romantic lives as grown ups too.

So my advice to any parent is to try and socialise with your child as much as you can. By creating friendships yourselves, you are modelling these most important social skills to your children who will hopefully take them on themselves, creating great friendships and bonds with both children and adults alike!

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