Social development is a process by which a child learns to interact and behave with others around. It actually refers to how a child develops friendship and any other relationship with others. Handling conflict is also a part of social development process. The social development of a child can actually impact many other forms of development a child experiences day by day. If you ask any parent about their child’s development, they will talk about the speech and language development, physical growth or gross motor skills. However, one thing which most parents forget is their child’s social development. Ability to interact with others is a critical piece of development puzzle and can impact everything, right from learning new words as a toddler to successfully navigating the challenges of adulthood. Know more about the different stages of social development in children and check if your kiddo easily crosses all of them.
Stages Of Social Development In Children
Early Social Interaction
The first opportunity for the babies to socialize and build connections with other people is provided by their family. Parents can make the baby feel safe and secure, by offering him/her plenty of attention and love, right from the beginning. Love and attention given by the family members will provide a sense of assurance to the baby that the world is a welcoming place. Incorporating pleasant expressions and soothing voices while talking to your baby would definitely make him/her receptive to social interaction.
Surrounded by family members and family friends during the initial years, a baby’s first friends are usually the children whom he/she meets at playschool. When the baby gets introduced to other children, it is here that the real assessment of social interaction starts. The unconditional love and acceptance provided by the family during the initial years would then provide a solid base of confidence and self-esteem to the infants, to help them build further social relationships on their own.
Learn & Play
Young children learn a lot while playing and spending time with their age group. However, interactions between two infants do not start right away. At first, you might notice them sitting next to each other playing with the toys. It is only after a few days of self-observation and that the little ones become comfortable and start interacting and sharing their toys. By the time children reach pre-school, they become even more interactive, engaging each other in simple conversation. They can discuss about what they do after school or on the weekend and will positively respond to the stories of their friends. This give and take between children is very useful in their social development, as they move on from being self-focused to social.
Primary schools are a step forward for the little champs on the way of social development. When they step in to a primary school they become more self-confident and are able to maneuver well in social interactions. They are no longer self-centered, friendship becoming an important part of their lives. School going children are able to understand not only their desires and needs, but are also compassionate towards their peer group. Issues of fairness and equality become important to children, as they learn to care for people outside their family. They get loyal, reliable and responsible and start taking initiatives in social gatherings.
When the children enter their teen age, they become gregarious thanks to the constant increase in the exposure to people and friends. Friends become the most important part of their life. They start enjoying school, part-time jobs and extra-curricular activities, as these give a chance for the youngsters to be with their friends. With enjoyment comes maturity, understanding, responsibility and the knowledge of right and wrong. These are the characteristics which further develop and guide them into their adult years.