Promoting Social Competence in Young Children
By Andrew Loh
Childhood is very precious! Childhood is the time, when your child
will take his or her first step towards making an affable
personality. Childhood is also a stage, when your child will start
to build a socially suitable personality that is liked by one and
all. Childhood is also a precious time for your children to know and
learn about the world and its mysteries. In fact, knowing more about
the society and its people is one of the most critical skills for a
child. Learning how to get along well with other children family
members and others is a necessary social skill that your child must
master in order to become a good person.
Obviously, parents are the first people, who play an extremely
important role in helping your children design and create
satisfactory relationship with other people, and later become
socially competent persons. Social competence will make children to
become more pleasing, better mannered, cooperative and generous with
other people. Social competence will also enable your children to
express their feelings in a normal and effective way and learn how
to empathize with other people.
What is Social Competence?
It is a person's inbuilt and innate ability to get well along with
others. It is a social behavior as well. Social competence is an
index of your children's capability to design, create, set up and
develop personal rapport and relationship with people around. In
life, your children's social competence can correlate with a number
of parameters that are more psychological in nature. One of the most
important parameters is the way in which your children communicate
with others. Social competence may also change or alter in relation
with the other members of the family, class mates, teachers and
other people who come in contact on a daily basis.
Why Social Competence is Critical for your Children?
Childhood development is all about brain development and a child's
ability to live in a cordial manner with others. Most of the
developmental milestones in a child relate to these two aspects.
Apart from brain and physical development, social adaptation is
possibly the most significant indicator of how well your child gets
along with others. In fact, it is also a very good and valid
predictor of adult adaptation (according to Hartup, who is a well
known social scientist). Children who are generally harsh,
aggressive, and angry and disliked by others may show problems in
their future life; in fact, such children may find it very hard to
find a place along with their peers. Long range future problems for
such children may include very poor mental development, inferior or
disappointing classroom performances and quite poor professional
On the other hand, a child is more socially affable and competent
may display a number of positive traits and characters. Such a child
will have superior mental health, very strong and cordial social
relationship with people and a tendency to exhibit better classroom
performances. Children who are adept at playing, talking, conversing
and working out relationship with other people could have a very
satisfactory and mutually beneficial life with other people.
Developing social competence among your children is a challenging
task, as children are different in their behavior and temperament.
One child may be more efficient in sewing up mutually beneficial
relationship with others, while other may be very poor in
communicating with friends and teachers. Hence, parents should note
down that quality is more important than quantity; when it comes to
social competence, you may need to consider the quality of
relationship your children develop with other people. At times, some
children may be very shy, inward looking, introvert and inhibited,
when compared to others. It may be very difficult to push such
children to learn social competence. Adults in the house may wish to
treat such children with care, so that they can slowly push and
guide them to mingle with other people.
How Can you Evaluate and Monitor your Children's Social
Prescribing a precise social behavior is quite difficult and there
is no single method that can help you treat social incompetence in
your children. After all, your children are human beings and they
are just like any other people with their own mind and intellect. To
correct an improper social behavior of child is a difficult task and
you may wish to observe your children more closely to find out all
possible weaknesses and pitfalls.
The most important point to remember here is to:
Learning social competence skills is a matter of personality and not
all children are equal with their learning and mastering skills.
Social growth is an indicator of how well your children can become
social animals with superior communication and cooperating
techniques and attitudes. You may wish to consult the following
checklist to know and identify whether your children are socially
competent or not.
Is always positive and forward looking
Can adjust or cope with any type of situation
Can easily manage frustrations and disappointments of everyday life
Can easily set up relationship with other people
Can show or display an interest in others
Can display a positive attitude or sympathy and empathy
Can appreciate humorous situations
Will not feel bored or lonely
Social Skills Characters
Can easily set up non verbal communication with others like smiling,
nodding, laughing or waving
Look for positive and encouraging response from others
Can easily express desire and wishes to mingle with other people
Handle and manage any type of people including distracters and
Can become an effective member of a team or a group
Develop a meaningful relationship with one or two peers
If you feel that your children exhibit more than half of the above
mentioned characters, then it means that they are learning social
competence skills in a normal manner. If you feel that your children
are exhibiting less than half of the above mentioned characters,
then you may need to find a way to teach your children the basics of
social competence skills. Continue to read
Promoting Social Competence in Young Children - Simple Methods and Techniques.