A friend of mine sent out a link to an article on CNN ( http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/16/living/kindergarten-social-skills-adult-success-study-feat/index.html ) that talks about the link between a kindergartners social skills and their success as a young adult. Some of the researchers were surprised by the strong connection between the two. I am rather astounded that what I believed was common knowledge astounded researchers.
The idea that the way a child handles situations or a number of social skills they have at a particular age, in this instance kindergarten, correlates with the way they are able to handle themselves as an adult has been known to parents for quite some time. There is an old saying ” the child is the father to the man”. This idea has been known for some time now and I hope parents realize it.
The work and guidance you put into your child as they grow, specifically when they are young, build the internal structure your child/children need to regulate their emotions and social situations as they grow. Will they still fail at times and have outbursts? Yes, however, they will be actively working on themselves and their ability to navigate through trying emotions and social interactions. This will help them grow and become responsible adults rather than the stereotypical millennial.
They also mentioned the ability to for children to learn emotional and social skills. There are several ways to do this. One is by playing games. Teaching children to control their bodies teaches them to control their emotions. Games like freeze tag, red light green light and more work for this. Reading is another way. While children don’t have many life experiences just yet, they can learn lessons from other people’s life stories. Children can take what happens in these stories and see what the characters did and can also think what they would do or play it out themselves. Letting children of different age groups helps with social and emotional skills as well. The interaction of varying ranges of emotional and social maturity helps each child involved. The older children learn how to help, interact, and even guide those who are younger or not as mature and the younger children learn from the older children of how to handle situations… unless there are a few bad apples, in this case, it can be a way to show them what not to do. Of course, there is also the parent being the example. If the parent cannot control and work through their emotions maturely then the child will learn the same thing.
The article is worth a read even if it comes to conclusions that are readily known by most parents.
Do you have ways you help guide your child in developing the internal structures to deal with emotions and social interactions? Let us know in the comments!