By Rita Brhel, managing editor and attachment parenting resource leader (API)
My four-year-old is exceptionally smart but has a tough time with social relationships due to developmental delays spurring from prematurity. In fact, she’s in a special school program designed to teach her social skills such as initiating interaction and maintaining conversation with peers. Some progress has been made, with much more to be done before she goes to Kindergarten.
Some people don’t understand why I put such emphasis on her social development, especially since academically she is well above her peers. But I remember having a tough time in school because of my lack of social skills, and I want my children to avoid that by learning all they can when they’re young. The ability to make and keep friendships is a life skill that will go on to determine part of their adult happiness.
Research (Hartup, 1990) shows that friendship serve many purposes, including:
- Emotional skills for having fun and adapting to stress.
- Cognitive skills for problem-solving and acquiring new knowledge.
- Social skills for communication, cooperation, and group entry.
- A precursor to future relationships. Continue reading Why It’s Important to Help Children Make Friends