Children feel all kinds of emotions, as do parents and educators. Reactions and responses to situations are dependent on a mixture of influences, including temperament, environment and people within that environment.
It is natural for parents and even educators to want their children to be rational, reasonable and successful. But is this desire having an adverse effect on our children? Are we aware of our reaction and behaviours and the way they may affect children? Are we ensuring children are equip with the tools needed to face a challenging and ever changing world?
It is vital to provide children with an environment that appropriately encourages the expression of emotions as well as the appropriate responses to emotions. These types of environments will harness the energy that positive role models provide, creating an inclusive, well-balanced and safe zone for children to express their emotions. These environments also view the child holistically and ensure they are given access to the essential tools to help them cope for the rest of their lives.
“Social capacity develops as children interact with supportive, stimulating, safe people and places.” – Kidsmatter.edu.au.
Educators and parents are co contributors to this important piece of learning. Children need to be given the opportunity for one on one interactions as well as group experiences where relationships and dynamics are tested and explored. In these situations social competence becomes apparent, that is, the ability to respond appropriately (as society sees) in social situations.
Communicating feelings in social situations can be difficult for children, and as they grow so do their responses to situations. It is typical for young children to express their emotions in social settings through behaviours. Certain types of behaviours are typical at different stages of development, see http://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/articles/child-behaviour/stages-of-behaviour .
Socially inclusive services model and display an awareness and respect of others perspectives, differences and values. When children feel included regardless of age, gender, language, religion, lifestyle, family arrangements and circumstances, abilities and disabilities they will ultimately feel a healthy sense of wellbeing and belonging.
Child are not born with social skills and it is essential they have an opportunity to develop these in order to form bonds and friendships. Some important skills that assist in developing friendships include; empathy, problem solving, turn taking, helping, flexibility, respect, care, self-awareness and communication.
Stay connected with us on Facebook this month as we also explore the emotional and social wellbeing of educators.