After the rise of Covid, socialization largely fell by the wayside for many young children. Daycare centers closed, families seldom saw each other, and many parents worked from home to avoid putting their kids at risk.
While isolating during a pandemic is designed to help reduce the spread, it comes at a cost. Many young children have grown up without other young friends to help them socialize.
Why Socialization is Important
When young children are with others their age, they learn many valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout their entire lives. This includes things like taking turns, reading and understanding others’ emotions, and a development of their sense of self.
Although they may be able to learn these things later, it can be a shock to go to school and suddenly have to wait in line or not be first for everything.
Daycare provides the opportunity to understand other people and respond to their needs and wants.
Chatting It Up
Another benefit of being surrounded by other children is the immersion in language it provides. Kids love to talk. They talk a lot more than most adults care to listen to let alone responding in kind. When children are allowed to chat with each other, the number of words they hear in a day go up significantly.
Language immersion is an important part of language development. The more they hear, the more new words they experience. This can help them not only with vocabulary, but the elements of grammar as well.
Bonding with Others
The closest bonds most kids have are with family. While this will likely be the strongest bond they’ll ever have, becoming too dependent on family for connection can be a problem. Without other bonds, they may struggle when left without their family for school.
Preschool is a wonderful opportunity for young children to learn about friendship. They can become friends with other children their age, and also form bonds with teachers and other caretakers.
When they know there are other people outside their family they can depend on, it will help them become more confident when they finally leave for school.
Learning to work as a team
Play is the ‘work’ of childhood. While it’s possible to imagine whole worlds as a child, when two or more get together, that world can change with the imagination of other kids. Playing with others helps children understand to work as a team.
Whether that is deciding what happens to the dragon and the princess or building the world’s largest block tower, learning to work as a team is a useful skill. Children quickly learn that they can do bigger and better things when they work together.
Even if you work from home, sending your preschooler to a child care center, daycare, or preschool can help them develop valuable social skills that will benefit them their entire lives. Social skills are a critical part of how we live our lives, and are a necessary part of every age.