Saturday, July 23, 2016
Heather Tomlinson who has a Ph.D. and is an early childhood development professional for NAEYC, and Marilou Hyson who has a Ph.D. in early development and education developed three components of social competence. These components are: emotional regulation, social knowledge and understanding and social skills.
Emotional regulation is the ability to respond to ongoing experiences in a manner that is social, acceptable, yet delays a spontaneous reaction if needed. It's the ability to approach emotions and feelings into appropriate actions and behaviors but also show joy, excitement and enthusiasm. It's the ability to manage one's emotions so successful, personal behavior with peers and adults is possible. Some people resist interactions causing fear and frustration and therefore prevent children from developing emotional regulation. For example, when a child gets into the college of their choice, it's appropriate to show joy, excitement and maybe even cry. It's appropriate to show jump up and down and scream. Something good has happened to a person and it's appropriate to show happiness because of it. Those who resist interactions and resist showing emotion don't develop emotional regulation because they suppress their feeling instead. It causes fear and frustration because they aren't allowed to work through their feelings and therefore don't understand what's going on inside them.
Children need several kinds of social knowledge to be able to make friends. These include norms, social and cultural customs, language commonly used by peers, TV shows and characters. All of these examples can teach children about how the world works and therefore about social knowledge and how to behave socially. Not all of these are going to teach good social behavior which why it's important for a parent to monitor what children are watching and what these shows are teaching their children. Parents should also know who there children's friends are so that they know what their friends are teaching them about how to behave and treat people. A parent should be concerned with the messages their television shows and their children's friends are sending to their children about how to behave socially.
Young children need to be able to play and participate in activity groups and engage in appropriate interactions with others. Social skills enhance social competence. A skill a child needs is giving positive attention to others. An example of this is when a child goes over to a friend and asks them what they're doing, not pushing what the friend is doing aside so they can do an activity together or demand the friend stop what they're doing to do an activity with them. Another example is when a child tells a friend they like the art project they made.
Other skills needed for social competence are being able to request information from others about activities such as homework assignments they missed or where baseball practice is being held. Children need to know how to contribute to a conversation and the give and take of a conversation.
Teaching these three components of social competence takes most of a child's life to teach. It takes parents constantly reminding children what appropriate behavior is and how to treat people and most importantly it takes parents modeling these components in their relationships with others but most importantly with their children.