“Intellectual, Social, Emotional, and Moral development is the prize when children learn to socialize” From grasping the sound of a new word heard during conversations to learning new language skills, from feeling different emotions that surface to developing a wider understanding of social norms, socialization plays a pivotal role in every child’s overall development.

In the current context, physical distancing is still important and necessary. This presents families with a conundrum. We are all more cautious of who we choose to socialize with and authorities are recommending that we limit our social interactions with others. However, there are ways that families can continue to support children’s socialization even while we are physical distancing.

Socialization starts at home

Love and care are the greatest of healers. Spend time with your child, communicate with them, indulge them in creative tasks, and pay attention to what sparks a fire in them. Use the time indoors to build even deeper connections with your child and spend time on positive, productive activities. These include everything from doing arts and crafts together to lending a helping hand in other activities.

To help their families engage their children in meaningful, learning-centred activities, Aurora has created a collection of resource packs. These resource packs not only have activities that will enhance a child’s learning but also help them build on skills like resilience, empathy and mindfulness. They will also help parents and children learn together.

When talking to your children, try to think about ways you can build on their socio-emotional skills. For instance, you could:

  • Ask each other how you are feeling, which will lay the foundation for empathy and sensitivity.

  • Take turns during games or while using resources which will build on your child’s cooperation skills.

  • Look for mindful ways to resolve conflicts that will teach your child conflict resolution.

Tech to the rescue

Technology allows us to interact with people who live on other side of the planet within a few clicks. Provide opportunities for your children to engage with their friends and peers online. This may include setting up a time for video calling some of their close friends or joining digital learning programs that connect young children with others their age.

It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents to connect with each other and help each other navigate this unprecedented time.

Socialization in early childhood centres

Childcare centres can play a pivotal role in fulfilling a child’s socialization needs.  Early education centres, with emphasis on charting out a full-fledged safety and care plan, can strike a balance between physical distancing and in-person interactions.

Early education centres, with hygiene as their top-priority, can implement measures for children to safely socialize with each other and with educators who are trained to help them learn. Early education centres such as Aurora have a collection of policies and procedures in place which ensure that children can interact with each other in a safe, hygienic environment. This allows children the opportunity to continue to build on social connections.

Socialization and healthy child development go hand in hand like pancakes and maple syrup. It lays the very foundation in children to cultivate confidence, to empathize, and to understand the blueprint of co-existing with fellow humans. Until the world restores normalcy, let’s continue to take precautions and create a safe environment for our children, but also provide them with what they need to develop and build connections.