It is almost impossible to count how many times we hear a child scream or cry when left with a care giver, at school, or even when a stranger looks at them in the supermarket. And although we notice these things, we don’t usually connect them with being unnatural or unnecessary. But in fact, we should. There is hardly a need to experience such things, and that goes for the child as well as the parent. It is a given that a child will cry, it is also given that the child will be reluctant to leave the parent. However, this anxiety can be eased by applying a principle that is very simple. Socialization.
Socialization, it’s a concepts that many people aren’t consciously aware of, yet it is experienced every day in many different aspects of life. Ones manners, people skills, and the like are all a result of ones socialization. Even pets are now socialized in order to better prepare them to interact with other animals when walking in the city or the park. So why then is socialization such a strange and foreign concept to parents? To put it simply, children should being socialization at a young age to prepare them to interact with other children and adults as they grow. Socialization alone can move a child from having a dramatic experience when being left with a care giver to a more pleasant one. Not only does the child benefit from this, but the parents do as well. Often parents feel that since their child does not react well to other that they are confined to home without a night out or a play date with another family. This simply is not true. A child can and should become acquainted with other children, extended family (if possible), and eventually a care giver or baby sitter. This can soften the blow to the child and parents when the later must leave for work, a leisurely night out, or a to run errands.
So, what is socialization exactly? Psychology books point out that child socialization is the introduction of new people, places, and things into the child’s repertoire of daily life. Instead of staying at home everyday and playing with your child alone, it is important to introduce other children in the form of play dates, play groups, or other activities. There are a number of community activities that take place at local libraries, gyms, schools, parks, etc, that provide ample time and resources for socializing your child. There are even community groups that provide a means for parents to meet other parents and children in their area. Additionally, child development classes at local children’s gyms are a fantastic way to not only improve the child’s development physically, but mentally as well. Often a child will become attached to another child or a teacher in their class. This is beneficial as the child will become used to acclimating themselves to new people and places. Such a skill is invaluable when the school age years come around and the child must be left with the teachers, and only the teachers. With less anxiety, the child is also more likely to feel comfortable and thus learn more when attending early childhood school.
At the first try any child will be reluctant to leave the parent, this is simply natural. However, you don’t need to leave the child right away. Early childhood classes often include the parent in the class so that both parent and child can interact together and with the class. As the child gets older, it will become easier to leave for an hour, then two, and before you know it, it will become natural for the child to spend several hours at a friends or care giver’s house without any reluctance, fussing, or crying. The key is exposure without which a child will never fully develop the important skills needed to interact with others at an early age.
Although these important skills can be learned at a later age, it is harder. Both child and parent are made to go through a series of trying experiences with clinging behavior, fussiness, crying, tantrums, and the like; all of which are easily avoided by providing ample opportunity for your child to become acquainted with the world around them. Socialization is an important part of a child’s development. Keeping this in mind, shouldn’t it be just as important as any other aspect of your child’s development? Take the opportunities and resources provided by your community, family, and friends, and begin educating your child in the essential skills of every day life.