When children are born, they rely on their parents for everything: Food, warmth, safety, even companionship. But as kids get older, it’s important to their social development that they interact with other children their own age.
Children with siblings have an advantage when it comes to socialization skills. Being around their brothers and sisters teaches them things like sharing, communicating effectively, and the social skills they will need to succeed outside their home.
But all kids can benefit from being around children who aren’t members of their own family. And generally, the earlier you can give your child this kind of social exposure, the better off they will be.
Social Skill Importance
Learning primary life skills like speaking, walking, feeding oneself is critical to a child’s survival. As they grow and age, they need to learn how to live independently. As months and years go by, kids are less and less reliant on their parents.
Socialization skills are just as important to a child’s future success. Learning how to meet new people, interact effectively, and communicate are skills that kids need to survive and thrive in life. And the earlier they can start developing these skills, the better off they will be.
When to Start
How early should you start encouraging your child to interact with other kids their own age who aren’t their siblings? Once they become toddlers and begin exploring the world on their own is a good time to start. Taking children as young as two and three to the park or to play dates can help encourage the development of critical social skills.
By the time they reach pre-kindergarten or daycare age, kids need to have frequent interaction with other kids so they can truly develop their socialization skills.
Learning how to be around other people is a learned skill. The sooner you can introduce your child to the outside world and the people who populate it, the greater their chances of success later in life.