Social skills in a toddler is the single most missed developmental skill. Adults have a tendency to focus so much of their time on their child’s academic skills that the child often lacks the ability to socialize with their peers in an effective way. That being said, to many adults have also taught social phrases such as “I’m sorry” or “thank you” and assumed that is enough to be social. While certain phrases are good for learning how to speak with friends, it is equally important to learn how to understand and care for friends while speaking.
When children attend child care or preschool, they are attending for social/emotional learning first and foremost. This learning is what allows children to enter the realm of speaking with friends, understanding feelings of another child and themselves and taking steps to process a social situation. It is of equal importance for a teacher to guide this learning and help understanding with appropriate questions and answers to allow the child time to process. “The ability to avoid and resolve conflicts constitutes another essential aspect of social competence”~ Constructive Guidance and Discipline, Fifth Edition 2010.