Figures are today revealing that parents are confused about the age at which their children begin building up their confidence through socialisation; as 72% of parents are not aware that confidence development begins before the age of 5.
This comes as a new study of 2,000 UK parents which clarified who parents believe has the responsibility of ensuring their children socialise enough. Worryingly 4 in 10 parents (38%) do not feel it is their responsibility to ensure their child is socialising the appropriate amount, with a third feeling it is down to nurseries (34%), and a quarter believing that pre-school programmes should hold the responsibility.
The importance of children socialising amongst adults seems to have been misjudged, as 65% do not feel that this time spent with adults is as important as the amount of time their child socialises with other children, despite 43% acknowledging that children socialising with adults is important to their mental development.
A pre-school dance teacher and Director of Diddi Dance, Anne-Marie Martin, is urging mothers to take action against this misconception: "One of the key points of Ofsted's readiness for schools provision for the under 5s is socialisation. Socialisation is key to learning and adapting to different environments; learning sharing, taking turns, empathy and personal space being a few key points to help make starting school a smoother transition."
The Government's standards set for the early year's foundation stage state that from birth to the age of 5*, a child's development through socialisation is vital for them to fulfil their potential in later life. Anne-Marie said: "Finding an interactive session which socialises children with other children, but also adults is extremely important for under 5s. If they really enjoy the session, they will immediately feel comfortable and warm to the environment a lot quicker.
"Beginning with playdates, where they can relax into their environment and feel comfortable, and then gradually moving onto pre-school sessions away from the home to enable them to socialise in other environments and preparing them for school."
The study did uncover that parents often place more emphasis on other factors in children's development such as healthy eating (12%), and physical activity (10%) due to growing pressure around childhood obesity.
Yet, 4 in 10 still underestimate the positive impact that comes from the company of other young children for those under 5. Fathers in particular are less aware of the positive impact that children socialising with adults can have with only 28% of fathers believed this to be the case, compared to 43% of mothers.
Tagged in Parenting