Children need to learn social emotional skills because they are born social beings with a preference for social interaction.
Children develop these core social skills through their relationships and everyday interactions with other people from the moment they are born. Social skills are important for good mental health, learning, motivation, cooperation and development of values. Adults nurture children’s social and emotional skill development by building warm and trusting relationships with them. Children’s learning is enhanced when they are being taught during spontaneous opportunities.
CORE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILL AREAS
Sense of self: Children are developing capacity to feel positive about themselves and their capabilities.
Social skills: Children are developing capacity to interact successfully with others.
Emotional skills: Children are developing capacity to recognise, express and regulate feelings.
BUILDING BLOCKS OF SOCIAL COMPETENCE
• Basic interaction skills (e.g., smiling, making eye contact, listening)
• Entry/approach skills (how to approach an individual socially or join a group)
• Maintenance skills (e.g., how to share, take turns, follow rules, co-operate etc.)
• Friendship skills (e.g., how to show appropriate affection, involve others in decision making, be inclusive, etc.)
• Conflict resolution (how to manage disagreements in a socially acceptable manner)
• Communication of needs and ideas
• Sense of humour
• Assertiveness (saying “No” to engaging in dangerous behaviour, stand up for oneself, etc.)