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DIRECTOR'S CORNER

We are happy to share these 7 Essential Social Skills for Preschoolers

Whether your child attends preschool or you find other socialization opportunities for him, by the time kindergarten rolls around he should be able to sail the "seven C’s" of preschool social skills.

 1. Conversation
Preschoolers typically like to talk, but not always to each other.  At 3 and 4 years old, children should be practicing the skills of conversation: talking in turn, staying on topic, and even reading other people's emotions and facial expressions. If your child is shy, he may require some extra time to gain this skill. That’s okay, but let the child decide when they are ready."

 2. Cooperation
Cooperation involves a lot more than just sharing, which is good because even by the end of preschool, children are still sharing more grudgingly than gracefully.  Cooperation is also the ability to get along with others.  

At age 3 this is tough.  By age 4, it's a little easier. Since the ability to cooperate with others improves both with age and practice, making sure your child has opportunities to play with groups of peers is key in helping to build cooperative skills.

 3. Conflict Resolution
A preschooler's mind is not entirely logical, and at this stage, kids are not typically great at solving problems. Some members say their preschoolers resort to hitting to get what they want. While disturbing, it’s a pretty common behavior borne of frustration.

 Once they have learned to "use their words" to express their frustration, the hitting typically stops.

By age 5, and with practice, your child will probably be able to sit down with a peer and have a rudimentary conversation about their issue. Don’t expect them to be able to come up with a fair compromise, though. That’s a much more advanced social skill, one that even some adults have trouble with!

4. Communication
One of the most noticeable social skills your child will gain during the preschool years is the ability to communicate more clearly. There's more to this skill than just speaking clearly. Communicating well also includes the ability to express feelings, needs, wants, and knowledge to new people.

 5. Confidence
Most preschoolers are all about being independent and trying to do things themselves. While sometimes that push for independence is too strong, more often it’s a way to build self-esteem and confidence. 

While you may be tempted to do things for her or to correct little mistakes, it’s important for your child to take the initiative. Feeling good about her abilities and herself is a social skill that will serve your child well for life.

6. Self-Control
Learning self-control is an ongoing skill, but it begins when your child is of preschool age. As your child’s ability to understand cause and effect becomes more fine-tuned and his ability to control his emotions increases, his need to hit/bite/tantrum usually decreases.  

 7. Curiosity
Curiosity is a skill to celebrate. It’s what allows your child to explore the world, ask questions and draw conclusions. Encouraging this skill by planning activities that engage your child’s curiosity will give him a leg up when it comes to formal learning.