Social Growth: What You Need to Know (Part One)
The Pathway to Excellence
What You Need To Know
Civilized behavior is learned at home from mother and father.
Since the onset of the industrial revolution and most especially when we needed more hands-on-deck in the workplace we have been weaving the tale that children need to go to school to be “socialized”. No one really knew if this was true – it was a theory at first. But for more than a century we have been sending our children off to school and finding out that kindness, generosity, appropriate conduct and most especially knowing right from wrong are not on the school curriculum. Civilized behavior is learned at home from the two most important adults in a child’s life – mother and father.
Mother and father need to agree on the same high standard of conduct for the whole family.
Mother and father may debate privately what is the most effective way to navigate an upset in the household, but they are very wise to keep their debate private and provide a clear and united front with their kids. Even little children see when parents are not on the same page.
The standard of conduct in the home should be clear
Little children like order, not chaos. They flourish in an environment where they know what to expect and what is expected of them. They need to know what is ok and what is not ok. It should not be left to trial and error. Parents are the deciders, they are running the show, so they need to be clear, not harsh, about what is expected.
Very young children want to know what is expected of them.
The standard of conduct should not be all the things not to do but rather focus on what to do. Kids like to be in control of their belongings and their space. The right place for belongings and putting things in their place when not being used are very simple actions to keep a little child’s environment easy to navigate.
Little children need and want to contribute to others.
As soon as small children develop the mobility and the manual competence to do something they will want to contribute to the household. Little girls will often pull out a vacuum cleaner that is five times their weight and try to use it. Little boys may liberate the hose to try to wash the car. We often laugh at these attempts, but this is a very important moment in the life of a small child. Everyone in the house has a job, a purpose now they want to have a job and a purpose too. If we are smart, we will find something they can do and make it their job to do it. If we do so, they will keep finding new ways to help.