Hey folks! Now that we're back in Indiana, Myka is older, and we are living on our own again, I've been making more of an effort to get us out of the house more often. Personally, I've come to like my hermit lifestyle for the most part, but I feel like it would do Myka some good to "socialize" with other kids. Or would it?
The vast majority of what I have read and heard from other people, it is good and you should provide opportunities for your kids to socialize before they start school. I recently read some interesting comments on another blogger's Facebook page post that got me to wondering if toddler socialization is really all that beneficial, though.
To be honest, I can't even remember what the original post was about exactly, but it was something related to younger children playing together. I found one woman's comment particularly intriguing. Basically, her point was that children pick up social cues from adults, not other children. She does have a point, but I feel like kids still benefit from playing with one another, especially when younger ones are around older ones. (Perhaps one of the main reasons I like Montessori so much!)
I definitely think it's important, as adults, to set good examples for our children since they pick up bad habits from us just as easily (if not more so!) as they do from other children. Whose kid hasn't picked up a bad word (even if it's not necessarily a curse word) at some point in their lives? More than likely, kids are not going to want to wash their hands or brush their teeth if we don't do so regularly, right? We also need to be sure to set good examples of sharing, using our words instead of our hands to express frustrations and solve problems, and the like.
With that being said and as I mentioned, I think children still benefit with interacting with one another at an early age. They can still pick up new words, learn how to manipulate toys in new ways, and there are always plenty of opportunities to teach them what is acceptable social behavior. (Read: Explaining to little Susie why it's not ok to hit Mandy just because she has a toy that she wants to play with and what an appropriate way to handle the situation and her feelings would be!)
Don't get me wrong: Kids can pick up bad behaviors from other kids too, just as they can from adults. No parent wants to pick their child up from daycare only to find out that he/she has picked up hitting or biting from another kid! However, I'm sure it goes without saying that I still plan on taking Myka to fun events and places where other children will be. Besides, she enjoys getting out of the house more than I do and God knows I should probably start talking to more adults during the day. ;)
What are your thoughts? Do you feel it's important for your children to interact with others? (Especially if they are the only child?) Why or why not?