Why Getting Along in Preschool Is So Important

Covid 19 pandemic has isolated our kids, and one cannot stop wondering about the effects on their mental health and development of navigating a social maze. A recent study published by Zhao and colleagues discusses kids’ ability to play well with their peers. Early peer playability may be a protective factor against later mental health difficulties. For the study, the researchers analyzed data on almost 1,700 children ages 3 and 7. Those who played better with their peers when they were three years of age were less likely to be hyperactive, and their parents and teachers reported that these kids had fewer conduct and emotional issues. 

Playing with others lets you develop Social Cognition. Kids need to read the sandbox, realize who is in the mood to play, and navigate the ever-changing rules of play. Social cognitive skills are essential foundations for building friendships and social support networks that have a crucial role in mental health. The second area of development that has the potential to be enhanced through peer play is self-regulation. Social cognition and self-regulation let your child develop a high-quality peer network. The authors recommended using peer playability as a screening tool and intervention target.

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