Social Benefits for the Child Who Attends Daycare
Although the word to mothers whose children are in daycare has been a tad on the negative side, there are solid benefits to be gained for the children who attend daycare. Daycare is a highly personal choice that many parents struggle with, and typically will feel significant guilt over as well. There is a certain social aspect to the daycare setting, and a child may gain benefits which allow them to deal more calmly with new situations, make friends easier and have less anxiety and more independence as well.
One of the most important benefits children can receive from attending daycare is learning how to make friends. Children in daycare also gain a well-needed tolerance for other children, thus the human race as a whole. It is important that children learn how to get along with one another and play with one another as they will be interacting in one way or another with other children for their entire school career, not to mention their life in general. Most especially for children who have no siblings, or have had limited interactions with other children up to this point, daycare can offer real social skill-building. Making friends leads to other behaviors that every well-adjusted child needs to learn.
For instance, children must learn to share in order to be considered socially accepted later in life. If you have ever watched a group of children in daycare you will fully understand that learning to share is a huge part of the daycare experience. Children learn the give and take skills that will carry them through life through these important interactions. They also learn to have a certain amount of empathy for others through the entire process-when Sue takes the doll from Kim, the daycare teacher can point out that Kim is crying because she really wanted the doll that Sue took from her, and ask Sue how she would feel. Although the example is simplistic, the relationship skills learned are not.
Most toddlers develop separation anxiety around their first birthday, and this continues in varying degrees for several years. A child who attends daycare will likely have a significantly reduced level of anxiety when kindergarten comes along, as he will already have dealt with the separation from his parents. Children in daycare learn quickly how to adapt to the rules associated with being in another setting besides their home. They learn to become comfortable with these rules, as well as with new situations and meeting new people. Children who have not been in some sort of daycare, or even a babysitting situation with several children, generally will be much more anxious when the unexpected happens or when new people come along than children who are accustomed to the flexibility of daycare.
Daycare Fosters Independence
Children who are in daycare learn to be much more independent than those who are not because they are somewhat forced to be on their own, away from their parents. This specific type of independence encourages children to interact with other children in their classroom, as well as their teacher, and also to try new things without fear or hesitation. The normal boundaries are pushed for children in daycare, and they quickly learn not to be afraid when mom and dad are not with them. Learning to be independent can give children self-confidence, turning them not only into future successful students, but also self-confident and successful adults. So, if you are a parent whose child or children are currently in daycare, ditch the guilt, and watch them reap the benefits.