Learning not to betray ourselves to please




How do we assist children connect with and learn to contribute to their world?

We know experiences of relationships and participation in communities help contribute to children’s feeling of being connected. From birth children will start to experience living and learning with others in a range of communities. These might include their immediate family, their extended family and the wider community. Having a positive sense of identity and experiencing respectful, responsive relationships will strengthen their interest and skills in being and becoming active contributors to their world. As children move into early childhood setting, they will again broaden their experiences as participants in different relationships and communities. 

Over time the variety and complexity of ways in which children connect and participate with others increases. Babies will initially participate through smiling, crying, imitating, and making sounds to show their level of interest in relating to or participating with others. Toddlers participate and connect with other toddlers through such gestures as offering their teddy to a distressed child or welcoming a new child enthusiastically. Older children may show interest in how others regard them and understandings about friendships. They develop understandings that their actions or responses affect how others feel or experience connectedness.

At SK, we create warm nurturing and nourishing environments in which children experience mutually enjoyable, caring and respectful relationships with peers, teachers and our environment. When children participate collaboratively in everyday routines, events and experiences and have opportunities to contribute to their decisions, as they start learning to live interdependently. 

Children’s connectedness and different ways of connecting with people and the broader community will help their understanding which reflect the values, traditions and practices of their families and broader communities. Over time this learning will transform and guide the ways they interact with others.