Learning to interpret a suite of hidden subtle
cues to successfully navigate a complex social world
Through our SKThrive program, we strive to develop a set of abilities that enable children to independently navigate their social world, to interact with peers and adults, to form friendships, and to understand the needs of others. Intertwined with the development of these skills is children’s development of their sense of self – what type of person they think they are and how they see themselves fitting into the world of people.
Social competence not only supports children to interact with others, it also supports their learning. We know that to learn, children need to feel safe.
Learning about the social world is the most complex learning children undertake. In addition to learning about social rules and expectations that can be taught or explained, to successfully negotiate the social world, children must learn to interpret a suite of hidden and subtle cues about people. Children learn to read the facial and behavioural cues of others, they learn that other people have thoughts that are different from their own, and that others’ behaviours are guided by their internal thoughts and beliefs.
Children learn social competence by actively engaging in the social world, through play and interactions with adults and their peers. Successfully navigating this emerging independence requires consistent and supportive educators who set boundaries and limits while also understanding and celebrating children’s emerging autonomy.