Mother and Baby

Why That Playdate Really Is So Important

Games, play and interaction are all vital for your baby’s social development

That playdate may leave a crayon/grass/mud across the house and your lounge looking like a toy factory, but it’s an important part of your baby’s social development.

That’s according to a US child psychiatrist, who has highlighted the benefits kids get from interacting with others and how this impacts on their future character.

Affection, empathy, negotiation and appreciating someone else’s point of view are just some of the things your little one’s starting to grasp during that teddy bear’s tea party with her nursery friends.

‘By interacting with their peers, children begin to learn about perspective-taking, where they can realise how others may have different thoughts and feelings,’ says Dr. Theodote K. Pontikes from Loyola University in Chicago.

Affection, empathy, negotiation and appreciating someone else’s point of view are just some of the things your little one’s starting to grasp

‘This process facilitates learning to problem solve and to develop critical thinking skills, while practicing how to respond respectfully in the context of disagreements when interpersonal tensions arise. These are situations one encounters throughout life, and children need a strong grounding to know how to respond.’

But before you swerve the small talk with the other parents at the playdate, turns out it’s also about the relationships you demonstrate. Dr. Pontikes points out that children learn through seeing you interact with their friends’ parents in a positive, healthy way.

So, erm, the weather/traffic/news at the moment, eh?

What are your favourite playdate activities? Let us know on the comments board below.

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