Here are some things you can do as an administrator of a program to ensure that children leave your program with the skills and prosocial behaviors they need to become successful members of the community:
- Place social skills on par with academic learning. Often, early learning programs focus much of their daily schedule on the teaching and development of academic skills. This is no doubt important, but in light of the evidence that children with strong prosocial behaviors experience better academic success, it is just as important for programs to focus on teaching social skills and reinforcing prosocial behaviors.
- Allocate funds for social skills materials. When purchasing materials, include books, games, and toys that promote prosocial behaviors. You might also consider the purchase and implementation of an established social skills curriculum.
- Check lesson plans for intentional activities that focus on social skills development. Require teachers to include a certain number of activities per day/week that integrate prosocial skills. Most activities in early childhood already incorporate these skills, but we want teachers to think about their planning for prosocial skills in a more intentional manner.
- Ensure teachers are assessing the development of children’s social-emotional skills and adjusting curriculum plans to meet the needs of students in these areas.
- Put relationship building and classroom community building above all else. Children learn best in the context of trusting and nurturing relationships. Ensure that teachers are establishing daily routines and practices that build relationships with children and families.
- Establish program policies for managing behavior challenges that ensure each altercation is an opportunity for children to learn from their mistakes.
Integrate prosocial behavior into family engagement efforts. Help families understand the importance of the development of prosocial behaviors and their foundational skills. Plan social skills events, include activity ideas in your newsletters, send home articles, and share social media posts that focus on prosocial behaviors.
For the main article Promoting Prosocial Behaviors, CLICK HERE
For the article What are Prosocial Behaviors?, CLICK HERE
For the article Skills that Lead to Prosocial Behaviors, CLICK HERE
For the article Strategies, CLICK HERE