The home remains a child's most important sphere of influence during the early school years. It's also the base from which children explore relationships outside of the home. A child's increasing independence is tested, for example, by the first night spent away from home. The child comes back home with a sense of pride and newfound confidence.
During the first years of school, children make friends with little forethought or planning. They may burst into a group and demand, "I want to play too."
With age and experience, they start to refine their basic social skills. For example, in the interests of friendship, they will play a game that their friends want to play instead of one that they want to play. They also get better at seeking out friends who are more compatible, so relationships are smoother.
In these years, children try to "fit in" at home, at school, and with their friends. Feeling successful in these areas builds children's self-confidence and self-concept. And this helps them to manage and overcome future challenges.
Current as of: October 24, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff (https://www.healthwise.org/specialpages/legal/abouthw/en)
Clinical Review Board (https://www.healthwise.org/specialpages/legal/abouthw/en)
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