Child world is the playing world because playing is her main job and it functions to stimulate her physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and moral development. By playing, child will learn the shape, color, herself, family and any things surround her. Environment plays important role in stimulating child so she has a chance to explore anything that attracts her attention.
You don’t need to be panic if you see your kid enjoys playing alone and separate herself if she meets other people. First, know the theory that is found by Mildred Parten that divides the playing stage in 6 social characters. In what stage is your kid now?
- Unoccupied play. In this stage, child only observes without involving in the activity. For example is when kid observes her dad who is calling someone without disturbing him.
- Solitary play. In this stage, kid enjoys with her activity without paying attention to other people who are close with her. This stage is usually experienced by 2-3 years old kids.
- Onlooker play. In this stage, child observes her friends who are playing but there is not interaction for playing together. This stage is usually experienced by under 2 years old kids.
- Parallel play. In this stage, child uses the same toys with her friends but there is no communication between them. This stage is the transition stage from solitary and onlooker play to the associative and cooperative play.
- Associative play. In this stage, there is communication between one child and other children. In the game, there is no clear playing goal and rule.
- Cooperative play. In this stage, the game is well order and there is clear rule that should be obey by all members.
Mildred Parten said that as child grows older, her communication capability will also improve and the chance for interacting with her friends also develops. So the non social type (solitary and parallel) will be less and the social type (associative and cooperative) will improve.
Though Parten divides playing stages in 6 social characters, but the development that is experienced by child is naturally. Stimulation from environment mainly from family really determines child development in improving her social capability. These are some tips for parents to stimulate child socialization capability.
- Meet her with her friends. In the beginning child will be ashamed. But, the more she interacts with her friends, her bravery will appear and her social capability will be better.
- Invite her friends to play with her at home. Child will be trained to do activity together, learn to share and being patient in facing others.
- Create an event that invites other people to visit your home for example is social gathering, family gathering, reunion or praying together. Child will learn how to face others who visit her house.
- Ask her in public places like mall or play ground to train her meet strangers. If you don’t make her usual with this, child will feel insecure when she meets strangers.
- Introduce your child when you meet others. It will make child fun because her existence is recognized.
If you often ask her to meet other people and teach her to behave politely, share with others, be patient, and work together, it will be effective way to train her social capability.