Promoting Peer Competence in Young Children Qing Sun
What is peer competence? <ul><li>Peer competence is competence in interactions with peers, which refers to how a child def...
Children who are competent in peer interactions are able to: <ul><li>make friends and sustain friendships </li></ul><ul><l...
Key skills in peer competence: <ul><li>1.   Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence is an attitude that reflects a positiv...
<ul><li>See the scenario of Maria: </li></ul><ul><li>On the playground, seven-year old Maria longs to join the other girls...
<ul><li>2. Emotion regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion regulation is the individual effort to manage, inhibit, enhance, o...
<ul><li>Emotion regulation patterns are well established by preschool period and are influenced by attachment with primary...
<ul><li>3. Social cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Social cognition refers to the ability to understand oneself and others in s...
<ul><li>4.  Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is a two-way process (receptive and expressive) that includes th...
<ul><li>Examples of social language: </li></ul><ul><li>Using language for different purposes  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>greeti...
Strategies to promote the skills <ul><li>1. Confidence  </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage children to try new things so that the...
<ul><li>See the scenario of Timmy: </li></ul><ul><li>Four-year old Timmy is shy in class and rarely initiates play. He is ...
<ul><li>2. Emotion regulation </li></ul><ul><li>To respect children’s negative emotions is the first step to help them reg...
<ul><li>3. Social cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Social cognition skills are fostered through social learning from a variety ...
<ul><li>4. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Teach negotiation and compromise by modeling regularly. For example, “We will p...
<ul><li>Create a classroom where children feel free and comfortable to communicate with peers.  </li></ul><ul><li>The clas...
<ul><li>b. A caring place </li></ul><ul><li>※   Acknowledge and accept children’s emotions </li></ul><ul><li>※   Model emp...
Recommended literatures <ul><li>Guettier, Benedicte (1999).  The father who had 10 children.  New York: Dial Books for You...
<ul><li>Wyeth, S.D. (2002).  Something beautiful . New York: Dragonfly . </li></ul>Naylor, P. (1994).  King of the playgro...
Recommended program: Kimochis <ul><li>Kimochis is a social-emotional learning program that teaches children real-life skil...
Cloud:  unpredictable has a hard time controlling his emotions Bug: thoughtful extremely cautious
Huggtopus:  extremely affectionate and friendly has to learn about respecting others’ boundaries Cat:  persuasive a bit bo...
Lovey dove:  sweet and nurturing successful problem-solver great listener  See the video of character introduction:  http:...
<ul><li>Kimochis feeling pillows: are small pillows with a feeling (e.g., happy, sad, silly, brave) printed on one side an...
References <ul><li>Kemple, K. M. (2004).  Let's be friends: Peer competence and social inclusion in early childhood progra...
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Promoting peer competence in young children

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Promoting peer competence in young children

  1. 1. Promoting Peer Competence in Young Children Qing Sun
  2. 2. What is peer competence? <ul><li>Peer competence is competence in interactions with peers, which refers to how a child defines and solves the fundamental challenges of initiating and sustaining interactions with peers, resolving conflicts with peers, and building friendships with peers (Kemple,2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Peer competence also involves a child’s effectiveness in influencing a peer’s social behavior and appropriateness given a specific setting, context and/or culture (Kemple,2004). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Children who are competent in peer interactions are able to: <ul><li>make friends and sustain friendships </li></ul><ul><li>fit in a peer group </li></ul><ul><li>share and take turns in play </li></ul><ul><li>resolve conflicts in positive ways </li></ul><ul><li>be aware of others’ feelings and emotions and respond appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>take responsibility when hurting others’ feelings </li></ul>
  4. 4. Key skills in peer competence: <ul><li>1. Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence is an attitude that reflects a positive and realistic perception of ourselves and our abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence grows when children have opportunities to solve problems (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence is also influenced by the reactions of those around us (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence is importance for gaining access to peer groups, such as request for entering a play group. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>See the scenario of Maria: </li></ul><ul><li>On the playground, seven-year old Maria longs to join the other girls as they play in the sand under the oak tree. She knows she could walk over and say, “Can I play with you?” She has some good ideas for fun things to play and talk about, but she envisions her attempts being rebuffed or ignored. Instead of taking a chance at “sounding stupid” or not being heard, she hangs back on the sidelines and busies herself playing with acorns (Kemple,2004). </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, Maria lacks the confidence of being accepted by peers in group play. She is afraid of being ignored or rejected; or she might have experience of being rejected in such situations, which probably had lowered her level of confidence. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>2. Emotion regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion regulation is the individual effort to manage, inhibit, enhance, or modulate emotions (Tanyel, 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to regulate emotions such as anger and frustration plays an essential role in resolving conflicts. Children need to calm themselves and then achieve an agreement of what would be the best solution for the particular situation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Emotion regulation patterns are well established by preschool period and are influenced by attachment with primary caregivers in toddlerhood (Tanyel, 2009). </li></ul>Caring and responsive caregivers who read cues of the child Secure attachment Trusting relationship between the child and caregivers Control of emotions Scheme for future management of emotional stress
  8. 8. <ul><li>3. Social cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Social cognition refers to the ability to understand oneself and others in society and social situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly, social cognition is concerned with interpreting and handling social information such as language, volume/tone of voice, facial expression, boundaries, group consensus, attitudes or beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>Children with competent social cognition are able to recognize, explain others’ actions and feelings, after which they could respond appropriately to peers. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>4. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is a two-way process (receptive and expressive) that includes the abilities to listen, question, understand, and respond to the message being conveyed (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Information is conveyed through nonverbal communication as well: </li></ul><ul><li>loudness of voice </li></ul><ul><li>tone of voice </li></ul><ul><li>manner of address </li></ul><ul><li>body language </li></ul><ul><li>active listening </li></ul><ul><li>Social language: </li></ul><ul><li>Social language is the ability to talk in a way that helps one gets along well with others. </li></ul><ul><li>Here is a video modeling social language: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =PfL22f-Zvgs </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Examples of social language: </li></ul><ul><li>Using language for different purposes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>greeting (e.g., hello, goodbye) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informing (e.g., I'm going to get a cookie) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>demanding (e.g., Give me a cookie) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promising (e.g., I'm going to get you a cookie) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>requesting (e.g., I would like a cookie, please) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>talking differently to a baby than to an adult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>speaking differently in a classroom than on a playground </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Following rules for conversations and storytelling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>taking turns in conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how close to stand to someone when speaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to use facial expressions and eye contact </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Strategies to promote the skills <ul><li>1. Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage children to try new things so that they will have opportunities to solve problems of unfamiliar tasks (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge successes. It is important to celebrate children’s accomplishment of a difficult task, such as drawing a picture or writing a brief log about the experience (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes children choose to go to the teacher instead of working out problems by themselves. The teacher may model and guide “what to say” and “how to do” at first, and then give children an opportunity to do it independently. Children’s confidence will be enhanced gradually due to the success of problem solving. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>See the scenario of Timmy: </li></ul><ul><li>Four-year old Timmy is shy in class and rarely initiates play. He is waiting for his classmates to ask him to join them. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher: Timmy, in five minutes all the children will be able to play with any toy they want in the classroom. What would you like to play with? </li></ul><ul><li>Timmy: I want to play with the blocks. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher: Good. Is there anyone you want to build with? </li></ul><ul><li>Timmy: I want to build a house with Sarah and Pete. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher: I will ask Sarah and Pete to join us. When they come over, ask them “Will you build a house with me?” Okay? </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher: Sarah and Pete please come over here a minute. Timmy, ask Sarah and Pete your question. </li></ul><ul><li>Timmy: Will you build a house with me with the blocks? </li></ul><ul><li>Once Timmy understands that his classmates will respond to him and let him join the play, his confidence will be built and in turn he will begin to interact with peers more often. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>2. Emotion regulation </li></ul><ul><li>To respect children’s negative emotions is the first step to help them regulate emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach children that “You can feel mad without being mean”. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s anger may get out of control because they cannot verbalize what they want or need. Encourage children to use their words, such as “I need…” and “I want…”, to express why they have upset feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not give in to a child who whines or acts aggressively to get what he wants. </li></ul><ul><li>Model emotion regulation. Children who hit or unacceptable language may do so because they see adults around them acting aggressively. Teachers’ reaction to out-of-control children serves as the model of how to control negative feelings. Teachers may also share their self-calm strategies with children, such as counting to 10 or taking deep breaths (Willis & Schiller, 2011). </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>3. Social cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Social cognition skills are fostered through social learning from a variety of social experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Pair the child with a more socially competent peer to elevate the child’s social status and engage in more social interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for a child to play with other children from a wide age range (Lawhon & Lawhon, 2000). Older children who are more socially mature would model the child useful social techniques, such as topic selection, interpreting body language, how to read and react to particular cues, etc. On the other hand, the child may acquire caring, helping and sharing behavior and learn to be sensitive to others’ needs through playing with younger children. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers may enhance social learning through coaching, modeling, and reinforcing positive social cognition skills, like cooperative play in a friendly, approving manner (Lawhon & Lawhon, 2000). </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>4. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Teach negotiation and compromise by modeling regularly. For example, “We will play hide and seek now and later we can play Candyland.” </li></ul><ul><li>Design scenarios for a variety of social settings so that children can learn to use effective social language in sociodramatic play. Examples of dramatic play ideas: </li></ul><ul><li>Camping </li></ul><ul><li>Ice cream store </li></ul><ul><li>KFC/Subway/Pizza Hut </li></ul><ul><li>Animal shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Barber shop </li></ul><ul><li>Shoe store </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Create a classroom where children feel free and comfortable to communicate with peers. </li></ul><ul><li>The classroom is: </li></ul><ul><li>a. A place children can trust </li></ul><ul><li>※ Teachers follow a predictable schedule that is posted in class and can be understood by every child. </li></ul><ul><li>※ Teachers make their expectations for children’s behavior very clear. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>b. A caring place </li></ul><ul><li>※ Acknowledge and accept children’s emotions </li></ul><ul><li>※ Model empathy and encourage children’s empathic responses to peers </li></ul><ul><li>※ Greet each child early in the day and identify those children who may need extra help on a particular day </li></ul><ul><li>c. A place every child belongs to </li></ul><ul><li>※ Recognize and be sensitive to each child’s uniqueness </li></ul><ul><li>※ Accept children’s family, language, and culture </li></ul><ul><li>(Kemple,2004). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Recommended literatures <ul><li>Guettier, Benedicte (1999). The father who had 10 children. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. </li></ul><ul><li>Stephens, Helen. DK Toddlers (1999). What about me? New York: DK publishing </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Wyeth, S.D. (2002). Something beautiful . New York: Dragonfly . </li></ul>Naylor, P. (1994). King of the playground . Atheneum . <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agassi, M. (2000). Hands are not for hitting. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Recommended program: Kimochis <ul><li>Kimochis is a social-emotional learning program that teaches children real-life skills, such as communication, self-control, problem-solving, and responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Kimochi means “feelings” in Japanese. </li></ul><ul><li>Kimochis characters: stuffed animals designed with different personality and temperament. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Cloud: unpredictable has a hard time controlling his emotions Bug: thoughtful extremely cautious
  22. 22. Huggtopus: extremely affectionate and friendly has to learn about respecting others’ boundaries Cat: persuasive a bit bossy soft inside
  23. 23. Lovey dove: sweet and nurturing successful problem-solver great listener See the video of character introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzb2tdS0WVM
  24. 24. <ul><li>Kimochis feeling pillows: are small pillows with a feeling (e.g., happy, sad, silly, brave) printed on one side and a corresponding facial expression on the other. Each kimochis character has a special pocket where students can store their feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Further information about Kimochis: www.kimochis.com </li></ul>
  25. 25. References <ul><li>Kemple, K. M. (2004). Let's be friends: Peer competence and social inclusion in early childhood programs . New York: Teachers College Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Lawhon, T. & Lawhon, D. (2000). Promoting Social Skills in Young Children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 28 (2), 105-110. </li></ul><ul><li>Nur E. Tanyel (2009). Emotional regulation: Developing toddlers’ social competence. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 37 (2), 10-14. </li></ul><ul><li>Willis, C. A. & Schiller, P. (2011). Preschoolers’ Social Skills Steer Life Success. Retrieved from http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naeyc/youngchildren_201101/index.php#/44 </li></ul>

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