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The Early Childhood Collaboration Course

May 23, 2008
s a saying that we should teach our children in the way they should go, so when they grow up they will not depart from it. The reasoning behind this is that we ingrain into a child's mind a right way of doing things that becomes natural to them. Their good habits produce profitable results in their adult years in the form of certain accomplishments.

Can we begin to teach children, at the preschool age, relationship-building skills, that will give them a head start on how to deal with others? Even before a child enters a classroom setting there are many opportunities to teach them how to interact with others in a positive way. Playing with siblings and neighborhood friends can give parents the times and places they need to foster collaboration skills in their children. When a child learns to share time and space with another child he or she learns collaboration skills at their most rudimentary level.

Children who attend daycares can benefit from having a proper teacher who is a role model and guide for their social development. A positive relationship with an early childhood educator/teacher bodes well for a child in their elementary years. Here they will have a basic set of social skills, which will allow them to interact in a mutually beneficial way with their fellow students.

Children who had closer relationships with their child care teachers had better classroom behavior and social skills (greater cognitive/attention skills and sociability, fewer problem behaviors, and better peer relations) through early elementary school (Feinberg, Clifford, Burchinal, Yazejian and Byler, 1999).

It is obvious from the above that early childhood development in social skills pays great dividends throughout a child's academic life. These efforts at team building in a school environment will help an individual greatly in their personal and work life as they progress into adulthood.

The benefit in all of this is less confrontation in any area of life where a person must deal with others. When collaboration takes place between people who understand the benefit of smooth working relationships then greater creative achievement and productivity is accomplished. Healthy cross-functional teams working in concert for the greater good mean efficient operations, whether in an academic, work, or home environment. In the end, society benefits from groups performing productively and in harmony with one another. Of course, teaching the basics of all of this at the preschool age means a greater likelihood of children continuing positive collaboration skills as they progress in life.

Proper social development of children means they need to learn the proper social skills at an early age. Focusing solely on cognitive skills at the expense of collaboration and teamwork skills will not promote healthy personal relationships.

Parents often think it's the academic skills that are critical to their children's success when they enter kindergarten but if you talk to a broad sample of kindergarten teachers, as researchers have done, the social skills turn out to be more important at that age (Ellen Frede, 2007).

A child entering kindergarten already needs important collaboration skills as they now will deal with different personalities on a daily basis in a more structured learning setting. Positive social skills instilled at an early age are a hedge against personality disorders of the disruptive behavior kind. When a child learns to share and communicate in a friendly way with other children there is less chance of combative and anti-social behavior.

It is never too early for parents to begin to teach their children, through proper childhood education, the collaboration skills that will serve them well throughout their entire life. Whether it's in early childhood education at a daycare or preschool, or in the home, relationship-building skills are the foundation for academic and career achievement later on.
About the Author
T. Fox researches collaboration ,in healthy or sick people. Remedies suggested, are early childhood education and better living environments , all resulting in collaboration. People perform better when they are healthy and educated.
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