Kids learn more formal social skills from their parents, but the bulk of their social learning seems to come from siblings or peers of their cohort.  By helping kids form cooperative relationships with each other from an early age, parents help kids adjust and maintain cooperative relationships into adulthood.  For parents of only children, using playdates or daycare may be an important tool towards developing their children’s social skills.

When I worked with clients dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder, I saw some really interesting patterns in their styles of play.  As adolescents, they still seemed to demonstrate more parallel play styles than cooperative or even pretend play.  I attribute this to the disruption in their early development.  Although I’m not a parent, how do any of you remember your children’s social development occurring?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010, January 15). Siblings play formative, influential role as ‘agents of socialization’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 16, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/01/100115112104.htm