Why Is It Important for Children to Have a Sense of Belonging?
We have this deep desire or need to belong with and connect to others. We’ve especially felt that during lockdowns or restrictions. The feeling of isolation made us feel lonely and we just can’t wait to go out there again and feel the presence of other people.
Why is it important for children to have a sense of belonging
We also notice how children always want to play with others. They’re having more fun if there are other children (although sometimes it results in quarrels and crying). There are still “alone times” of course when they’re deeply curious or focused on something. But overall, it gets more fun if there are other kids or even just one other child around.
It’s like connecting with others is one of human’s built-in features. Babies and young children automatically gain helpful and cooperative behaviours on their own. Perhaps this is crucial for us to survive and thrive and maybe we gained that trait or feature through evolution or natural selection. Those who help and cooperate have a greater chance of surviving. After all, almost everything we need for survival comes from other people.
It’s especially the case with newborns who are completely dependent on parents or caregivers. Babies automatically learn how to connect by smiling and just being cute and adorable. As a result, we can’t help but pay attention to them and immediately give them what they want or need.
Young children and preschoolers also quickly learn how to adapt to and follow social norms. They start to get along well and form small groups whether for fun or achieving a tiny goal during playtime. As a result, they feel included and they experience more fun as well.
This sense of belonging is important to our children’s development, which is why in the Early Years Learning Framework the emphasis is on Belonging, Being and Becoming. This framework helps children better read others’ behaviours and have fun in social groups. As a result, they become more comfortable in social settings and gain a meaningful sense of belonging.
Here at Star Academy Kids Early Learning Centre, we help children feel they’re connected with us educators and other children. We always want to make it a fun and meaningful experience (not just about learning). This way, the kids can truly connect and experience a warm and nurturing environment.