VTech Parentinghttps://www.vtechkids.com/parenting/VTech Parentingen-usSun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Early Childhood Education: Getting off to a Good Start!Deborah Sharp Libbyhttps://www.vtechkids.com/parenting/article/{97745A20-D5D4-4DDE-9A3C-AB9802CDF672}During the first eight years of life, children learn at a remarkable rate. It is a time when critical cognitive, social/emotional and motor skills develop laying the foundation for future learning success in school. The Importance of Social-Emotional DevelopmentLise Eliothttps://www.vtechkids.com/parenting/article/{2790FE82-ADAA-4BC5-A12B-D7C5CF90ED93}Facebook figured it out: We humans are a highly social species. This tendency is present from a child’s earliest days and is essential to most of their learning.<br><br> Babies learn to make eye contact, smile, laugh, frown and even adapt their cry, all for the purpose of communicating with others. Their verbal skills, which are critical for communication and learning, are acquired exclusively through social relationships. Emotions, while present in their rawest form at birth, acquire meaning and purpose only through social give-and-take. And then there is the rest of human culture—the knowledge, values, and skills that we pass down and expand upon in each successive generation. Social interaction is the key that unlocks all of children’s most important learning. Friendship FundamentalsSusan Bartellhttps://www.vtechkids.com/parenting/article/{F51836C7-286A-4DE0-AE27-95F8442B3E3A}Friendship is one of the cornerstones of a happy and fulfilled childhood. Learning how to become a good friend is an important part of every child’s preschool and early elementary years. But, don’t assume that your child naturally knows how to be a friend—most kids don’t. There are four skills your child must learn in order to have friendship success: empathy, listening, taking turns and sharing. Without these, her attempts at friendship will be thwarted—now and in later years. You will, therefore want to take every opportunity to support your child in developing all four skills. Understanding the Way Your Child Uses Play to CommunicateSusan Bartellhttps://www.vtechkids.com/parenting/article/{AF1AD513-1DA8-424C-8536-67BA889F3F72}Every young child loves to play creatively with toys, games and just about anything else they can get a hold of. Play also represents one of the primary ways children communicate their feelings, fears and wishes. You can better understand how your child uses play and use this knowledge to unlock new ways to communicate with her.