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I recently attended a seminar where a speaker addressed a longitudinal study on childhood self control and the impact on health and crime in later years. She said that there was a clear link between self control during the early years to positive outcomes in adulthood, and that self control is a skill you need to learn.

 

The presentation brought back memories of an article, 'Challenging Behaviors and the Role of Preschool Education' (McCabe & Frede, 2007) that suggested a rise in such behavior among children in preschool, and the role of preschools to provide positive experiences to help reduce challenging behaviour.

Early childhood education provides children with an environment in which they can improve upon and learn social skills. If preschools lay an emphasis on the development of social skills with supportive teachers the children will benefit to develop their own self regulation.

There are clear links in a number of research papers that suggest a link between poor social outcomes in early years to antisocial behaviour in adulthood. That is why it is imperative for early childhood teachers to address and focus on social skills for better learning outcomes and school readiness.

A number of research papers offer different and opposite outcomes in relation to whether it is beneficial to attend preschool or not. In my opinion there should be a concerted effort by any preschool team to address self regulation in the early years which will go a long way to provide quality care to children and a service to the community.

To offer teachers support towards their effectiveness in their teaching practice a number of workshops offer a specific focus on developing teaching skills and strategies. One such programme programme is 'The Incredible Years' teacher training programme and I will offer further thoughts on this programme in later musings.

To conclude I would like to quote from 'Challenging Behaviors and the Role of Preschool Education' (McCabe & Frede, 2007), who suggest that, "Child care that does not adequately address the social-emotional needs of young children runs the risk of contributing to the development and expression of challenging behaviors."