Insights from Pete:
The purpose of creating Social Dynamics is to explore and identify a dynamic system approach to facilitate social interactions in children and young adults in our community.
I find early social interactional development to be a critical period in a child’s life and it is imperative that we investigate and provide solutions for children who need help at this stage. My goal is to enable all of us to understand and analyze the complex issues that young children have to deal with in order to establish and sustain peer relationships and to develop a plan that will help all of our children succeed in this important area of their lives.
Although it may not be apparent at first glance, children in early school settings illustrate many interesting patterns of social organization. Even as they chase one another, ride tricycles, build and destroy block houses, hit each other, and move in and out of social play, there are patterns in the seeming disorganization of these behaviors. A closer look reveals that certain children consistently tend to play together, other children play with many different peers and a few others tend to play alone much of the time.
So what brings young children together as “play partners”? This question reflects very fundamental issues in social science. How do we separate individuals, each with their own personalities, behavioral characteristics, and cultural backgrounds? This question takes on additional complexity when considering the developmental stages that may influence the organization of our children’s social groups. The development of social, regulatory, communication, and cultural skills and norms also plays a major role.
Early school environments primarily are designed to emphasize learning through play activities that provide opportunities for peer interaction. These early school years are a time when children can move from a general tendency to play alone or alongside other children towards increasing levels of true social interactive play. However, the transition to peer orientation is more difficult for some children than others. Children who are shy, inhibited, socially unskilled, or dysregulated may find this type of environment particularly aversive and very stressful. We must pay close attention in identifying the levels of structure that each child needs in order to succeed.
So, what is the Center for Social Dynamics?
The Center for Social Dynamics is where I want to provide the answers and safe haven to work together, as professionals in the field and families to enable our community’s children to thrive socially. I am eager to address the complex issues that affect the social dynamics of these children within their cultural context and believe that we must work together in helping them reach their full potential, one at a time.
The Center for Social Dynamics serves a diverse community with a model of excellence for the early childhood intervention. Intentional practices and therapies enrich the whole child with appropriate activities, choices, and support of individual needs. Guided by the individual needs of each child, each family becomes a partner with the Center to provide the best foundation in these important early years.