Rabu, 22 Maret 2023

Early Childhood Social Development and Growth; Aspects, Characteristics, Factors, and Strategies



1.1 Background Problem

Talking about a child, do not escape from discussing the development and growth of children. The growth and development of children according to the convergence theory of growth and development of children is influenced by genetics and milieu (congenital and environmental). Basically a child has been gifted by Allah SWT with so many potentials, and this must be developed through education and so on.

In Indonesia, education for children aged 0-6 years can still be said to be lacking in the sense that it is not yet educational among parents. They only know basic education (SD), junior high school (SMP) and senior high school (SMA). However, since the issuance of the National Education System law number 20 of 2003, parents' views on education have gradually changed, because the National Education System contains an article that discusses the importance of Early Childhood Education.

Development is a change, and this change is not quantitative, but qualitative. Development is not emphasized in terms of material, but in terms of functional. Another definition of development is "the changes experienced by individuals or organisms towards their level of maturity or maturity that take place systematically, progressively and continuously, both physically (physically) and psychologically (spiritually). In this case, social development in early childhood can be seen from the level of ability to relate to other people and become productive members of social society. This includes how a child learns to have a belief in his behavior and social relationships.

1.2 Problem Formulation

So that the discussion of the authors does not run away from the sub-themes, it is better for the authors to formulate the problems to be discussed, including:

ü Development and social growth of early childhood;

ü Aspects of early childhood social behavior;

ü Characteristics of early childhood social development;

ü Factors that influence the social development of early childhood;

ü Social development strategies for early childhood.

1.3 Purpose of Writing

There are several objectives of the author of writing this paper, including:

ü First of all to complete the assignment of early childhood education courses;

ü Students can know the meaning of growth, development, and social;

ü Students can understand the growth and development of early childhood;

ü Students can understand aspects of behavior and social development characteristics of early childhood;

ü Students are able to know what factors influence the social development of early childhood;

ü Students know what strategies can be used by educators in developing early childhood social behavior.



2.1 Early Childhood Social Development and Growth

Every organism must experience developmental events during its life. Development is a change, and this change is not quantitative, but qualitative. Development is not emphasized in terms of material, but in terms of functional. Another definition of development is "the changes experienced by individuals or organisms towards their level of maturity or maturity that take place systematically, progressively and continuously, both physically (physically) and psychologically (spiritually).

Oemar Hamalik added that "development refers to progressive changes in organisms, not only changes in the physical aspect (physical) but also in terms of function, such as strength and coordination". Thus, it means that we can interpret development as a qualitative change rather than functions. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 19). Growth itself is the size and shape of the body or limbs. The word growth is often associated with the word development, some say that growth is part of development.

Social development is the attainment of maturity in social relations. It can also be interpreted as a learning process to adapt to group norms, morals, and traditions; merge into one unit that communicates with each other and works together. Potentially (nature) according to Plato, humans are born as social beings (zoon politicon). But to realize this potential he must be in interaction with the environment of other humans.

The development of children's social behavior is marked by an interest in the activities of friends and an increasing strong desire to be accepted as a member of a group, and is dissatisfied when not with his friends. Children are no longer satisfied playing alone at home or with siblings or doing activities with family members. Children want to be with their friends and will feel lonely and dissatisfied if they are not with their friends. Two or three friends are not enough for him. Children want to be with their group, because only then will there be enough friends to play and exercise, and can give joy. From the time children enter school until puberty, the desire to be together and to be accepted by the group becomes stronger. This applies to both boys and girls. (Dadang Gani Ginanjar, 07-12-2012).

The social meaning itself can be understood as an effort to introduce (socialize) children to other people who are outside themselves and their environment, as well as the reciprocal influence of various aspects of life together that establish relationships with one another, both in the form of individuals and groups. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 134). The social development of children can be seen from the level of their ability to relate to other people and become productive members of social society. This includes how a child learns to have a belief in his behavior and social relationships. Social development includes:

ü Social Competence (ability to benefit the social environment);

ü Social Skills (behaviors used in social situations);

ü Social Observation (understanding the thoughts, intentions, and behavior of oneself and others);

ü Prosocial behavior (sharing, helping, cooperating, empathetic, entertaining, convincing, enduring, and strengthening others);

ü Acquisition of values ​​and morals (development of standards for deciding what is right or wrong, the ability to consider the wholeness and well-being of others). (Sunardi Nur, 2009: 102).

Social development of children starts from individual egocentric traits, towards communal interactive. At first the child is egocentric, only looking at one side, namely himself. He does not understand that other people can view differently from him. (Syafaruddin & Herdianto, 2011: 83). In the early years of development, a child experiences very rapid growth in adapting to the surrounding environment. Knowledge of the stages of behavior development can help us understand each child's actions and provide experiences that will support their positive social development. Social development includes changes in the increase of knowledge in a spiral shape about himself and others. This is influenced both by the child's experiences and social relationships with the adults in his life, and by his level of cognitive development. There are 4 aspects of cognition related to children's social development:

v A shift from an egocentric attitude of seeing the world only from one's own perspective to the development of the ability to understand how other people think/opinion and what other people feel;

v Growth in the ability to understand cause and effect to see the relationship between one's attitude and the consequences that must be borne;

v Change from concrete thinking (you are my friend if you play with me) to abstract mindset (you are my friend even when I don't see you every day, because we like to play together);

v Development of complex cognitions, such as the ability to understand broader family relationships (my mother is a mother, aunt, wife and child). (Dadang Gani Ginanjar, 07-12-2012).

Children's social development is very dependent on the individual child, the role of parents, the community environment and including the school. We already know that children's social development is how young children interact with their peers or friends who are older than them; regardless of the right and wrong of the child in hanging out with his friends. A smart child, even though he is 6 years old, is already able to participate in games that require thinking strategies like chess. Therefore, usually smart children prefer to play with children who are older, while children who are less intelligent feel more compatible with children who are younger. (Sunardi Nur, 2009: 102)

The social development of children starts from infancy, in line with the growth of their bodies, babies who have become children and then become adults, will get to know their environment more broadly, about many people. His acquaintance with other people begins with getting to know his mother, then getting to know his father and family. Furthermore, there are more and more people he knows and are very heterogeneous, but in general every child will be more attracted to peers of the same sex. Children form peer groups as their world, understand the child's world, and then the wider social world. Finally humans know life together, then society or social life. In the development of every child (human) finally knows that humans help and are assisted, give and are given. (Sunarto and Agung Hartono, 2008:

2.2 Aspects of Early Childhood Social Behavior

Social behavior can be interpreted as behavior that is carried out voluntarily, which can benefit or please other people without the anticipation of external rewards. This social behavior is done with a good purpose, such as helping, assisting, sharing, and others. The most important form of social behavior is applied to early childhood in the first year, namely for social adjustments that allow children to get along with their friends. According to the results of research conducted by Waldrop and Halverson, children who at the age of 2.5 years have been friendly and socially active will continue to behave like that until the age of 7.5 years. Specifically, Hurlock classifies patterns of social behavior in early childhood into the following behavior patterns:

a. Imitating, that is, in order to be the same as the group, the child imitates the attitudes and behavior of people he really admires;

b. Competition, namely the desire to excel and beat others. Children compete with their friends for achievements;

c. Cooperation, starting at the end of the third year, children begin to play together and cooperatively, and group activities begin to develop and increase both in frequency and duration;

d. Sympathy, because sympathy requires an understanding of the feelings and emotions of others, so this sometimes only appears before 3 years;

e. Empathy, like sympathy, requires understanding the feelings and emotions of other people, but besides that it also requires the ability to imagine oneself in the place of other people;

f. Social support, towards the end of early childhood the support of friends becomes more important than adult approval;

g. Sharing, children know that one way to gain social approval is to share their possessions, especially games for other children. At certain moments, children are also willing to share their food with other children in order to strengthen their friendship;

h. Familiar behavior, children give affection to teachers and friends. The form of familiar behavior is shown by joking and laughing between them. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 138-140)

As soon as the individual realizes that outside of himself there are other people, then he also begins to realize that he must learn what he should do as expected by others. The process of learning to become a social being is called socialization. Children are born not yet social. In a sense, he does not yet have the ability to get along with other people. To achieve social maturity, children must learn about ways to adjust to other people. This ability is obtained by children through opportunities or experiences associating with people in their environment, whether parents, siblings, peers or other adults.

Child development is strongly influenced by the process of treating or guiding parents towards children in recognizing various aspects of social life, or the norms of social life and encouraging and giving examples to their children how to apply these norms in everyday life. The process of parental guidance is commonly called socialization. Suean Robinson Ambron (1981) defines socialization as a learning process that guides children towards the development of social personality so that they can become responsible members of society. This socialization from parents is very important for the child, because he is still too young and does not yet have the experience to guide his own development towards maturity. (Sunardi Nur, 2009: 103-104)

2.3 Characteristics of Early Childhood Social Development

Young children are generally easy to socialize with the people around them. Usually early childhood has a best friend or two. According to Patents, there are several characteristics of social development in children, including:

· Unoccupied behavior, children do not play properly. He may stand around other children and stare at his friend without doing anything;

· Solitary play, children play alone by using a game tool that is different from what is played by friends who are nearby.

· Unlooker behavior, children spend time observing, sometimes commenting on what other children are playing, but do not try to play together;

· Parallel play, children playing close to each other, but not fully playing together with other children;

· Associative play, children play with other children but without organization, there is no specific role, each child plays in his own way;

· Cooperative play, children play in groups where there is an organization, there is a leader. Each child performs play activities in joint activities. For example wars. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 148-149)

2.4 Factors Influencing Early Childhood Development

The first five years is the period when the foundations of human personality, the ability to sense, think, speak and speak skills, and social behavior are formed. Broadly speaking there are two factors that influence the process of optimal social development for a child, namely:

v Factor internal

Internal factors are factors that are present in the child himself, either innate or acquired from experience. According to the Ministry of Health, these internal factors may include; (a) things that are inherited from parents, (2) elements of thinking and intellectual abilities, (3) the state of the glands of substances in the body, (4) emotions and certain traits (temperaments).

v External factors

External factors are factors that a child gets from outside himself, such as family, nutrition, culture, and playmates. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 154-155)

According to Bronfenbrenner's theory, there are 3 contexts that can influence children's social development. (Santrock, 2011: 90) Where children spend most of their time, namely:

The family is very influential in shaping the child's personality, attitudes and habits of the family in raising and educating children, the relationship between parents and children, and the relationship of family members. For example, the family relationship between father and mother is not harmonious, often fights, abusive treatment of children, too strict and restricts children's freedom, all of which greatly affect the development of the child's personality. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 155) Children who grow up in various situations, there are children who have siblings and some who don't, some are restrained and some are not, some parents are divorced and some are not. These varied situations will affect the child's social development. (Santrock, 2011: 90)

Peers also play an important role in the social development of children. In the context of child development, peers are children of the same age or at the same level of maturity. Good peer relations may be necessary for normal development. Social isolation or the inability to connect with social networks, will lead to many problems and disturbances, ranging from crime, drunkenness, to depression. Peer relationships may influence the likelihood of problems arising in adolescence. (Santrock, 2011: 100) There is a Persian satir that says:

Oh Lord, Lord, Jamarabad, Lord, there is nothing but hell, O Ranik, Qiran, Yebi, Naim.

"Being friends with a bad person will bring us closer to hell, making friends with good people will bring us to heaven"

At school, children spend a lot of time as members of small communities which greatly affect their social development. For example, the school context always varies from early childhood, elementary school to university. In this case, a child will interact with teachers and other students in the school environment. (Santrock, 2011: 103)

2.5 Social Development Strategy for Early Childhood

There are several influential streams in the world of science in interpreting learning. One of them is Behaviorism. According to behaviorism, learning is a change in behavior that occurs through a process of mechanical stimulus and response. Therefore, a systematic, organized and planned environment can have a good influence so that humans interact with stimuli and provide appropriate responses. John H. Pestalozzi suggests a suitable learning method at the early childhood level, namely by guiding the child slowly and with the child's own efforts. naturally every child has been equipped with an organ called intelligence which originates from the brain. If this brain structure can function optimally, then it is likely that this potential will develop to reach its optimal realization. In its function, the brain is greatly influenced by interactions with its environment. So, if the environment has a positive influence on him, it is likely that this potential will develop optimally.

Bacharuddin Musthafa presents four principles in early childhood learning, which can also be used as an effort to develop children's socio-emotional, namely:

ü Depart from those brought by the children. All learning efforts must begin and end in the good of child development;

ü Learning activities must challenge children's understanding from time to time;

ü The teacher suggests relevant issues and the child's condition and environment;

ü The teacher builds learning units around key concepts and major themes.

The Consultative Group on Early Childhood care and Development provides an overview of the steps in assisting early childhood development. That is :

ü Provide opportunities for positive social development in children. For example, giving children the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings;

ü Creating an educational and learning process that provides a vehicle for positive social development of children. For example creating a play area, derama games, and others;

ü Providing facilities and infrastructure needed in positive social development. For example letting children play and complete the game tools they need. (Ahmad Susanto, 2011: 167-170)


2.6 The Role of Play Activities in Children's Social Development

In the Indonesian dictionary, playing comes from the word main which means doing things to please the heart which is done with pleasure tools, while playing is the process of doing something to please the heart. (Desy Anwar, 2003: 270) According to Spodek in Soemiarti Patmonodewo, playing is a phenomenon that has attracted the attention of educators, psychologists, philosophers and many other people since several decades. They are conflicted to better understand the meaning of play in relation to human behavior. Play is truly an elusive concept because it comes in so many different forms. Playing itself is not only seen in the behavior of children in adulthood, not even in humans. (Soemiarti Patmodewo, 2009: 103)

Playing is often said to be the most natural and widespread phenomenon and plays an important role in the child's development process. There are 5 meanings related to play, namely:

ü Something fun and has a positive value for children;

ü Does not have extrinsic goals, but the motivation is more intrinsic;

ü Is spontaneous and voluntary;

ü Involve the active role of children;

ü Having a special systematic relationship with something that is not playing such as: creative abilities, problem-solving skills, language learning, social development, discipline, controlling emotions and so on. (Martinis Yamin & Jamilah Sabri Manan, 2010: 285)

Playing can also be interpreted as something special and fun for early childhood. Play can help children to solidify the unity of knowledge, because all of it brings together language, thinking, attitudes, and imagination and creativity. Play directs development and stimulates children to enrich and equip them to behave according to rules. (Martinis Yamin & Jamilah Sabri Manan, 2010: 289-290) Playing and learning activities can occur indoors or outdoors. In order for the classroom and spaces outside the classroom to help children develop properly, this play environment needs to be planned and arranged in such a way by the teacher and staff.

According to Yeni Rachmawati and Euis Kurniati, playing is an effective method for developing children's creativity. Any strategy and approach used to develop creativity can be done in the form of a game. Because in essence playing for children is learning and working, and creativity has more to do with playing than working. (Yeni Rachmawati and Euis Kurniati, 2005: 55)

So, according to the author, the early childhood play method is a way for children to be able to express what the child wants through the teacher's directions, and by playing, children can empower their cognitive abilities through the expressions that children make.

Playing in a school setting can be described as a range of continuums that end in free play, guided play and ends in directed play, in free play can be defined as a play activity in which children have the opportunity to make various choices of tools and they can choose how to play. using these tools, while playing with guidance, the teacher chooses a game tool and it is hoped that children can choose to find a certain concept (understanding). Meanwhile, in playing the teacher is directed to teach how to complete a specific task. Sing a song, finger play together and play in a circle.

Educators realize that playing is an activity that is very important for young children. Playing is a way/way for children to express their thoughts, feelings and the way they explore the world around them. Playing also helps children in establishing social relationships between children. Almost all preschool educational activity programs organize play activities in large portions for their students. For this reason, teachers should carefully plan these playing activities with the support of the school environment. (Soemiarti Patmodewo, 2009: 112)

Play is essential for children's health, increases peer affiliation, relieves stress, enhances cognitive development, enhances exploration, and provides a safe haven for potentially harmful behavior. Play increases the likelihood that children will talk and interact with one another. During this interaction, children practice the roles they will carry out in their future lives.

The role of playing for children is very important for the growth and development of children. Playing must be done on the initiative of the child and at the child's own decision. Playing should be done with pleasure, so that all fun playing activities will result in a learning process in children. Children learn through their play. Enjoyable play experiences with materials, objects, other children, and adult support help children develop optimally.

Playing can be a source of learning, because it provides an opportunity to learn various things that children do not get at school or at home. Besides that, it will have a very important influence on the personal and social adjustments of children at school and at home. In addition, it will have a very important influence on the child's personal and social adjustment. Because by playing, children learn to socialize, interact with other friends, learn to form social relationships, learn to communicate and how to deal with and solve problems that arise in these relationships. In playing children also learn to understand moral standards, about good values ​​and bad (bad) values, so that forms of communication are established because from this relationship children will learn to work together generously, honestly,

Playing also develops cognitive aspects. In playing motion and songs, children learn to realize and master numbers, letters, speed, direction, balance, and so on. And by playing with friends. They learn to practice social concepts, know the rules and learn about aspects that exist in their culture.



3.1 Conclusion

John Locke argued that the child's experience and environment are the most determining factors in a child's social development. Social development is the development of children's behavior in controlling and adapting to the rules of society where the child is. Social development is not just the result of maturity, but most of it is the result of learning. Therefore providing conducive conditions is very important in order to increase maturity and learning opportunities. Good conditioning will make emotional social function.

Playing is one of the teaching methods in preschool education. By playing, preschoolers can more freely get to know something and children can interact with their peers, so that children are not anti-against something new. And by playing can develop a child's social sense of the environment. So it can be concluded that the role of play for the social development of children is very important, because by playing; it is there that the child interacts with what is in school and in his environment.

3.2 Criticism & Suggestions

From the results of our short paper, hopefully it can be useful for all of us, in general, we personally. And we can take compassion so that we use the most appropriate media in learning. So that the educational process runs smoothly. And all that is good comes from Allah, and all that is bad comes from me. And I realize that our paper is far from perfect, there are still many mistakes from various sides, so we expect constructive suggestions and criticism, for the improvement of further scientific work


1. Ahmad Susanto, Early Childhood Development, Jakarta: Kencana, 2011.

2. Syafaruddin & Herdianto, Preschool Education, Medan: Perdana Publishing, 2011.

3. John W. Santrock, Educational Psychology, Jakarta Kencana, 4th edition, 2011.

4. Sunardi Nur, Early Childhood Education, Jokjakarta: Diva Press, 2009.

5. Desy Anwar. Indonesian Dictionary, Surabaya: Amelia Surabaya, 2003.

6. Soemiarti Patmodewo, Preschool Education. Jakarta : PT Rineka Cipta, 2009.

7. Martinis Yamin and Jamilah Sabri Manan, Guide to Early Childhood Education. Jakarta: Echoes of Persada Press, 2010.

8. Yeni Rachmawati and Euis Kurniati, Strategies for Developing Creativity in Kindergarten-aged Children. Jakarta : Ministry of National Education, Directorate General of Higher Education, Directorate of Educational Development for Higher Education Personnel and Teacher Training, 2005.

9. Dadang Gani Ginanjar Haitam, children's social development, quoted from a site:


source: rudy

Baca Artikel Terkait: