Healthy Social Interaction

How children gain interpersonal skills

One of the characteristics of a healthy, social adult is their ability to communicate effectively with other people. Interpersonal skills such as empathy, perception, and assertiveness are highly valued by employers and reflect a balance between cooperativeness and personal opinion.

Unfortunately, children who are confined in school for hours each day have little time to develop these important social constructs. Instead of promoting community, collaboration, and confidence; many school authorities isolate students from really experiencing these growth opportunities.

In Healing Our Children , the author details,
“The purpose of school is to isolate the child from the mother, and it enforces the prison-like idea of society: life is about being separate, alone, and even punished.”

Normal ways of communication and mutual effort are stifled in favor of rigid classrooms where children are isolated and managed. In a real community, children would gather together for play and engage in meaningful conversation and group games. They would help with household duties alongside elders and siblings while gaining knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Children naturally learn the crucial interpersonal skills they will need later in life through everyday interactions and by working together and learning by imitation. Empathy is expressed through caring for the sick, the young, and the old. Assertiveness is gained through being an example to younger siblings and peer play. Perception of nonverbal language and custom comes from a cultural understanding of the roles each member plays.

School cannot reflect or recreate such an environment. It is only through homeschooling in an authentic community that children can learn how healthy social relationships work.