The content and specifics of communication between children and their peers
A distinctive feature of children's contacts at the beginning of the second year of life is the ambivalent attitude toward peers.
On the one hand, kids are addressed to a peer as well as to an adult: they look into each other's eyes, smile, laugh, babble, show their toys. These actions the child transfers to the peer from spheres of communication with the adult , they are common for both communication spheres. A characteristic feature of these actions is that they express the child's relation to another person as a subject, as a potential partner for interaction, suggesting a response, an exchange of activity. However, there is no specific content specific to the attitude of children to their peers. The first communicative contacts only testify to the fact that the subjectivity of a peer is perceived by the child.
On the other hand, in the behavior of the youngest children there is a very special kind of action that is rarely found in communicating with adults. These actions are prompted by the child's need for impressions and active functioning . They are expressed in the fact that children in the second year of life often treat each other as an interesting object, a toy. If you put a peer and put a doll next to a one-year-old child, you can see , that the baby behaves towards them in almost the same way. For example, he touches the doll's eyes with his finger and tries to do the same with a peer; pats the doll on the head and repeats the same thing with the child; Raise and lower the leg of the doll - and immediately try to produce this action with the "living toy". Experimenting this way with animate and inanimate objects, the child explores, compares their properties.
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This behavior is typical for children aged 1 to 1.5 years and indicates that in their contacts, acquaintance with their peers as an interesting object is put forward. Object qualities of another child obscure its subject properties. This explains the special unceremoniousness in the appeals of children with peers: they pull each other by the ears, by the nose, slapping a hand or a toy on the head, pushing the other away, if he stops walking, etc. Sometimes one can observe how a child, trying to get some object, comes to the feet of a person sitting next to him, not paying attention to his protests. In this case, the coeval is just a hindrance to the goal. As a rule, in dealing with an adult such actions are extremely rare, and in contacts with peers - constantly, overshadowing the subjective component of communication.
So, during the first half of the second year of life, the subject and object relation to the peer are intertwined in children's contacts, which impedes full communication. Contacts of children are unstable also because they are still not very sensitive to the initiative of a peer, to his experiences, emotional states.
After a year and a half there is a marked break in the relationship of children. The actions with peers as with inanimate objects are on the wane, the share of initiative acts, calculated to interest the peer, is growing. The sensitivity of children to the attitude of other children is becoming more acute: their treatment with each other becomes more delicate, attentive. They begin to attract more and more interest, not subjective, but subjective qualities of their peers - the ability to respond to initiative, express agreement and approval, the ability to match their actions with the behavior of another. Peer becomes more and more attractive as a communication partner , and not as an object of manipulation. The interaction of children acquires the character of subject-oriented communication.
By the end of the second year of life and in the third year, a special kind of communication unfolds between the children - an emotional and practical game, which has a number of distinctive features.
First, it includes a special category of activities that are characteristic only of children's contacts. This game follows from the desire of the child to show himself the same age in the most direct way: children jumping each other
before a friend, they fall, scream, scream, tease, carefully watching the reaction of a partner. As a rule, such interaction is a "chain reaction": the action of one causes imitation of the other, which, in turn, creates a series of new imitative actions.
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Secondly, the joint game unfolds and conflicts seamlessly when the children communicate directly, without any objects.
Here is a typical example of such an interaction.
In the big arena are Dima (2 years) and Katya (1 year 9 months.). Dima watches with interest Katya, who is picking the oilcloth with her finger. The boy creeps up to Katya and also starts picking an oilcloth, smiling with her face. Katya does not notice the interest in her Dima, enthusiastically claps her hand on the oilcloth and something babbles. He laughs and also begins to clap on the oilcloth. Katya finally notices him, smiles at him and quickly hits him on the floor with his feet. Dima, laughing, repeats its action. Both synchronously kick their feet on the floor, carefully looking into each other's face. Dima starts to click his tongue in front of Katya, the girl, laughing, also clicks her tongue. The game lasts 10 minutes.
This example shows how imitation of the actions of a peer becomes a means of attracting his attention and the basis for a joint game.
In addition to very specific content, such contacts have one more distinctive feature - they are almost always accompanied by bright positive emotions. Children enthusiastically repeat the same actions in front of each other, as if mirroring themselves in each other.
Ira and Roma for 2.5 years. They play each with their own toy. Finally, Ira puts her toy aside, covers her face with her hands and, half-turned towards Rome, is waiting. He laughs and looks into her face. Ira opens her face and starts to swing with a smile in front of the boy. He animatedly, with a cheerful smile, repeats her actions. Some time the children swing, carefully watching each other. Suddenly Roma claps her hands and looks at Ira with an expectant smile. Girl
With pleasure repeats his movements, both laughing and clapping their hands. Suddenly Ira jumps up, cheerfully falls in front of the boy, looks at him inquiringly, inviting him to continue the game. Roma imitates her with delight. Children take turns to fall and stand up, laugh out loud. Emotional glow of the game increases. Ira joyfully squeals, looking at Rome in the eyes. He also squeals. Suddenly, both simultaneously stop, stop, frozen, look at each other, then both squeal and fall to the floor. This game is repeated several times.
Analysis of such games in terms of the criteria for the need for communication shows that the behavior of children meets all four criteria. Kids show each other expressed interest, colored positive emotions, initiative in interaction, adequately respond to the initiative of the peer, pick up and develop it. Such communication can be described as emotional and practical interaction. It allows the child to express freely and in fullness his identity, to experience a state of community and similarity with another, equal to him being.
Emotional-practical interaction of children is born spontaneously, without the participation of an adult. Despite the great attraction for kids of such interaction, the need to communicate with peers at this age is expressed less than the need for communication with adults and in activities with objects. An important role in the further development of communication between children and their peers, in enriching its content is played by surrounding adults.
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