Effective method of promoting social and emotional competences in kindergarten using preventive program „lubo from outer space”
Our behavioral standards and limits are determined by the society in which we live, which also holds certain expectations regarding our conduct in the surrounding environment. Therefore, if we strive to live a full-fledged life in harmony with the surroundings, we need understand the significance of the role played by our skills and abilities in the field of communication and relations with other people. The ability to develop relationships and socialize is closely related to emotional skills. We could hardly be able to interact with each other successfully if we had developed no empathy, which is our ability recognize and share feelings with the environment, another person or situation, or if we had failed to learn to rationally control our emotions. It would be hard to start any relationships if we could not even understand our own feelings. The new studies confirm that emotional competencies are the basis for the development of proper social conduct (Petermann and Wiedebusch, 2003 based on Hillenbrand et al, 2009). The exposure of proper behavior requires more than just the possession of individual knowledge and skills in the field of socially competent behavior. One must also know how to use such information in each particular situation. Therefore, the core condition for socially competent behavior is the ability to properly understand the situation, evaluate and empathize with it as well as to be able to use self-control (Fydrich & Bürgener, 1999; Petermann, 1999). It is especially important to foster social and emotional skills at the beginning of their development, i.e. in their pre-school stage, to prevent behavioral disorders in children (Hillenbrand and Henneman, 2005). Most importantly, we should encourage children to learn how to understand their emotions and control them as well as develop the ability to empathize with others. Social employees and kindergarten teachers point out that this field especially lacks the methods and possibilities for an effective promotion of the development of social and emotional competencies, the demand for which is particularly high when working with the children from higher risk groups. The preventive program Lubo from Outer Space! supports positive behavior of children and facilitates the everyday life of children in kindergartens. The methods used in the program are based on the promotion of social and emotional competencies proven effective by scientific researches.