The competent child

Social-Emotional Competence

The competent child is one who is capable, not only in their own eyes but in the eyes of those around them. It is possible that Max thinks he is competent but is then receiving a lot of negative reinforcement for his behaviour, therefore making it difficult for him to succeed social/emotionally. Considering this when settling-in will help the educators to form positive relationships with him and his family.

The competent child is not pushed to be competent but rather provided an environment and encouragement that sets them up to succeed and therefore see themselves as confident. In Max's home life, things have been very up and down, and he is now most-likely in need of extra support and encouragement which his family may not have been able to give during their transition period. It is now the educator's role to help Max and his family with a positive settling-in environment (Juul, 2011).

Self-efficacy (believing that one is capable of performing an action) is one of several dimensions of social-emotional competence (Policy, 2018).

In addition to providing children with a sense of well-being and allowing them to search for meaning in their environment, it is the role of the educators and the families to support the development of competency in young children (Bredekamp, 1993) (Månsson, 2008). If Max is struggling to understand social situations and pulling away from physical contact with educators, they can try to help him to feel confident in his actions through modelling and positive reinforcement.

When a child is seen as competent, they can contribute to the environment around them and how they participate in it, building not only self-esteem, but also self-awareness, and an interest in their own motivations (Staley, 1998).

Reggio Emilia, in addition to several other pedagogical concepts, considers one of the most important aspects of education to be seeing the image of the child as competent as well as having rights (Bredekamp, 1993, S. 13). Max is coming from a chaotic last few months and probably does not feel very competent and may possibly even feel slightly neglected. The educators can do more research into determining the function of his behaviour. However, to help him settle in positively and in the best possible way, they can first and foremost provide him with many situations in which he can choose the outcome and feel more in control.