I have the pleasure of conducting small social skills groups with my younger clients who range from 3 to 5 years of age. Some of the social skills groups that I’ve conducted this week under supervision were learning how to share and learning how to be a part of a group. While the group consisted of children raging from 3 – 5 years of age, their cohesiveness showed that no matter the age, members of a group as well as group work can be very powerful even among small children.
Research shares that the average group size should be around 8-10 members. I definitely noticed the difference from trying to provide psycho-education in a classroom setting with 16 children verses 8 children. Group work with children allows them to bond, share and even support each other as friends at age 4. It is very touching to see 4 year-olds encouraging their friend when they notice their friend is sad because they want their mommy. Some children may say, “Its okay she’ll be back” and pat them on the back or some kids may say, “I get sad when my mommy leaves too”. I feel more confident to know that when I have the opportunity to facilitate counseling groups for small children in the future, I know that the same healing can take place among children just as adult group counseling.
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