While the world is not perfect, there are some stories in the news that are a bit more disappointing than others. A Florida mom had a breathalyzer machine installed on her car by her own husband when she was released from rehab. Looks like rehab didn't help because she drove to a bar and left two small kids in the car while she went in and drank. When she left, she had her 4 year old blow into the machine to start the car. Police were called when someone spotted what was happening.
An interesting study was recently released where 700 children were evaluated on eight different criteria using a five point scale to determine how each child interacted socially with others. A score was formulated from the results. When the children grew up and were in the teenage-25 year old range, researchers assessed how they were performing now in education, employment, public assistance, criminal activity, substance abuse and mental health. What researchers learned was rather interesting.
Children who showed a higher degree of social competence in nursery school were more likely to have succeeded in all five categories. "For every one-point decrease in the child's score, he or she had a 67 percent higher chance of having been arrested and an 82 percent higher chance of being in or on a waiting list for public housing at age 25."
The study examined and took into account the effects of poverty, race, having teenage parents, family stress, neighborhood crime, and aggression and reading level of the child while in nursery school.
Now of course this study doesn't mean or prove that just because a child does not interact high on a social scale with others they are destined to a life a crime. However, if you combine this research with other research existing, it stresses the importance of helping children develop these social skills early on to increase their chance of success in school, work and life.
This is why pre-school is so important for all children, not just those lucky enough to have parents who figure out a way to pay for it.