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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 22 CHAPTER 1 to master challenging tasks, care providers can help children learn prob- lem-solving skills. Furthermore, the sense of pride and self-confidence built by these learning experiences is important for later learning and social rela- tionships (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000). Importance of Peer Relationships In addition to providing children an opportunity to learn, explore, and build self-regulation, early relationships with sensitive caregivers also help build social skills important for interacting with peers later in life. Regulating emo- tions is a major component of successful peer interaction. That is, children who are able to express emotions appropriately are more likely to be sensi- tive and understanding of their peers’ emotions. Empathy and sensitivity are core components of lasting friendships (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2004b). Furthermore, in navigating early relationships, children learn core con- cepts about resolving conflict with others. A caregiver’s responsiveness in handling conflict with a child, or between children, helps children begin to understand and handle conflict in appropriate ways. These skills of cooper- ation and conflict resolution can positively affect how children interact with their peers (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000). Fostering these skills early in life through responsive caregiving is important for later development of positive social relationships and success in school (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2004a, 2004b). CULTURE AND RELATIONSHIPS Attachment relationships do not develop in a vacuum. There are many char- acteristics in the surrounding environment that may influence the way early relationships develop. One of the most important factors that influences how attachment relationships develop is culture (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000). Culture affects individual caregivers, families, communities, and learning environments. Thus, it is impossible to under- stand early childhood development without considering culture. In recent years, there has been more exploration of culture as an important COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL