Something fundamental during parenting is building your child’s social skills. Because your kid will not always be under your supervision or guidance, it’s essential to develop these skills appropriately. In this way, the children won’t have difficulties in their daily life, whether in their childhood or adolescence and adult life.
If you don’t know where to start, keep reading! In this post, we’ll share tips to build and improve children’s social skills with you. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Teaching a child social skills: The basics.
While there are many social skills that children must develop, it’s better to start with the basics. Here are some primordial skills that your children need to learn:
- Personal space. Many children usually don’t understand that each person has their area and that it must be respected. Teach them to interpret people’s body language and find out that when people tense up, back off, or cross their arms, those are signs that they are invading their space.
- Basic conversation skills. Children are usually unsure of how to talk, and they often don’t pay attention, interrupt speaking, or raise their voices. Take your time and explain the basic rules of conversation, greetings, how to take turns speaking, and how to ask for what you want without being aggressive.
- Basic manners. It’s vital that children, from an early age, learn basic courtesy rules such as saying please, thank you, excuse me, etc. In fact, these are the most natural skills to promote in daily living, especially when they misbehave or ask for something.
- Teach them to be empathetic. It can be difficult for children to understand how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. A practical way to help them understand empathy is by stimulating their imagination. Have them imagine how they would feel in someone else’s place: a boy being bullied at school, a character from a movie or TV show, etc.
- Expression of wants and needs. Children can use inappropriate words to express what they really want to say. For example, when a kid says, “my brother is bad because he won’t let me play” to express that he doesn’t like to feel excluded. Observing when these situations happen and correcting immediately is one way to help them to build sincerity when they manifest.
Activities that can teach children social skills
On the other hand, there are activities with which your children can develop their social skills. Some of them are:
- Read to your children. According to scientific studies, reading fiction books helps to create feelings of empathy in children and adults. Classic children’s stories are perfect for this.
- Be a role model. In order for your child to have a better understanding of social skills, his best example to follow is you. Seeing you being respectful to others, being kind to the cashier in the store, or talking to the neighbors can make your child admire you and learn good habits.
- Have your child play games that require eye contact. This is a fundamental social skill. In fact, in some cultures, maintaining eye contact is a sign of listening and paying attention. Some games, such as eye contests, “eyes on the forehead”, and swings at the park, are ideal for promoting such skill.
Developing your child’s social skills. Final thoughts.
In addition to these tips, we recommend you to encourage your children to have friends, play team sports and do extracurricular activities according to their hobbies. By doing so, their social skills will constantly be improving.
On the other hand, you must keep an eye on your child’s social skills development. In case your child has difficulties developing them, you can ask for the professional help from a therapist to improve this situation.
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