Ways to Enhance Your Child’s Social Skills
Even as adults we are still perfecting our social intelligence skills like building new friendships and coping with rejection. These are crucial lessons that we continue to learn all throughout our lives. However, the sooner you commence, the better it will be.
Social development plays a crucial role in a child’s success and happiness. It would not be wrong to opine that social competency is even more important than academic intelligence. Today you have the opportunity to influence your child's social intelligence and teach him aspects that will empower his relationships in life.
The Social Skills All Kids Require
Winning popularity contests is not essential. Neither is 'being social' the ultimate objective in life. What is truly vital is having the potential to form meaningful bonds. Have a look at some of the fundamental skills all children need to possess.
- Holding a meaningful conversation
- Having the ability to give a compliment
- Following directions
- Empathising and interacting appropriately
Skills for Primary School Children
Children require specific social skills as per their age. If your child is in the primary school, she needs to master these social norms.
- Listen to others
- Take turns to talk
- Follow instructions
- Obey rules
- Ignore distraction
- Reach out for help
- Gel with peers
- Be nice to others
- Stay calm and exhibit responsible behaviour
It's rather easy to profess that a toddler should follow directions and a teenager should cope with anger appropriately. It's completely different to help children develop these skills. Here are a few strategies to assist you in the journey of enhancing social skills in your child.
1. Start With Yourself
Children imbibe the preliminary social skills from their home. Parents need to model positive social skills as children regularly watch and emulate them. Teach your child that people are important and we need to be considerate to others. Dissuade your child from intentionally disrespecting another individual.
This strategy may force you to analyse your behaviour and evolve as a better person. Encourage resilient and constructive attitude. Instead of saying, “That kid is very mean”, maybe you can say something like, and “He seems to be having a hard day.” Such positive statements teach children that social situations can improve with effort and positivity.
2. Avoid Labelling
If your child is naturally quiet or takes time to warm up in a new situation, try not to label her as shy. Acknowledge her feelings and make her believe that she can overcome her fears. Teach her to accept the nervousness as a normal part of life.
Brainstorm on how she can handle her anxiety. Maybe asking other kids questions and listening to their answers helps deviate attention from her. It is crucial that the child believes she is lovely anyways.
3. Encourage Eye Contact
Effective communication comes from confidence. Encourage your child to look into the person's eyes while in a conversation. You can begin by telling them to talk to their toys by looking into their eyes.
4. Make Them Communicate
Verbal or non-verbal, your child needs to respond to social stimulus. Motivate your child to talk and express freely at home. Help him grasp appropriate social greetings and responses. In your daily conversations at home, make generous use of words like thank you, please, and let's.
5. Provide the Environment
A lonely child cannot develop social skills. Provide your child with the right company and exposure to interact with different types of people. Let her join hobby classes where chances of socialising are more. When kids mingle with others, they develop a range of interpersonal skills that empower their personality.
6. Don't Panic
Children learn positive social skills through trial and error. So just go along. Don't worry and try not to intervene unless you sense serious trouble. Model social grace and be there to help them build relationships and interpersonal skills.
Teaching children social and communication skills is a massive task for parents. Some children are naturally more adept at social situations; others need assistance and support.
Interpersonal skills like conflict resolution, assertiveness, and negotiation will train them to deal with challenges and complex situations later in life. So help your child today to stay ahead in life tomorrow.