Are you concerned about the level of your child’s social skills? Perhaps they’re finding it hard to make new friends or interact age appropriately with others? Social skills are just one of the many things children must learn to become successful in life. They’re also one of the things many children (and adults) find challenging to master.
The ability to start a conversation, interact with others, listen to others, make appropriate behavioural responses and deal with uncomfortable situations are just some of the social skills they must master. To help you help your child, we’re made a list of five things you can do which can improve your child’s social skills.
Importance of Developing a Child’s Social Skills
Social skills help a person to interact with others. Important in helping a child to make and keep good friendships, they also help a child to manage conflict resolution, have empathy and respond appropriately according to the situation.
As a parent, there are many things you can do to help teach your child social skills. Here are just five of them:
- Socialise with others – this could be at organised events such as coffee mornings or playgroups, or just chatting with people you see when you are out and about. Encouraging regular playdates is another great way to socialise, and our kids playhouse is the perfect prop.
- Role model – show your child what you do in social situations, such as saying thank you to the librarian or how to positively solve an argument with another adult.
- Support – offer assistance when things are too hard, such as when they have a disagreement with other kids. Give suggestions on the things they could do to repair the relationship, such as saying sorry or having time apart while they cool down.
- Talk – talk with your child about the importance of people. Let them know that showing consideration for others is a good thing to do, and model how it is done. Demonstrate the concept of personal space, and appropriate ways of interacting physically with someone.
- Social stories – social stories are a great way of teaching how things work, and in this case, how people work. From recognising feelings by a person’s expression and body language, right through to conflict resolution, they improve a child’s social skills by showing an age appropriate way to respond to specific situations.
Communication is crucial in a child’s world. Learning how to respond both verbally and non-verbally will help them develop positive relationships with others and their interpersonal skills. For further support and advice on improving your child’s social skills, there is some great information on the Plunket website worth reading.