Social skills are a set of skills that are infinitely better when planted from a very young age. These skills allow your children to enjoy peer relationships, effectively communicate, and eventually succeed in life. Social skills are not something your kids are born with, nor is it something that only specific children can have. These are skills that are learned, developed, and honed with time, effort, and practice. If you want to see them appreciate life more, here are helpful tips and ways to improve children’s social skills.
Benefits of Good Social Skills
Good social skills reap tons of benefits for your children.
Better education and career. When a kid has better social skills, they are most likely to excel and enjoy school. These children are better at sharing, listening, cooperating, communicating, and following the rules, which are significant factors in excelling in class and eventually, in their careers or fields.
Establish stronger friendships. Good social skills go hand-in-hand with making friends easily. A kid with strong social skills has the initiative to approach a person, strike a conversation, and keep it going. Friendships are vital for a kid’s mental health so they must know how to make friends.
Ways to Improve Children’s Social Skills
There are certain situations and concepts that might be difficult for the younger ones to understand, like knowing to be confident when a friend is being bullied or understanding when to stay silent if the situation calls for it but these are moments that can be taught, especially with proper guidance from the parents.
Allow them to pursue their interests
Socialization comes naturally when a child is doing something they are interested in, more especially when they are surrounded by others who share the same interests. It could be participating in a favorite sport, playing an instrument they like, or being a part of a school club. Allowing your children to follow their interests is the first step to honing social skills and by placing them around like-minded individuals, they will feel more comfortable and at ease.
However, don’t forget that while having them around kids with the same interests is an excellent way to build social skills, it is also important to have them interact with others with different interests.
Encourage them to ask questions and ask for help
Children get nervous too but an overly nervous and stressed child might become introverted and might find it difficult to socialize in the future. One of the several effective ways to initiate and continue the conversation is by asking questions. This is a compelling way to bond and connect with others so always encourage your children to ask questions that require answers aside from yes or no.
Aside from asking questions, also encourage your children to ask for help when they need it. So they don’t feel embarrassed asking adults or teachers for help when they are stuck on something too difficult for them to overcome. It can also be something simple as asking for help on what games to play.
Teach them empathy
When children have a better understanding of the feelings of others, they will feel more connected to other people. One of the most effective ways to teach empathy is to discuss different situations and scenarios with your children, letting them understand how other people might feel when this particular situation happens.
Aside from this, teach them to actively listen. Have them focus on what others are saying and then ponder about what to say after the conversation is over.
Teach them about personal space
Some kids are enthusiastic talkers, breaking the concept of personal space by crawling into laps or getting too close to their friends as they are too immersed in the conversation. Most adults don’t mind but children must be taught about the concept of personal space and how to respect this.
One of the best ways to start is to create household rules that teach kids about people’s personal space. Simple house rules such as “Knock on closed doors,” and “Keep your hands to yourself” are good examples to start with.
If your child gets too impatient and displays unwanted behaviors like harshly grabbing things out of people’s hands, pushing them, getting into their laps without permission, or standing too close while talking, use this as a moment to teach them about personal space issues. Gently take them aside and talk to them about respecting this.