Monday 30 December 2019

Helping our Children Build Their Social Skills

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Adults and children alike possess different strengths and different weaknesses; socialising and interacting with new people comes naturally to some, whilst others struggle. However, social skills can be worked upon and developed over time, so there’s no need to worry if your youngster is struggling socially. 

There are lots of things you can do to help and starting young is the best remedy. Here are some tips from a Sixth Form College in London. 

Talking to your child about their emotions and how to appropriately express them is a great starting point. It means they have someone they know they can go to when they may be feeling overwhelmed or maybe are not understanding a feeling. As parents we can help our children understand emotions and how we react to them by modelling the behaviour ourselves.

Once they start to understand how a person’s body language displays what they’re feeling, they will know how to respond. For instance, if they spot someone crying in the playground at school, they will know to offer a helping hand or perhaps even fetch a teacher.  

Practise makes perfect, so be sure to introduce your child to lots of people, particularly other children. The more people they meet, the easier it will become in the future. With that in mind, be sure to arrange plenty of playdates with your friends and family members who have kids of a similar age to yours. As well as play dates, encouraging your child to join different clubs will also help. They will meet likeminded children who have similar interests and common ground is truly a fantastic ice breaker. Essentially, you will be helping your child feel comfortable and confident with people outside of their immediate family. 

Meeting with friends is a great way to start as often they will already know the children they are meeting as well as being on good terms with the parents. That way if anything does happen that may cause any upset your friend will understand what has happened rather than it being a random stranger. 

Teach your child good manners and always be a good role model by demonstrating suitable social interactions. For example, if a waiter in a restaurant messes up your order, don’t be rude to him because then your child will think that this is an acceptable way to speak to people. Children always pick up habits from their parents, whether good or bad! 

It's also really important to remember that kids are kids and will develop these skills as they grow, don't put to much pressure on them as they learn and allow them to find their own way as they do. Remember to be kind, caring and model great social skills and kids will pick them up in no time. 

Do you have any tips for helping your child build and develop their social skills? 


**This is a collaborative post in which I received a fee.**

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