How to Work on Your Kids Social Skills
- Updated on 20 Jan 2022
- Social Skills
- Mautushi Paul
- 3 mins read
Working on a child’s social skills is essential as social skills are necessary for children. Children need social skills to get along with other kids and adults in their lives, whether it’s at school, on the playground, or at home. Because social skill development is an essential part of growing up, working on child’s social skills is necessary.
Social skills are specific behaviours that help us communicate appropriately and successfully navigate social situations. Child’s social skills are different from social-emotional wellness, including self-esteem, general moods/attitudes, social problem-solving abilities, and self-management skills. Children learn social-emotional health by taking into account how others are. One of the biggest challenges for children with social learning difficulties is socialising with other kids.
Suppose you notice that your child has social learning difficulties or social anxiety. In that case, it’s essential to talk with him about his feelings before trying any social activities to prepare himself. It’s also essential to engage in social activities gradually, building up his confidence over time. This may include engaging in conversation, making eye contact, keeping social distance, and knowing when to walk away from an interaction.
11 Tips for Working on a Child’s Social Skills
Here are some tips for working on your child’s social effects:
1) Encourage social interactions
Let your child know that socialising is important and it’s something everyone must do. If possible, encourage social interactions with other kids his age. This will help your child in building good relationships and child’s social skills.
2) Practice social skills with your child
Encourage social interactions with you. For example, give him gentle prompts to ask you questions he would typically avoid asking. When he does communicate with you, avoid being judgmental of the social mistakes he makes. Instead, accept social behaviours that are different from what you expect and encourage him to do more of them.
3) Empathize with your child
Let your child know that socialising isn’t easy for everyone. Practice social skills by pretending to be someone else going through a challenging social situation. For example, pretend one of you is the new student in the class and simply ask something such as “What’s your name?”
4) Role-play social interactions
Practice positive social interactions with role-playing games like playing store or house. If your child acts aggressively during social playtime, take time out and talk about how his behaviour made others (and himself) feel.
5) Encourage social interactions at school or in public settings
Avoid socialising about ‘being good.’ Instead, practice social skills with your child to build his confidence. If he meets one-on-one friends through social activities, encourage him to develop those relationships even more by suggesting he invite the other child over for dinner or a playdate.
6)Encourage social interactions at school or in public settings
Avoid socialising about being “good.” Instead, practice social skills with your child to build his confidence. If he meets one-on-one friends through social activities, encourage him to develop those relationships even more by suggesting he invite the other child over for dinner or a playdate. Practice positive social interactions with them.
7) Teach social rules through stories
The best way for children with social skills problems to learn appropriate behaviours is by reading them social rules in books or watching them on TV. These are often presented as stories of children’s everyday experiences, such as having a birthday party or visiting the dentist. You can use these examples to discuss what people should do when communicating socially.
8) Talk to the social skills group at school
If your child attends social skills groups in school or social therapy, you can help him by talking with the therapist about working on your child’s social skills together. Asking if they have certain books that he can read through will also benefit him and any other materials that may be helpful for you and your family.
9) Play social-based games with your child
Playing social games will allow you as a parent to see some of his behaviours first hand and allow you to teach an appropriate child’s social skills through role-playing. For example, playing charades is a good way for your child to practice reading people’s facial expressions and to find clues from their body language.
10) Practice social skills at home
When your child displays certain social behaviours, ask him why he thinks he did that and the result of his actions. Discuss it with him to get his perspective on social situations and how they made him feel. Be open to hearing what he has to say about socializing. It may be challenging for you if socialising isn’t easy for your child, but by practising at home, your child will get used to socializing in real-life scenarios
11) Identify critical social skills
Identifying social skills can be challenging, especially in young children who are just learning to socialise. Certain child’s social skills are most commonly taught, including sharing, asking/responding when talking, taking turns, and listening.
Having social skills isn’t easy, especially if your child has social anxiety or social phobia and expects the worst to happen when socialising with other people. With the tips mentioned above, you can work effectively on your child’s social skills and help them in their overall development. They may not even know what social skills they lack, but you can identify it by paying attention to their social interactions both at home and in public.
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