The lovely Tracey Clayton from High Style Life has very kindly written a fabulous guest post for The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy with tips on how to help your children develop better social skills. Find out more about Tracey below!
How to Help Your Kids Develop Better Social Skills.
Perhaps the children today really do have poorer social skills than twenty or thirty years ago or perhaps this is something every generation thinks. The jury is still out. That being said, it definitely feels like children today are more likely to spend time alone or engaged in some very limited online interaction with a few friends. Somehow, it feels like children have decided to do without the good old-fashioned interaction face-to-face and everything that comes with it.
Later in life, this can only result in negative consequences and it is perfectly understandable why parents are looking for ways to help their children develop better social skills. This is exactly what this article is about.
Starting Off Early
Social skills can be learned at a very young age, or at least the basis of social skills. For example, when you introduce a new person to your one or two year-old, ask them to spend some time engaged in reciprocity activities. This can include giving toys to one another and then vice versa or taking turns pressing buttons on a toy of some kind. This will both make your child less shy and more likely to understand the concept of sharing something with another person.
Storytime Can Do Wonders
Reading a story to your child does not seem like much of a social activity, does it? In reality, however, this can be a perfect way to teach your young child the importance of emotions, especially those felt by other people. All stories and books for children involve characters that act because of certain emotions they feel. After completing to story, talk to your child about it, asking them how each of the characters felt. This will help them become more emotionally intelligent which can play a huge role in their future social skill learning.
Be Smart About Child Care Choices
There are child care centers and then there are child care centres. There are kindergartens and then there are kindergartens. You may feel silly spending days and months choosing the perfect child care centres service in your area, but finding the right one can do incredible things for your child’s social skills. There are child care centres where communication and social activities are at the core of their operation and these are the places where you will want to send your child. Early education is really all about learning social skills.
Encourage Social Activities
Extracurricular activities are meant to hone certain talents that the children have, but also to provide them with a chance to engage in social interactions that are not experienced in kindergarten or the school. When your child plays a sport, they interact with other children in a competitive environment that can reveal a lot about themselves and which will put them in social situations that regular school doesn’t. Sometimes they will be sad, sometimes they will be angry and sometimes they will get into conflicts. These are all parts of the social fabric and not something your child has to be protected from.
Family Is Key
You can do everything above and spend all your time engaged in all kinds of activities and whatnot, but if there is no communication at home and if the social life at home comes down to Hi! and Bye!, it will all be for nothing. Family is at the core of the child’s social life, no matter how you cut it. Your child learns good manners at home and it learns about appropriate reactions to certain situations and emotions. They learn about how to interact with other people by watching you interact with other people. A healthy social atmosphere within their family will be key for the development of their social skills.
Developing your child’s social skills is mostly common sense. Teach your kids good manners and do not shield them from social situations that you might feel are “too much” for them. You might hit a few snags, but everything will turn out just fine.
About author: Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.