Good social skills are a great foundation for a better peer relationship. Social and emotional skills have many benefits including social acceptance and reducing stress. Therefore, developing your child’s social skills is important for their academic success, professional success, and happiness.
Some children may be naturally social as compared to others. However, socializing is a skill that children should master at every milestone of their life. Some children may find it hard to make friends. This may be due to either lack of confidence or difficulty mastering social skills.
It can be frustrating to watch your child have a difficult time making friends or fitting into a social setting. You may be confused about where to begin or what to do to help your little one master the art of socializing. Luckily, there are ways that you, as a parent or guardian, can take to help your child improve their social skills.
Are you ready to help your child develop social and emotional skills? Here’s how:
Ways to improve social skills in children
Making eye contact
Eye contact is an important element of communication. If your child is struggling to look at a person while speaking, then it is time you consider encouraging eye contact. Encourage your child to look at a person’s eyes while communicating. Although it may take some time before they get used to it, they’ll end up mastering this art.
There are different strategies that will help you encourage your child to maintain eye contact when talking to someone. First, you should know that this may take some time but it is worthwhile. When your child is struggling with eye contact, remind them of the importance of maintaining eye contact. For instance, you can ask gently, “when speaking to someone, where should your eyes go?” This will help you avoid causing your child further anxiety. Also, when your child remembers to maintain eye contact, give praise.
Secondly, you may consider showing your child how it feels talking to someone who does not maintain eye contact. For instance, you can ask your child to share a story while you stare at the space or other places except at them. You can then ask them to share a story while you maintain eye contact. You can then ask your child how they felt when you made eye contact and when you didn’t.
Children’s perspective is limited. You may note that your child struggles in understanding different emotions. Let your child imitate different emotions such as joy and nervousness. This will help your child develop different emotions and express them better without getting confused when engaging with others.
You can take some steps in helping your child understand empathy. Encourage the use of imagination. You can do this by looking for learning opportunities. For instance, if your child tells you that someone got picked on in school, ask them to imagine how they would feel in the same situation. When watching TV or a movie, you may ask your child to think about how the character is feeling.
A child may find it hard to interact with others. To avoid this, ensure that you give your child exposure, company, and a chance to interact with others. Children who lack social skills may experience difficulties in expressing themselves and interacting in a social setting.
The best solution is to involve children in activities that will make them comfortable in a social setting. If you’re wondering how you’ll go about it, worry no more. You can enroll your child today in a daycare center today. Your child will have an opportunity to mingle with other kids. This will help them develop interpersonal skills that will strengthen their personality.
You can help your child practice social and emotional skills through pretend play. Pretend-play helps children express their emotions.
Let your child pretend to be someone with who they have difficulty getting along. This will help you understand what that person is like or the perception of your child on that person. You may also consider switching roles with your child, then pretend to interact. While doing this, teach your child how to communicate effectively with the individual. It’s a good idea to use body language when teaching your child.
When children are nervous or have conversation lags, they tend to be introverted and this may affect their future social life. However, there are ways that can help children in initiating positive conversations with others.
Asking questions will help you understand how your child forms connections. Also, encourage your child to ask questions that need an explanation when answering.
It may take time to help your child acquire good social and emotional skills. However, these tips will help you get started.