We’ve all seen those kids that seem to have a hard time getting along with others, or heard of the child that keeps getting into fights at school. These behaviors can sometimes be triggered by inadequate social skills. There are many reasons why children need to learn and practice their skills. If a child is struggling socially, they may not want to raise their hand and ask a question in class. They may find it difficult to make friends or play with other kids on the playground.
Having strong social skills will help your children grow and learn at a healthy pace. How they interact with peers and how they see their parents interacting with them and others can give children confidence, self-control, independence, and empathy. Understanding the components involved in learning these skills will help you teach your children how to play well with others.
Main Aspects Of Social Skills
There are three main components involved with social skills, seeing, thinking, and doing. It’s important that children can see the way their parents and peers interact in social situations. Different situations require different reactions and seeing the situation allows them to pick up on cues that will help them better understand what’s happening around them. For example, if they see that their friend is looking bored, they can offer to play something new.
Thinking is another essential component to a child’s social development. Children need to be able to interpret what their peer’s intentions are. Being able to determine if their friend’s jokes are for fun or if they are mean will help figure out how they should react to the situation. The last component is doing. It involves them interacting with their peers in a positive manner, by sharing, playing, and listening.
As a parent, it is important to teach and improve their children’s social skills. Doing this can sometimes be tricky as some kids pick up these skills easier than others and some need coaching. Learning to share, take turns, and letting others speak without being interrupted takes consistency on the part of the parents. When children do not display positive social interactions, it is important to encourage a better reaction in order to reinforce good habits.
Sometimes a child might have a hard time making friends and in these circumstances it might be a good idea to schedule a play date with another parent. Shy kids may feel more at ease getting to know a friend if they are at their house, rather than in larger group settings like school. After becoming comfortable with one child they may have an easier time making more friends in a group setting.
Learning social skills is crucial to your child’s development. These skills will help them navigate their way through life and may determine how comfortable they are with people in the future. As a child grows, they may find some challenges easier with good social skills. The best time in their lives to sharpen their social skills is while they are young. Helping them will make you both much happier.
Building Healthy Friendships
Friends can be very important for young children, but many children do not really know how to make friends. Some children make friends and parents discover that these friendships are destructive. Friendships are going to be a lot more promising if parents teach their the right way to build healthy friendships.
Talk to Your Children About Their Friends
The first thing that you have to do is talk to your children about their friends. You must find out how your children view friendships. It is important to get input from children about the nature of the friends they have. This lets parents know how their children are making friends. It also gives parents a feel for whether their children are on the right track to making healthy friendships.
Getting and Giving Respect
The most valuable thing that any child can be taught about friendship is respect. They must learn to give respect and demand it as well. You must teach your children that
it is not okay to bully someone into becoming their friend. At the same time you must teach the child that being bullied should not be tolerated either.
Children that respect one another will not call one another names. They will not fight with one another. They may have arguments, but parents must teach their children how to debate with words instead of their hands. Healthy friends are built on honesty, but the disagreements do not have to result in physical altercations.
Becoming a Friend That Can Be Trusted
Friends have to make a conscious effort to prove that they are trustworthy. This is very important when it comes to building friendships that will last. Friends will support each other and never lie on one another. Parents have to teach this in the early stages so that their children will grow up with this instilled within their character.
Help Your Children Build and Judge Character
While you are teaching your children about the principles of building good character you have to be mindful of the character of others. You may have a child that is honest and trustworthy, but they may encounter children that are not.
As small children kids tend to simply play with other kids that will play with them. Kids don’t really know what character traits are. It is your job as a parent to inquire about the friends that your children are making. You have to teach your children that is is not good to lie, steal or cheat. You must then let your child know that they should not desire to build friendships with people that do these things.
Be An Example
The most important thing that you can do is be an example. If you want your child to form healthy friendships you must let them see your own healthy friendships. It may be necessary to disassociate yourself with anyone that hinders the values you desire to instill.