Do you want your kids to become adults that get along easily with other individuals in the society? Then start improving their social skills. Just like many other adults, children are more naturally socially adept than others. Socially adept kids are the ones that become the kind of people others gravitate to and who can easily form meaningful relationships with other members of the society, work together and build lifelong connection. It is the core of the 4 Cs of 21st century education; Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication.
Social skills just like any other skills can be learned. For example: talking effectively, interacting with new people , starting a conversation, listening, getting along, being responsible for their behaviour, making friends (and keeping them too), dealing with uncomfortable situations, teasing, bullying, awkwardness or unpopularity, bonding, interacting, accepting and finding acceptance, empathising, and giving compliments are important skills that kids need as they journey through life. Developing these skills and interacting with the world around them will be a critical part of their success and happiness, even more important than their academic results. Are you ready to help them develop the desired social skills? Here are five tips to consider
- Encourage verbal and nonverbal communication
Make them communicate and express their feelings in thoughts and action. Let them know that they are free to talk, ask questions and let their needs and desires be known. These help them overcome shyness and inferiority. Teach them to start conversation even with new kids in social gathering, for instance ‘’Hello, my name is Jay, what’s your name’’, ‘’Is this your first time here” etc. These make other people feel comfortable around them and build relationship.
- Teach basic manners
Teaching kids’ good manners is an incredibly important social skill and like so many other things, getting your kids into the habit of using manners at an early age makes it become something they do automatically whether home or away. Teach them to use words like please, thank you, excuse me, and most importantly apologise when they are wrong.
- Teach them emotions/empathy
Teach kids to understand and respect others emotion through body languages and facial expressions. This helps them differentiate emotions and express better; and not get confused when mingling with other kids or people. Also play games on empathy to help them know how to feel sorry and understand another people’s feeling.
- Avoid loneliness
Start giving them then the environment by encouraging them to mingle. Some kids only become lively when they are around their siblings or parents. If you have a child like this, then you need to make the environment more compelling for them by encouraging social behaviour through playdates, birthday parties, extracurricular, sports to help them socialise. At times you may need to work with the child’s teacher to make this effective.
- Be a role model
Try to model the behaviours you want to see in your kids. Trust me, they are watching and soaking up everything as they watch even when you don’t want them to pay attention. You can’t give to your child what you don’t have. If you are not a social person, chances are that your kids won’t be social as well.
- Introduce games that teach social skills
Social skills games are great for teaching kids’ important social skills. Games that teach courtesy, empathy, teamwork and bullying are all good to start with. When you use games to teach social skills, you make learning them a more enjoyable experience. 9ijakids games are tailored towards developing the whole child, we have games on these areas of social development to help your kids grow. Learn more about 9ijakids here https: 9ijakids.com
Social skills are very important skills for every child and developing them early in children helps to prepare them for a lifetime of healthier interactions in all aspects of life.
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