How to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills
When raising children, we all work to make them well adjusted, successful adults. However, a large part of future success will rely on social skills learned as a child. We may think that playing with other kids at school or daycare is enough to effectively raise a social child. Although, the reality is that many young children have stunted social skills which continue into adulthood.
With that in mind, what can parents do to improve their child’s social skills? Here are some key tricks which can turn your shy wallflower into a social butterfly.
Practice Eye Contact
From a young age, children should be encouraged to make eye contact when speaking. Engaging in eye contact can help build your toddler’s confidence as they grow. Consider playing games like ‘staring contest’ to practice this important social skill.
There are many fun ways to encourage eye contact with your child. Make this a priority in daily life for the best results.
Talk about your feelings and ask your child about theirs. Regular in-depth communication will help your child develop empathy for others and express themselves healthily. Emotional intelligence is undervalued in the education system. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a generation of children who cannot handle feelings or express themselves without over-dramatization. Lack of emotional intelligence has also led to confusion in communication and unnecessary conflict.
Making communication a priority will allow your child to improve their social ability to better deal with daily life.
Foster the Right Environment
Make it a point to expose your child to various social situations. Joining multiple playgroups or activities will allow your kid to interact with a wider range of children. Experience with older and younger kids, as well as adults, will help your child feel more comfortable in social situations.
It’s important to give your child variety in their playmates not only to develop confidence but also because peers will be struggling with the same social issues. Interaction with older children and adults can give children a basis for behavior to mirror.
Keep these key points in mind as your toddler becomes a teenager. Starting young is the best way to avoid social issues as your kid grows. However, it’s never too late to start focusing on the development of communication, emotions, self-control and eye contact. Your child can be a superstar on the playground with a little extra effort on your part.
How have you improved your kid’s social skills? What challenges have you faced in helping your child’s confidence blossom? We want to hear your opinions and experiences.