Excellent social skills are imperative in life. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your children how to communicate and thrive. The skills you teach your child must be continuously refined as they age. Everyone has a social nature, but you should always look for those little moments to educate and enhance their abilities.
Unfortunately, not all societal skills are quite so simple to master. If your child is a victim of being bullied, then they should know how to handle these complicated situations. They should know when to stand up for themselves when they’re being bullied, but they should also know how to be silent when the teacher reprimands them.
Parenting Requires Teaching Social Adequacies
If your child develops excellent social skills, then they will have no problem building long-lasting relationships. Having stable friendships is suitable for your child’s mental health, and they will be more apt to know how to handle conflict resolution. The goal is to have your child’s social skills at a reasonable level by making it to kindergarten.
A study showed that these children who are already well versed in social adequacies are typically the ones that are successful when they are an adult. Every parent wants to raise well-rounded children. When your kid reaches school age, they will know how to follow the rules, cooperate with the teachers, and share with their peers.
Also, a study done at Penn State University found that children with excellent social skills by the age of five are more likely to go to college and have a great job by the time they reach their mid-20s. On the flip side, socially inept children often have issues with substance abuse, relationships, and a fair share of legal debacles. Additionally, the study found these children are more likely to be on public assistance.
Five Social Skills Every Child Must Learn to Thrive in Today’s World
It’s incredibly stressful when a child doesn’t have the proper skills to interact with others. It puts a strain on them, and their communication skills make matters worse. Additionally, studies have shown that when children know how to socialize, they have a lower cortisol level than those who don’t have these skills. Stress can have a significant impact on your child’s health too.
Thankfully, you can teach your child how to socialize appropriately, and even if they are a little behind, they can catch up. Perhaps, they are already a social butterfly and just need to sharpen their skills. If you wonder what social skills you should be teaching and refining with your children, then here are the recommendations.
1. Following Directions
Following directions is one skill that needs to be taught from a toddler. If children don’t develop this skill by the time they reach school age, then the consequences can be intense. For instance, if they cannot listen to the teacher and follow orders, they will likely miss what they need to do, misbehave, and be in the principal’s office.
Your child must be able to take simple instructions like making their bed, and they should also be open to trainable directives like tips on improving their baseball game. As a parent, you need to learn the proper way to give directions.
Telling your child a long list of things to do may only confuse them. It’s better to give them one task at a time, wait till they complete that task, and then move on to the next item. Another tip is never to ask them if they want to do something as it gives them the chance to say no.
Never use sentences like “Would you, please put your shoes away?” Instead, say something like, “Put your shoes away, please!” You changed it from a question to an expectation, as there is no room for negotiation. Once you’ve given an order, ask them to repeat back what they’ve been told.
Children are easy to distract, act on impulse, and often have a short memory. It’s your job as a parent to point out their errors and show them how they could have done things better.
There’s nothing worse than a stingy, selfish child. Sadly, children who act this way often grow up to be adults with the same mannerisms. Did you know that when a kid learns to share, it can help them form and keep friendships?
Don’t be too hard on your toddlers as children from ages three to six are often naturally selfish, but it still something that you must correct. It’s often the case that the toy they were fighting to keep from their sibling loses its luster once they won the battle.
By the time your child reaches seven to eight years old, they are more apt to be teachable when it comes to sharing. Children who feel good about themselves and don’t have a need to prove anything, and they often have no problems sharing with others. Some children are stingy because they need to prove themselves and have a hard time expressing themselves effectively.
Parents, you should teach your kid to share even if they don’t want too. Make sure to praise them when they share with their siblings, and you can help build their esteem by pointing out their victories.
It isn’t very pleasant to tell your child something, and they are talking over you the whole time. Teaching communication skills means that you show them how they should listen and how they should absorb what’s being said. When they head to school, their success will depend on the ability to listen.
To succeed academically, a child must learn to hear and absorb what’s being told to them. Beyond school, they must know how to follow instructions from their boss. It’s also beneficial to have excellent communication and listening skills in a relationship.
Communication is something that people must work on even into adulthood. Living in the digital age makes things more difficult. People would rather text, stare at their phone screen, or engage virtually than have a meaningful conversation.
The right way for parents to help their child develop these skills is to pause and ask questions. For instance, if you’re reading a book to your five-year-old, stop and ask them halfway what they have learned. If they’ve missed anything, you can fill in those gaps and continue with the book.
Additionally, teach them that they never interrupt others when they are speaking. It’s always essential for them to wait their turn as what they have to say is just as important as the other person’s concern.
4. Respecting Personal Boundaries
Personal boundaries are one of the essential social skills. Some children tend to be clingy by nature, while others are more aloof. It’s one of the main reasons parents tell their kids never to talk to strangers as it’s pushing limits.
You can encourage boundaries by telling them that there is an imaginary bubble around them, and no one can come into this bubble without their permission. Additionally, they must be respectful of the other person’s bubble too. They should also learn that they should knock on doors that are closed and always keep their hands to themselves.
Things like hitting, pushing, or taking something out of someone else’s hand are actions that deserve consequences. Personal space is a big issue throughout life. If your child doesn’t learn about these boundaries early on, they will have problems as they grow.
You’ve probably seen the adults that are too touchy-feely and make you uncomfortable. These are people that never learned appropriate boundaries, and their childish actions have followed them.
5. Making Proper Eye Contact
The eyes are the window to the soul, and looking directly at someone is a social skill that is part of your communication. A shy person will look to the corner or the floor when speaking or being spoken too. However, while they may get by with it in elementary school, their boss may not think too highly of their actions.
Every time you see their eyes wandering, ask them to refocus them back to your eyes. Remind them that it’s essential to look at people. It’s a standard trick for folks to avoid looking someone in the eyes when they’re lying or have been caught in a wrongdoing. Encourage them that eye contact is imperative as they grow.
Final Thoughts on Teaching Social Skills to Your Children
Having the ability to socialize appropriately is an integral part of life. It takes a bit of extra reinforcement from a parent, and then maturity will also do its part. If your child cannot follow social cues and to socialize with their peers, then it can be the sign that there are some medical issues behind this, such as autism or ADHD.
Generally, by the time your child can walk and talk, it’s time to start teaching and training about boundaries and other ways to thrive socially.