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5 Social Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Child »

5 Social Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Child »

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.

2. Sharing

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.

stress on kids

3. Listening

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.


10 Signs of an Exceptionally Intelligent Child

10 Signs of an Exceptionally Intelligent Child

All parents think their child is exceptionally intelligent. But when little Judy or Jack brings home their kindergarten school work, you realize your child is smart, but not necessarily exceptional. There’s a big difference, and extraordinary intelligence in a child usually shows up at an early age. So, what are ten signs you’re the parent of a brilliant child?

First signs of extreme intelligence in your child

Small children can show early signs of extreme intelligence. You may not even be aware of these things in your infant until you compare your child with other kids of the same age, or your pediatrician notices it. First signs that you have a child of high intelligence include

  • They’re very alert as an infant.
  • They have a long attention span as a toddler or infant.
  • They have language development.
  • These children have motor skill development.
  • They are ambidextrous at some point early on.
  • They have imaginary playmates.
  • These children speak early first words around nine months.
  • They read early, completing easy reading before the age of four.
  • These children start showing a sense of humor at a very early age.

Ten Signs You Are Raising a Particularly Intelligent Child

Here are some things to look out for if you suspect your child is brilliant (literally!).

  1. Early readers

If your child is exceptionally intelligent, there’s a good chance they will be early readers. Some of these children are reading by the time they’re three with little or no teaching. This aptitude is often because they also have great memories and have memorized many words they’ve seen in books or from hearing you read to them.

Early reading is often a significant indicator that your child is a genius. They will have an insatiable appetite to read. You may need to make them stop reading so they can eat their meals or go to bed.  Finding age-appropriate books can be challenging. Turn to some old classics for challenging yet age-appropriate reading materials. These classic books are often overlooked at schools, but provide a rich source of learning for your child.a

Here’s a list of ten tried-and-true classics your young, exceptionally intelligent child may enjoy reading (depending on the age/ability).

  • Treasure Island
  • Peter Pan
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • The Hundred Dresses
  • Danny the Champion of the World
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Poppers Penguins
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Pippi Longstocking
  1. Creative when playing alone

Children love to play, but exceptionally intelligent children are uniquely imaginative when it comes to playing alone. They often create an imaginary friend. Although this is common to all kids, gifted children are exceptionally creative.

One gifted boy told his father that a former United States president was his imaginary friend. Gifted kids are apt to create little worlds based on what they read or see. Studies found that kids who have an imaginary companion have an imaginative ability. They are better at storytelling, more prone to fantasy, and often explain things as magical.

Teach your kids these sixteen good money habits.
  1. A highly intelligent child displays curiosity.

Gifted kids are curious about everything around them. They have a curious mind and tend to question everything. They want knowledge. You find yourself feeling overwhelmed by their questions, especially when their problems are beyond what you know. This is a great time to pull out books on the topics they’re most interested in. Show them how to search for answers in safe, online sites like Britannica Kids, National Geographic for Kids, or the World Book online.

  1. Perseverance

When exceptionally intelligent kids find a subject, they’re interested in. They want to know everything about it. They’ll persist in asking questions about it, reading about it and talking about it. They’re persistent in problem-solving. They’re committed to finding answers. They have an incredible amount of energy and devotion to these topics. One boy loved learning about World War II. He read every book he could find on the subject, then he wrote his 200-page war novel at the age of 8, using the information he’d learned as the backdrop for his fiction work.

  1. Creative

Your exceptionally intelligent child may be extremely creative. Studies show that creative people can come up with novel ways to solve problems, while smart people solve a problem in a more logical way. The relationship between intelligence and creativity isn’t understood by scientists, but it seems prevalent when a child is particularly smart.

This creativity makes your child comfortable thinking outside the box and inventive. Your child may be extremely original in their thinking. Exceptionally intelligent kids can exhibit these artistic qualities:

  • Being independent with their ideas
  • Comes up with creative stories, sometimes based on real or unreal events
  • Can find many creative solutions
  • Great imagination
  • Great at improvisation
  • Doesn’t bother them that they’re different
  • May be distracted by all their ideas.
  • Has his or her schedule
  • Maybe a risk-taker in some areas.
  • Daydreaming about their ideas
  1. Great memory

Your gifted child may have an incredible memory for facts and figures. Some gifted kids memorize phone numbers or car license numbers just for fun. They’re like a walking book stating information they’ve read verbatim. They often can memorize math facts and spelling words after seeing them just once.

Be careful what you promise your child because they will remember it and bug you until you do what you promised.

  1. An unusually intelligent child might also be highly sensitive.

Gifted kids may be highly sensitive. This sensitivity means that they are keenly aware of their feelings and other people’s feelings.

They are also sensitive to touch. Thus, they dislike scratchy clothing or tags on the inside of their shirts. They don’t like socks with seams or a chair that’s too hard or soft. This characteristic can be challenging for a parent, but it’s part of who your child is. Adapt to their preferences as much as possible without overly catering to every whim.

  1. Strong will

Don’t be surprised if your exceptionally intelligent child is given to meltdowns. They get frustrated easily when they must stop doing something they like, or they feel like you’re not listening to them. They don’t understand why they need to stop reading because it’s so important to them. They’ll tell you why you should let them do what they want. They are secure in their opinions and persuasive in their arguments.

  1. Good sense of humor

Gifted kids are funny. They crack jokes and puns all the time. Coupled with their constant talking and questioning, these comedians can take over a class as the class clown. Teachers find them delightful and distracting. They like to make their teachers crack up over their jokes while the other kids miss the point entirely.

  1. May seem impertinent

Highly intelligent kids seem old for their age. Because they’re so verbal and have a vast vocabulary, they like to interact with adults at their level. They are sometimes perceived as rude or impertinent when they correct an adult’s mistake or ask personal questions. They are often viewed as impolite, but usually, they’re just curious or being funny.

Because of their ability to think abstractly, adults treat them as if they were older, but gifted kids are still kids. They can lack emotional development. One minute, they’re talking to you about a complicated physics problem they finished, and then they’re having a meltdown because they don’t want to eat their broccoli.

Final Thoughts on Raising an Exceptionally Intelligent Child

If you are the parent of a highly intelligent child, you will be amazed at your child’s incredible vocabulary and their ability to think logically. They’ll stump you with their questions and talk your ear off about everything they’re learning. You’ll be challenged to keep them intellectually stimulated with good books and activities. Take them to museums, gardens, historical sites, and on walks through the woods. Give them lots of different experiences to enhance their learning experience.

Guide your child in social situations. Tell them they must be polite even when they’re curious-it’s just never polite to ask the store clerk how many times she’s pooped today. Be prepared for an adventure as you watch your child continue to learn and grow, solving problems adults can’t and finding the most out of the box kind of solutions to problems. Also, be prepared to love them and accept them as they struggle to understand life. Be their support and sounding block when they’re sad or confused.

Don’t coddle them or tell always tell them how smart they are. This creates a self-centered kid who feels entitled. Teach them to think about others, to share, and to be ready to help.

Most of all, enjoy who your child not for their intelligence, but as a wonderful kid who’s growing into a responsible, kind person.


12 Signs of a Gifted Child to Never Overlook

12 Signs of a Gifted Child to Never Overlook

A gifted child, by definition, has a higher level of intelligence and is advanced academically. They are often creative, artistic, and possess leadership skills. If you think your child is gifted, it’s essential to know how to help your child best.

Gifted kids act differently than other kids. But researchers suggest that parents and educators must view a child’s giftedness as their potential for growth rather than something they’ve already achieved. This information will help a child be motivated to learn and grow in their talents.

Gifted kids versus bright kids

People often confuse the terms bright and gifted. They have two different meanings. Bright children and gifted children are both smart. However, here are some fundamental differences between these two descriptions.

Bright kidsGifted kids
Like to work hard and do well in school.Don’t need to work hard to do well in school.
Like to get the right answer to earn approvalAsk more questions, are curious, not looking or approval
Learn progressively, line upon lineLearn with some gaps, high in one area but low in another
Social development is correct for their ageUsually like to be adults or older kids more than their peers, may not respond correctly to social cues
Can handle scary movies or books for their ageTend to be fearful, ask lots of questions, get scared easily
Like being at schoolThey’d rather learn by themselves
Can finish their work then do something else like read or drawVery detailed, overly specific and interested in one minute point

Here are twelve signs of a gifted child you should never overlook:

gifted child

1 – Talk like a professor

Gifted kids’ language skills develop early. If you have a child who is gifted, he or she will have a large vocabulary for a child their age.

They’ll speak in more complex sentences and sound like a little professor when they talk to you. It’s easy to assume that a gifted child’s maturity level matches their language, but their minds get ahead of their physical and emotional growth.

They’re still a child with developing emotional needs. Don be intimidated or awed by your child’s intellect. Seek to provide them with a stable home environment where they can grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

2 – Read constantly

Gifted kids are voracious readers. They need to be told to stop reading at meals or bedtime. They read through their age level books so quickly. It can be quite challenging for parents and educators to find age-appropriate but exciting books for them.

A gifted child can quickly end up reading a fifth or sixth-grade book in kindergarten or first grade. The classic literature books are great reads for gifted kids.

3 – They’d rather hang out with adults

School can be challenging for these kids because they prefer adult conversations to talk with their peers. They find their peers’ non-intellectually stimulating. Adults tend to know more and have more experiences that gifted kids want to learn about.

It’s challenging for parents and educators to help them learn how to relate to their peers while allowing them time with adults for higher levels of conversation.

4 – Creative thinkers

Gifted kids are often creative and original thinkers.

Studies show there’s a connection between intelligence and creativity, but how they function together isn’t understood. They are inventive and often think outside the box when they play or do school work. Their creative energy can be hard to keep up with as a parent or teacher.

They may be obsessed with one particular type of creativity, like construction bricks, building elaborate structures that kids typically do not create. Wise parents will provide them books, materials, and the freedom to allow this outlet.

pop meme

5 – Seem mature

Gifted kids like all kids develop physically, emotionally, and physically over some time. It’s easy to assume because a gifted child talks like an adult, they are adults. But gifted kids aren’t little adults.

They are still growing and maturing, sometimes at different rates in each area. They may be tiny for their age or very immature but seem older in the way they speak. It’s easy to put higher standards on how they should act because they’re gifted. Parents and educators must give a gifted child room to grow up and be a kid, even if they need intellectual stimulation.

6 – They are natural-born leaders

Gifted kids show leadership. They like to take charge because they’re full of ideas. They’re often intensely focused on their ideas. Other kids who want to follow will attach themselves to these kids because they like the excitement of being with the gifted kids. They get easily frustrated with themselves and others if people aren’t doing what they were asked to do.

7 –  They might have a hard time socially

Researchers found that kids who have an IQ of 130 or more are more apt to have socio-emotional problems. These kids often have adjustment problems and behavior problems. Gifted kids prefer to hang out with adults. They may find it hard to play with their peers. They may be immature around kids. Gifted kids may want to take over the playtime with their creative ideas, making other kids feel like they’re being bossy.

8 – Precocious

Studies show that a child’s precociousness is a good indication they’re gifted.  This precocious growth may be in intellect, music, understanding how things are related to the space around them, the ability to understand information physically through their hand and body movements. Precocious kids are typically advanced intellectually.

9 – Get bored at school

Studies show that schools often misunderstand the needs of gifted kids, making them sit through regular class instruction when they already know the information. The school may feel that a gifted child needs to learn to sit in a class with other kids so they’ll grow socially.

Although gifted kids do need to develop social skills, sitting through a slow-paced lesson isn’t the way to achieve this goal. A gifted child will often say that school is too easy for them, and this is misunderstood by an educator. Sadly, gifted children are often treated with irritation and alienation for being bored and unmotivated when their lessons are too easy.

10 – Like to talk

Some gifted kids are early talkers, while others don’t talk until they’re three or four. Whatever age they begin to speak, once they start talking, they don’t stop. Gifted kids have an incredible curiosity about things-how they work, why they work that way, and where they came from. If you have a gifted child, they will question you about everything, and you may find that you don’t the answers to their questions. That’s okay because you can teach them how to find the information they want to know in books, dictionaries, or appropriate online sites.

coping with childhood anxiety

11 – Need little sleep

Gifted kids often have little sleep or time to reboot. This can be difficult for parents who try to get them to sleep longer. Typically gifted toddlers don’t nap as long as their peers and give up their naps earlier than other kids.

Parents will also note that their kids function well on less sleep. But some of their lack of sleep is that they can’t turn off their busy mind. They are thinking, questioning, and wondering all the time, so this interrupts their sleeping ability.

12 – A more advanced sense of humor

Gifted kids can crack jokes that even adults think are funny. They have a quick ability to see the funny side of things. This humor can sometimes be disarming to adults that a child is so quick to create a pun or an unusual side of something. They have a sense of humor above their peers who may be more literal and don’t understand abstract thinking as early.

Meet some famous gifted kids from history

  • Albert Einstein: His teachers found him dull. He got kicked out of primary school because he couldn’t read fast enough.
  •  Mozart: He started playing the harpsichord at three years old and composed his first musical piece at age 5.
  • Pablo Picasso: The first word he said was “pencil.” He painted his first famous oil painting at age nine years old.
  • Blaise Pascal: He taught himself mathematic terms since his father refused to teach him these skills. Then at 12, he discovered on his own all the geometric proof of Euclid without a textbook.
  • Clara Schumann: She didn’t talk until she was four years old. At the age of 7, she knew how to play the piano like a master. She started composing at ten years of age.
  • Stevie Wonder: He was born blind to an impoverished family. He began singing and playing the organ and piano as a child. At 12 years of age, he recorded his first songs and performed them on stage.
  • Marie Curie: As a gifted child, Marie Curie had a fantastic memory and incredible frankness even as a child. Once at the age of 4, she told one of her parents. “Remember that time when I was three months old, and you put my diaper on backwards, idiot?”

gifted childFinal Thoughts: Nurture the Emerging Abilities of Your Gifted Child

Parenting a gifted child can be both a blessing and a unique challenge. You might find that your child outpaces his or her siblings and that their homework is over your head! Do all you can to continue to foster an environment that will allow your child to flourish and for these innate abilities to emerge.