Teaching Children Social Skills

There is a predictability about older generations finding fault with younger ones, but it is equally true that the digital age has not been conducive to developing a child’s face-to-face social skills.

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    Teaching Children Social Skills

    Teaching Children Social Skills

    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority;

     they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

     —Socrates

     

    Complaints about the younger generation are at least as old as, well, 400 B.C. Replace Socrates’ use of “chatter” with “social media” and this quote might sound like it came from any Baby Boomer or Gen Xer when discussing “kids today.”

    There is a predictability about older generations finding fault with younger ones, but it is equally true that the digital age has not been conducive to developing a child’s face-to-face social skills.

    Parents needn’t despair. There are a number of things they can do to help their children better develop their in-person, social interaction skills.

    Ways to Build Social Skills

    While humans may be social animals by nature, sociability is a learned trait. Here are some things you can do to nurture that trait.

    • Be a good role model. Children learn from the adults around them, especially parents. Make sure you provide a good example of positive engagement with friends, neighbors and strangers.
    • Encourage connections. For busy parents, it’s easy to permit all that undemanding alone time children spend on their phones or on game consoles. Learn about your child’s interests and get them engaged in groups of similar interests.
    • Teach the basics of social interaction. Let children order their own meals. Encourage them to ask questions about the menu choices, while looking the server in the eye.
    • Teach empathy. When children have a better understanding of how others feel, they are more likely to feel connected and establish a positive bond. This can only occur through listening—a wonderfully useful trait for later in life.
    • Encourage children to ask questions of others. The questions should require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to encourage discussion.
    • Teach your child how to take directions. Following instructions is an important foundation to success, from school to athletics. The inability to listen to and follow directions can lead to frustration and misbehavior.
    • Play games. There are a number of games you can play with your children to teach social skill. Start here for some great ideas.

     

    Of course, not every child is a social butterfly. Many children are, by nature, introverts and parents should respect that. However, even introverts can benefit from being armed with a foundation in social skills.

    Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/

    About The Author

     

    Senior Practice Management and Training Consultant 
    800.889.3914, ext. 343 

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