Helping Your Child Develop Social Skills
Having strong social skills is an important part of growing up, and there are many small things you can do every day to help your child develop these skills.
Socializing with your child starts as soon as babyhood, and even before your child can talk, you can help them learn to enjoy social interaction. Even small children can benefit from participating in cheerful conversations at home. Talk with them, sing to them, read them stories and ask them frequently how they are feeling. Respond to their sounds and gestures with your support and enthusiasm.
Speak with Positive Language
It’s important to talk to your children in positive terms that emphasize their strengths and successes. As your children get older, encourage them to engage in positive self-talk and to be gentle on themselves when they make mistakes.
Encourage Active Listening
Help your child develop listening skills by teaching them active listening techniques. Encourage them to show the speaker that they are listening and paying attention by using eye contact and appropriate body language.
Teach Conflict Resolution
It’s important to teach your child how to handle conflict in a constructive way. Encourage them to talk about their feelings in a calm, clear manner, and to use “I” statements when expressing their perspective. Role play with them and model effective conflict resolution when disagreements arise.
Help them Make Friends
Social skills are most easily learned in the context of relationships. Encourage your children to reach out to new people, be open to making new friends and be kind to others. Help them understand the value of friendship and the importance of being a good friend.
Social skills are an important part of growing up, and you can help your children develop these skills through everyday interactions. Speak to your children in positive language, encourage active listening, teach conflict resolution and help your children make friends. With your guidance and support, your children will gain the social skills they need to succeed.