In many respects, a child’s social skills are just as critical as the knowledge they gain in and out of school each day. Being able to act responsibly in public or even maintaining strong relationships day in and day out are things not only students need help with, but apparently adults do as well when you look around at society nowadays.
And if we can instill these values and skills into children while they are still young, we are creating a solution for problems before they happen in the future.
How Can You Improve Social Skills in Children?
As parents and educators, we are first in line to help children develop strong social skills. Parents, of course, get the first go at it when the kids are toddlers and even babies.
Don’t think that you can’t work on social skills with a one-year-old. It might be challenging to do, but amazing things can be accomplished with some work.
Remind your children to say please and thank you when suitable, especially to complete strangers. (To very young children, they may not realize what please and thank you even mean at first. But they’ll catch on!) You can even make it a bit of a game with older toddlers and children. Ask them to thank you for at least ten different things a day when someone is assisting them.
How to Start a Conversation (And Maintain One)
How many times have you witnessed adults that can’t manage to start or hold a conversation? If you want to see it firsthand, simply say hello to a couple of your neighbors you never seem to chat with. Perhaps they just need help with their conversation skills? (Or maybe they simply don’t enjoy your company. It can be tough to tell sometimes!)
It is excellent to rehearse conversation starters with your children. They can then practice these at first with relatives and friends. Before long, they can use them when being introduced to new people.
Eye Contact and Body Language
There was a time in my twenties when I started a conversation with a former supervisor; this person always crossed their arms immediately as soon as we discussed something to do with work. Unless you are cold, crossing your arms is a sign by body language experts that you are not open to what someone else is saying, and you would rather be somewhere else at the moment.
Eye contact is undoubtedly another issue where people will avoid looking one another in the eyes. This can indicate a person is shy, trying to prevent you, or is just a bit socially awkward and unsure of how to be around people.
Teach children to maintain eye contact, greet others with a firm handshake, and remember their body language is sometimes even more important than what they are saying in the conversation. At the very least, when the time comes for them to be adults and interview for jobs, they will have one up on the competition.
Wait Your Turn!
Do you feel some people have no idea what it truly means to have a two-way conversation? It’s like they are just waiting for their next time to talk and will interrupt someone else without warning. It takes patience to listen intently to someone else before replying back (especially for someone who has a fast mind). But if you teach kids this skill early, they will notice limiting their interruptions as they pass on to adulthood.
Perfect Summer Learning Opportunity
Parents can work on these skills with their children during the summer. Teachers can send home a list of these skills children can work on before summer vacation begins and remind them that they should have improved at least in a couple of these areas by the time they come back in the fall. Some students don’t even know they have problems with these social skills, so it could be an eye-opener.
Suppose you would like to help your children gain even more excellent knowledge in school subject areas this summer. In that case, iAchieve has plenty of professional tutors who can make their math or reading weaknesses into strengths by the time school starts back up!
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