Building Social Skills in Your Child

A child without friends feels alone and unwanted, no matter how much love and attention you shower upon them. In many ways, a child with a high level of social intelligence will be ahead of the game, but there are skills specific to making and keeping friends that everyone needs to learn to have a healthy social life.

Your child’s social skills are critical to their happiness and confidence

  1. Teach your child to maintain eye contact. When your child is talking to you or to others, encourage eye contact. You can even have a staring contest with your child. Explain to them that eye contact demonstrates that they are listening and paying attention.
  2. Teach your child to be kind. Explain to your child that other children are more likely to like them if they are nice. Teach your child to show kindness in both their actions and their words.
  3. Give your child opportunities to practice their social skills. Encourage them to invite other children over to the house. Set up play dates. Have them speak to the next-door neighbor. Encourage your child to develop new friendships.
  4. Use your child’s interests. If your child loves baseball, sign him up for a baseball team. Children are much more likely to be excited and sociable while taking part in an activity that they love.
  5. Ask your child’s teacher for advice and information. It’s hard to have an accurate picture of how your child is doing socially at school. Ask your child’s teachers about your child’s social skills. If your child is young enough, you can probably volunteer to be a helper in the class room. That way you’ll be able to assess the situation first-hand.
  6. Teach your child to take turns. Few things get children upset quicker than a lack of fairness. Children instinctively know when a situation is unfair. Teach your child to share and take turns.
  7. Teach your child how to introduce themselves. This is very stressful for many children, and more than a few adults! There are people everywhere just waiting to be your practice dummies. Show your child how to introduce themselves and give them plenty of practice.
  8. Teach your child to apologize when necessary. We all make mistakes. The solution is to apologize and move on. Most children are very forgiving when presented with a quick apology.

Basic social skills are necessary to be part of the world. The better your child’s social skills, the more they’ll be able to enjoy the company of others. Think about the people you know with poor social skills. You want something better for your child. Adults with poor social skills have habits that are challenging to overcome. Teach your child good social skills early in life.

Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country. – Nelson Mandela

Next Chapter: Academic Success