Paying attention to your child’s social development is essential as it plays a critical role in determining the success of your child as they grow older. Yes, a person’s academic skills and intelligence is vital, but social interaction is the most vital requirement if you hope to live life without feeling out of place.
As a parent, you have the opportunity to build your kids social life while they are young so they don’t grow up to become adults who cannot relate with people and who are shy to express themselves.
Besides, no parent wants to have children who become bullies in school or who are too timid even to answer questions in the classroom.
Even we adults sometimes battle with our social intelligence. Some of us find it hard to handle rejection or start friendships. And also when we finally get a friend, we find it hard to maintain the harmony.
All of these things can be dealt with while children and still little because when they master the art of social interaction at a young age, they grow up to become more confident and bold people.
The social skills your child needs to learn
It appears that some children find it easier to mingle than others. If your child can’t mix, it doesn’t mean that he or she is anti-social because they can play with their mates. It only says that they are shy and need to develop confidence so that they can relate and interact with other people of their age.
The good news is, just like every other skill, social skills can be learnt and the best person to teach your child social skills are you the parents. Bear in mind that children don’t always do what you tell them to do, they mostly do what they see you doing so you have to work on your social skills so that your children can learn from you.
Note that the goal is not to make your child excessively outgoing or too social, but to teach your him or her how to create meaningful communication and bond with other people.
Also part of the goal is helping your child build the ability to show empathy and sympathy, cope with uncomfortable situations and also celebrate people and appreciate them when it is required.
The University of Memphis once pointed out that “Many students do not know how to handle interpersonal social situations that involve following directions, holding a proper conversation, listening, giving compliments, proper behaviour during transition times, teasing, bullying, or just hanging out with friends.”
Those above are basic skills that every parent expect their child to have. However, not every child developed these skills while growing up. If you have children in preschool age, there are specific social skills that they should learn and we have made a list of all the skills below.
Skills your preschooler and elementary school child should have.
Teach your child how to ask for help and how to react when support is not given. This is vital because life doesn’t always give us what we want and if we can’t handle disappointment well, we might end up getting depressed a lot of times.
Also important is to teach a child how to share things and use kind words, listen to other people and take turns while talking. Taking turns while talking helps to build better oral communication and make sure that words are received and interpreted as intended.
Many adults even find it difficult to follow simple office rules and regulations. And when there are laid down steps to follow to achieve a goal, they still find a way not to adhere to them. These are things we should teach our children so that they don’t grow up to become like those adults.
Some people may think that when you teach your children the character mentioned above traits you want them to become good children at school who earn a very kind remark on the report card that says that they get along fine with people, but this is not the case. What we’re trying to do here is to help your children develop and fit into a society that emphasises the Importance of social norms.
For children who are older like preteen and teenagers, they have more complex social skills to master. At this teenage age, some children may find it more difficult to mix up with people because it is a complicated period in their life.
They tried to become more independent, but at school, everyone might seem to be forming cliques and being popular in school might be very important to some of them. Guess what else?
People’s opinion of them becomes very very important, but we need to teach them at this point to care less about what people think and say and how to accept and stand up for themselves. Because teens face more bullying and peer pressure they need a lot of parental support.
Also, teens have to make decisions about what they want to become in future, and this has to make them take a step into setting personal goals. The parents need to pay more attention because adolescence is a period that comes with a lot of confusion and lots of mistakes are bound to be made.
For these older children, what we are more focused on is teaching them emotional intelligence than social intelligence. That is why it is best to build your social skills while they are younger so that it is easier to focus on their emotional troubles when they become teenagers.
If you have teenage kids, you do not expect your them not to fall in love or try to get sexually active. Your kids might get easily distracted because their emotions are confusing and they are experiencing body changes.
At this point, Author of the book “all I needed to learn in kindergarten” Robert Fulghum would say, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” They’re watching everything you do and also paying attention to how you respond to them when they come to you with their problems.
So if at your child’s teenage age you are unable to give them proper advice and show them the love and support that they require to function as responsible people, they form cliques with the wrong kind of friends and learn deviant characters that you as a parent will not be proud of at the end of the day.
So the bottom line is you work on the Social intelligence of your child at a young age and focus on their emotional needs when they grow older that way they become responsible adults in the future.