A parent’s most important role is to teach their children a few basic social skills, which are essential for mental health, success, and happiness. Children who can interact and relate to others positively will be better able to establish and enjoy meaningful relationships with peers and others. In addition, they will find academic success and career fulfillment.
Through play dates, group activities, and other ways to interact with other kids, you can introduce your child to some essential basic social skills. While it is important not to force these experiences on our children, it is important for them to be exposed to them in order to practice and develop their social skills.
Here are five basic social skills that every preschooler should learn:
Children’s willingness to share can go a long way when it comes to forming relationships and making friends. Sharing a snack or a toy is important for kids to learn as early as possible. At first, it’s not always easy because young children are often reluctant to share things that are important to them.
By presenting your child with opportunities when possible, you can instill this basic social skill. It is also possible to make it a game, such as, “Let’s see who can share their toys the best,” or, “How many things can you share?” When children see you value sharing, it is more likely to become a habit, and can even improve their confidence.
Children need to learn how to take turns as another basic social skill. It teaches children to listen, wait for their turn, and be courteous to others. Waiting for a turn while playing a game or speaking can be practiced.
Taking turns can be learned by playing games at home, drawing on a chalkboard, and even cooking.
Asking and answering questions
Children need to learn how to ask questions. It gives children confidence to initiate conversations and get to know others when they are able to ask questions effectively. Asking questions also motivates kids to pay attention and explore their surroundings.
Try encouraging your preschooler by asking open-ended questions such as, “What do you think about that story?” or “How does that make you feel?”. Consistently respond enthusiastically to children’s questions so they know their curiosity is valued.
All of us make mistakes. Learning to apologize for our mistakes is a basic social skill. By saying sorry, we demonstrate humility and acknowledge that we made a mistake. Apologizing motivates children to improve certain behaviors and prevent repeating them in the future.
You can teach apology by example. When you apologize, this is a good opportunity to teach your child how to apologize in a sincere and appropriate way. Use a spilled cup of juice as a chance for your child to observe as you apologize and clean up the mess you made.
Listening is more than just being quiet while someone else speaks. Listening means paying attention to what someone else is saying, and it’s the key to healthy two-way communication. Make eye contact, don’t interrupt or fidget, and give your full attention to the speaker.
Children who are able to listen well show others that they are interested and respect their opinion. You can teach your child the value of listening to others. Listen carefully to children when they speak. After they finish talking, repeat what you heard them say to show you are attentive.
Social skills are integral to children’s emotional and social development. Children can be taught these basic social skills and become well-adjusted, confident individuals with your help.
At Young Scholars Academy, we understand the importance of nurturing the development of children’s social skills. We offer activities that promote friendship and social interactions. Just like our preschool classrooms, we invite you to come and get a first-hand look at the classroom, meet our teachers, and observe our nationally-accredited program!