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Monday, February 18, 2013

Teach Your Kids Social Skills

kids on soccer
the little ones dancing with the adult in Zumba marathon
Raising one kid is quite a challenge especially if the kid is  shy to deal with other kids. So, knowing that the neighbors are quite far home, and there are no other kids to let my kiddo play with, I am left to bring to early - childhood schools, so, he may have the opportunity  to make friends.

Social skills are defined on ldonline.org as "Social skills are those communication, problem-solving, decision making, self-management, and peer relations abilities that allow one to initiate and maintain positive social relationships with others." The excess or lack of social skills can quite impede in school performance and social acceptance.

But, how do we actually teach our kids to make friends? Experts suggest the following:

  1. Teach your kid to smile and to greet one new friend each day. Letting him do this shall build his confidence to initiate and to welcome conversations with new kids. 
  2. Bring your kid any recreational activity. Playing can be a good avenue to let your kid exercise his skills or interests and sharing these with others can boost self - esteem and encourage control.
  3. Enforce social skills training which may include ways to handle frustration/anger, manners / positive dealings with others and positive classroom behaviour. 
  4. Look for schools or groups that provide friendly and re-assuring environment for kids. Once  the kids experience rejection, shame or violent treatment, this would only dampen their social skills.
  5.  Seek support and help from social workers, teachers / parents / guardians who should teach kids how to mingle with others and to provide opportunity for the group to interact positively.
  6. Acquire resources like stories, videos, role plays to show  the importance of making friends and building social skills.
Remember that social skills are not  easily acquired, thus, we have to teach these to our kids positively. When they have acquired these, their social acceptance and school performance gets better.

References:

Teaching Social Skills to Kids Who Don't Yet Have Them

Top 6 Tips to Teach Kids How to Make Friends

Social skills activities for children and teenagers: Ideas inspired by research




Rosilie

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