Are you asking yourself how to develop social skills in kids? Kids need social skills right from childhood while interacting with other kids in the neighborhood or the at the playground or family get-together, even before they start pre-school.
Some kids are naturally outgoing and extroverted, some share when acquainted and some are mostly introverted or shy. A very common sight – is the first day of school, when kids cling to their parents refusing to let go, wailing out and throwing a tantrum!
How To Develop Social Skills in Kids – Useful Tips
Developing social skills may find many parents spending sleepless nights, and may need a concerted effort on their part. Schedule fun time apart from studies and family time, and encourage them to make friends outside.
Inviting friends home can also be helpful in connecting better and understanding how we can improve their social skills. It’s a good idea to celebrate birthdays and invite other kids. It helps to start out from the comforts of one’s own home since the child feels more secure and safe.
Encourage kids to play outside in the neighborhood park or playground with other kids. Monitor the way they interact with other kids, and help them modify any unwanted behavior, preferably later, at home by communicating appropriately and not using force.
It always helps to remember that children learn by imitating parents and others at home, especially when it comes to social skills and hence try and find out if your behavior in any way conveys a similar message to the child.
Enrolling them in any sports activities, sports camps or clubs where they will need to interact with other kids and also learn important traits like teamwork, the sporting spirit, camaraderie, and sharing. In case your child is shy, help your child prepare well by sharing the techniques of the game or maybe play a game or two with them. This will help in understanding the game better and hence connecting better with other kids. Indoor games with the family or neighborhood friends will also help them interact with others.
It is important to:
- Let the child go at its own pace. Involving them in social activities is good, but don’t force them. Giving them their space and time can do wonders to help them come out of the shell
- Lead by example and be patient with the child
- Avoid making fun of the child’s shyness or poor social skills with others or within the family
- Practice good social skills, provide feedback and correct as required, and praise and appreciate the child when they behave appropriately
Coaxing or forcing kids to socialize by threatening, shouting, teasing or scolding them only makes the process harder, may emotionally hurt them and make them feel self-conscious or inadequate. It is better to pro-actively involve them in social activities right from the beginning.