Social skills are important for a child’s healthy development, but they don’t always come naturally. As parents, we need to foster and guide their growth, so your child can reach their fullest potential in life. The best way to teach your child social skills is by modeling them whenever possible.
Here are a few topics to consider when teaching your child social skills.
Almost all social interactions begin with some kind of greeting, so it’s important to have that skill perfected. Practicing some easy greeting phrases with your child like, “Hello, how are you?” or, “Good morning!” is a great way to start.
Along with learning to say hello, your child can also practice making eye contact when speaking to someone. Eye contact shows that your child is interested in what another person has to say. Since people don’t usually like to feel ignored, teaching your child to look someone into the eyes when speaking or listening to them is a good habit.
And if appropriate, teaching your child how to shake hands can help them get a head start in learning professional skills. Eye contact, a proper greeting and a handshake leaves a very good first impression!
At dinner time, be mindful to practice your best table manners. Proper table manners should be modeled at both restaurants and at home.
Using utensils the way they were made for, wiping your mouth with a napkin, chewing with your mouth closed and waiting to speak after you swallow are all things you can do to offer your children a proper guideline for table manners.
Managing emotions can be challenging for your child, so it’s important to teach them how to handle their emotions healthily.
Teach your child how to express their emotions with words. They should practice pausing to explain how they feel and why, and use “I” statements that describe their perspective rather than simply accusing others.
Interacting in Social Settings
As your child begins to interact with others in school, it will become increasingly important to teach your child social skills for a group setting.
Teach them about having healthy conversation, using indoor voices and not interrupting others. You may also want to teach your child about other people’s personal space and how to actively listen, which is a valued skill nowadays.
Social Skills at Parker-Chase
At Parker-Chase Preschool, we focus on developing social skills in order to prepare our students for lifelong success. All of our meals are served family-style so that children can practice their table manners and conversation skills. Children also have countless opportunities to learn, communicate, and play with their peers, both in and out of the classroom.