SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 24

TEACHING YOUR CHILD SOCIAL SKILLS

If you spend one hour in a play school looking at children, you would observe two categories of children. Some children are overly active, speak out loudly, and laugh heartily. They easily mingle with others, and they seem to carry a lot of energy with them.

The other lot are passive, withdrawn, and shy. We have to pull them to join the group. They seem to hide in the corners, not willing to laugh or speak out freely.

WHAT ARE SOCIAL SKILLS?

Social skills are what we use every day to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication: such as speech, gesture, facial expression and body language.

Good social or ‘people skills ‘are very important for success in life. A person can be very book smart and have impressive knowledge. But he probably will not get as far as someone with average intelligence. Like one with a keen sense of how to interact positively with people.

Today ‘social intelligence” is identified as a science which deals with the cluster of skills and abilities essential for making positive and effective contacts with people.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN

In a child, good social skills are a foundation for good interpersonal relationships. It is the fundamental responsibility of the parents to enhance these abilities in children.

A few important social skills are:

TEACHING CHILDREN HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO.’

Start by teaching your children how to approach and introduce themselves. It can be new friends at the school, or to relatives, or anyone whom he wants to approach and favor.

Tell him it’s ok by introducing, “Hello, my name is Ram.”

Introducing themselves is one stumbling block in many people. You have to make sure that your child doesn’t keep out due to this ‘shyness’ in social situations.

Not all children are born active and outgoing, and chatty. They should learn even the simple skills such as introducing themselves.

LEARNING HOW TO PUT PEOPLE AT EASE

Children need to know that they are many ways to communicate that they are happy to see someone. Some involve nonverbal gestures such as a handshake, a smile, or a pat on the arm or a hug. Others involve questions that show you are interested in the general well-being of the other person.

“How are you,” ‘How are you doing,” “Is everything fine,” “So nice to see you.”

Children should be well at ease to express when they meet their new friends.

Saying ‘hello’ with a warm smile is one of the remarkable ways to enhance a person’s popularity.

Children with good social skills have a pleasant personal style and know how to put people at ease.

 UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF LOYALTY

Loyalty is the feeling of faithfulness and affection we display to our friends or dear ones.  Loyalty is protecting those we love from harm or any negative forces around. Loyalty says, “I have cared about you, I care for you, and I will continue to care about you.”

The children between ages say five and ten usually form friendships based on usefulness or utility. It’s something like better toys, or something more interesting to do are enough reasons to bond with friends. When children grow older, however, loyalty and trustworthiness become the foundations for good and lasting relationships.

Loyalty is a quality that is very important in everyone’s life. As a parent, we have to ensure that our kids are loyal – to their friends, family, studies or for that matter any task they do!

Loyalty teaches children to commit and persevere.

HELPING TO UNDERSTAND BODY LANGUAGE

People, in general, use more body movements than words to convey their feelings. But children should be able to understand how different movements can convey various moods and emotions.

Children must understand how people convey their feelings through body language. Like how to recognize by looking at a face and posturing moods like happiness, irritation, sadness, angry, tired, etc.

Children who are aware of the body language are likely to show confidence in their walk, their smile, and with their gestures. They know how to protect their personal space. They know what type of touch is appropriate and what type of physical touch in not appropriate.

Teaching your child the appropriate body language is one top priority of the parents. To understand which manners of behavior are acceptable and which are not.

TEACHING HOW TO SAY “IM SORRY”

When a child has done wrong, the parent should be able to speak to the child, “what you have done is not correct” The child must be able to realize that it is “his bad behavior.”

Forgiveness and saying ‘sorry’ are important in maintaining good relationships with friends and also with all the family members.

Many children don’t know how to respond in a tricky or bad situation. They don’t know how to come out of it with a better response. In such situation, it’s important for parents to model good behavior.

Saying that we are sorry, whenever things go wrong if parents can use them as frequently and as freely as they can, children learn from their parents the correctness of using “I’m sorry and thank you.”

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 23

TEACHING YOUR CHILD THINKING SKILLS

Teach your children to develop good thinking skills. And this quick thinking habit can help your child to make fair decisions. This alertness of mindset would help them not to get into any problems: both at school and at home.

To explain this concept more clearly: A school going child must have an ‘awareness skill’ to understand between an action and its consequence. For example, he should be able to deduce for himself “If I don’t get to do my homework, I have to accept punishment for it.” Parents have to teach this logic in a very simple and clear manner to your children as they enter the school.

For every parent, it is a tough responsibility when they find their children, in many instances, when they don’t think before they act.

Encouraging thinking skills among the children from the early age helps you to guide an immature, childish behavior; to see that they become a matured and reasonable individual.

Because of your assistance and guidance, your child must able to learn the process. That involves thinking about the consequences first. He should able to understand when you say, “For every action of yours, it’s you who have to taste the reaction of that action.”

He should cultivate on his own, a method, something like a ‘self-talk,’ “I know I experience the consequences of my behavior. If I don’t control the urge on my own to do certain actions, I might be me in trouble”. Every action of his has to precede by this ‘self-talk,’ if he wants to succeed eventually.

Parents, you have to understand like this. It has to be for children, ‘learning from his experience”.  A parent needs to reinforce this concept in their children persistently.

Parents should realize the behavior traits of the kids. It usually takes more repetition to get them to understand. The connection between what they want to do versus what they should do.

Children generally tend to go about doing what gets into their head first. They do with confidence that parents would come to their rescue when something untoward happens.  Poor judgment by children might lead to many embarrassing situations to parents. It can happen not only in schools but also in public places and society.

Teaching children thinking before they act is a complicated psychological and imaginative exercise. It involves a three-step process:

  1. Have a self- talk about the urge to act or an inclination to do something in haste.
  2. Let him talk about his action plan with parents or close associates/friends
  3. Again think and self-talk about its possible consequences

Focus on the necessity of guidance and importance of‘self-talk’ with your children. It should act for them like a ‘traffic signal’ on a busy crossroad. Look, stop, pause and go. The action sequence is what any child should practice as frequently as he could. This thinking pattern should form a basis for all plans and strategies. It could apply to any individual.

Parents’ role here is being supportive and forgiving your child whenever he commits a mistake. Your role is to give him enough encouragement to learn from his mistakes. It’s up to the parents to help them to be cautious to learn from his mistakes on his own.