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The other lot are passive, withdrawn, and shy.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.”