When a child is starting school, they will need to learn their ABCs. They will learn how to read, how to count, what the different shapes are, the names of the colors, and so much more. But one thing that is important for them to learn that you may not consider is social skills.
Developing social skills may be challenging for children, but if you begin to teach them early on, they will be able to adopt these behaviors and have a better understanding of how to act in social settings. While many parents generally assume their child is learning only educational skills, they are also learning how to be social, how to get along with others, and how to behave.
At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we work with our students before they get into grade school, helping them to learn different social skills so they are more prepared for a real school setting. At our child care center, your child will learn these social skills by interacting daily with other students—working on group projects, playing, and allowing children to interact freely will help you child learn how to properly behave.
If you child is starting school, be sure to work with them on their social skills before they enter the classroom, it will help them enjoy school more, as well as help them throughout the rest of their lives. If your child has a year or two before starting grade school, enroll them at Yellow Brick Road. Our experienced teachers will help them learn all the skill necessary to succeed in their future school years, from social skill to emotional skills.
But you can also work with your kiddos to help develop their social skills even further. Social skills are important to have throughout all of life, and a social inability can make it hard to succeed and cause problems throughout someone’s life, so learning these skills at a young age can help.
In this blog we will cover different ways to help your child work on their social skills and develop them further.
Work On Greetings
Saying “hi” to someone is a great place to start. Many children struggle with simply saying “hi” to anyone, so starting this at an early age will help make it easier for them to greet everyone they meet, this includes other children, adults, elderly, teenagers, men, and women. They should be able to greet anyone without being scared, nervous, or rude.
Along with saying “hi” or another greeting, work on the delivery with your child. If they are looking down, have a rude tone, or mumble, it will come off rude and could change the entire social interaction. Teach your child to make eye contact, smile, and listen. Many adults have issues with listening, so teaching your child to listen can help them in the future.
While saying “hi” is a huge step for some children, working on the delivery is equally as important. The nonverbal aspect of a greeting says a lot about a person, and eye contact, a smile, and a friendly tone can change the way a person feels about the interaction.
Holding a conversation is hard for children, especially because they may have trouble listening to the other person. Hold conversation with your child to help them learn. Ask them questions and have them ask you questions, make sure they are listening to you and listen to them as well. A child who can hold a conversation is not as common as it should be, but working with them on these skills can help them develop the skill of conversing and help them in the future.
Teach your child that a conversation is a two person activity and that it is important to let the other person talk. If your child just rambles on about themselves or their favorite TV character, the other person will lose interest. Teach your child to be curious about the other person. This will help them learn to ask questions and find out new information about someone.
Teach your child to show an interest in the other person. If they are staring at something off in the distance, messing with a toy or a piece of clothing, or moving around a lot, the other person will realize they do not care about this conversation and will stop talking. Teach your child to stand still, nod at appropriate times, laugh when they think something is funny, and to be interested in what the person is talking about.
At the end of a conversation, your child should be able to close it in a proper way. We have all talked to a child before who just walks away when we are in the middle of a sentence. They don’t say “bye” or that they have to go. And while it is easy for children to get distracted and forget that they are having a conversation, saying “bye” should be the bare minimum.
Young children may not be able to hold a conversation for more than a few seconds, but teaching them the proper ways to enter or initiate a conversation and leave a conversation can help them slow get better as they grow older.
But one thing they should learn to master at a young age is taking turns and sharing with others. Many children believe that they have the rights to play with everything and anything that they want, whether another child is playing with it or not. Teach a child to take turns, ask for something politely, and play well with others is an important lesson that they should know by the time they get to grade school, and if they do not, work on this with them!
Knowing How To React
Reacting is just as important as acting. If your child encounters another student who is upset about something, making fun of them for being upset is not the right response. Teach your child how to empathize and read social cues from others. You can do this be acting out different emotions and asking them if they know what emotion you are feeling and having them respond. Help them figure out what appropriate responses are for sadness, anger, surprise, anxiety, fear, and other emotions.
If your child is able to handle other people’s emotions, they will have an easier time making friends and being able to understand other people’s actions better.
Saying sorry is a skill that many people adults still don’t have. But it is one of the most important skills someone can learn, especially children. Being able to apologize shows good social skills and can help other people think more highly of them. Apologizing doesn’t show weakness, it is a strength that can help your child become more successful in life and help them build better connections. If your child doesn’t learn to apologize, they may lose friends, or remain mad for a reason they can’t remember.
Social skills are important, and these skills are very important but are also advanced for young children. But working on them with your child early, and demonstrating these social skills can help your child learn them at a young age and develop them even better throughout the years.
If your child is still too young for grade school, enroll them in Yellow Brick Road. We teach students many important lessons to help them prepare for success in their future and throughout their lives. Contact us now to learn more!