The Importance of Developing Social Skills for Children

Social skills for children refers to communication and interactions skills using speech, gestures, body language and facial expressions. Children engage in social skills daily by the way they behave with others their peers and the people around them. They learn to communicate positively by making friends and keeping those friendships.

Children learn from new and past behaviours to help them understand the adequate steps in managing challenging situations and how to express themselves effectively.

Social Skills for Children

Types of Social Skills Children Can Learn

    • Children can learn how to prolong their concentration and attentiveness by making an effort to pursue activities without distraction and complete the task.
    • Children can attempt to learn and understand the language fluently to better comprehend and be receptive to others.
    • The way that they express themselves and communicate their ideas verbally.
    • Kids can learn social skills through play and engage in fun activities.
    • Non-verbal communication such as eye contact, gestures, facial expressions and imitation.
    • Managing emotions are a great way for children to balance out their behaviour when participating in a social setting.
    • Critical thinking and reasoning skills allow children to take a step back and respond appropriately.
    • Children can plan their next steps to achieve their desired outcome.

Why Social Skills Are Important for Children

Social skills allow children and do not deter them to make friends in the first instance. Even the shy ones often subtly observe and empathise with other children, maintain eye contact as well as display the appropriate manners in social situations. This proves that although a child may seem disadvantaged, social skills in children do not impact their ability to connect with others.

Social skills for children are beneficial in their development and can be encouraged through activities at school like role-play or puppetry. These types of activities coax a child out of their comfort zone and while they are engrossed in play, they come out of their shell a little more. It also helps to pair them up with children who are boisterous and loud, giving them the slight push to imitate their peer’s behaviour.

Developing a child’s social skills is imperative as it takes away any fear a child might have and gives them a boost of confidence enabling them to succeed at school.

Kids Social Skills

8 Social Skills Children Should Have

    • Language skills are a good way for your child to express themselves coherently. Building a strong vocabulary from the get-go enables children to communicate their thoughts and ideas, likes and dislikes and wants and needs effectively. Their language skills should be continually honed as they pick up more each day.
    • Being respectful is a key element for children to grasp at an early age. They should have respect for themselves, the people around them and their belongings. Traits like sharing, waiting their turn and patience are examples of how children can be respectful. They should stand up for themselves, not touch the belongings of others without permission and return borrowed items in good condition.
    • Being participative in group settings allows your child to contribute. Although not all children are quick to volunteer, collaborating with their peers should be encouraged. Children tend to ask more questions or are curious about certain subject matters and nudging children to participate helps in their exploration.
    • Making friends is one of the first things a child does in school. They tend to gravitate toward other kids, looking for someone to play with. Social skills for children help the friend-making process along little easier, teaching them how to share emotions and feelings positively as well as be a good friend to others.
    • Problem-solving is such an important social skill to have as it resolves conflicts and teaches children to be open-minded in their thinking. It is not easy for young children to control their emotions especially when they are prone to outbursts but staying calm, talking it out and compromising shows a heightened emotional awareness and allows children to look at things from a different perspective. They also tend to have the understanding to be flexible to accommodate the needs of others and do better in group settings by coming up with creative ways to work around challenging situations.
    • Teamwork is a great social skill to have and is beneficial for a child in his later life. It brings cooperation to the forefront and teaches you how to compromise with other kids by putting your needs and wants aside for the betterment of the team, teaching us that winning can be a group effort rather than a solo situation.
    • Following instructions is a life hack and not everyone is attuned to this skill. By starting young, children will be at an advantage listen and pay attention to their surroundings and people of authority. Children who can follow instructions to the tee usually stay out of trouble.
    • Children who can accept no as an answer portrays maturity and a good understanding that they will not always get what they want. Their view of the world is not warped and unrealistic. It is always helpful if you offer an explanation as to why the answer was no, developing a mutual understanding.
Social Skills for Kids

5 Ways To Teach Social Skills to Children

To improve your child’s social skills, there are several steps you can take:

    • By allowing children to pursue their passion like a sport or activity, they will genuinely enjoy themselves in that particular setting, making interaction a whole lot easier and comfortable. They can speak about similar interests in a football match or their favourite music artist in a music class which is the first step to building social skills in children.
    • Role-playing is a one of the best social skills for children that can help them improve their confidence. You can pretend to be a child with difficulty in getting along with others and then switch roles. Observe how your child reacts and give helpful pointers on how to overcome this challenge.
    • To relate to other children better, teach your child how to be empathetic to others needs is to talk them through different scenarios and situations and get an understanding of how they feel in each of these situations, making sure they listen and comprehend what is going on.
    • Each child is different and parents must be aware that not all children react similarly. The important thing is to draw a line and not push their boundaries beyond. Introverts tend to have a shorter tolerance level as opposed to more outgoing children.
    • Lastly, you want to lead by example. Parents are children’s first and biggest role models. They look up to you and often mimic your behaviour, good and bad. What you want to do is to put some thought into your actions and your child will follow suit.