Parenting Tip #8
- May 27, 2019
- Posted by: LIFE International School
- Category: Uncategorized
Teach positive Social Skills
There is no question that children with strong social skills have a significant advantage in life. They generally experience the rewards of positive relationships, do better in school and have a better self-image – leading them to be more resilient when they face life’s inevitable challenges.
Many aspects of social development are intrinsic of who we are, and we all learn skills through trial and error. However, polite, respectful, gracious and appropriate social skills can and should be taught. Shy children can learn how to interact with others even though it takes them out of their comfort zone. Outgoing children, on the other hand, may need help learning to be more thoughtful of others.
Some people will say that children just need time to figure it out. But most of us even know adults who could have benefitted from more training in social skills along the way! These skills are definitely more “taught” than “caught.”
What are some of the skills children need to learn?
Stephen Elliott and co-author Frank Gresham identified the top 10 skills that students need to succeed based on surveys of over 8,000 teachers and over 20 years of research in classrooms across the country. They are:
- Listen to others
- Follow the steps
- Follow the rules
- Ignore distractions
- Ask for help
- Take turns when you talk
- Get along with others
- Stay calm with others
- Be responsible for your behavior
- Do nice things for others
The ultimate goal in social skill training is for children to be able to form meaningful relationships with others – learning to empathize and communicate with peers or adults in various social contexts. This includes forgiving others when necessary, as well as learning to recognize when their behavior is offensive to others, and asking for forgiveness.
What more can parents do?
- Model positive social skills. In the home, have times of fun, balanced parent-child play, and model healthy anger management and conflict resolution skills. Let your child see you offering to help others, being friendly to strangers, and treating others with respect.
- Train your child to respect others with their words and actions, starting with mom and dad.
- Teach your child to recognize and accept the personal space or needs of others – to respect when others want to play something else, or when they might want to be alone.
- Provide opportunities to practice positive social behaviors. Social media relationships should not replace real live time with friends. Technology should not be used for babysitting – media devices are not designed to help kids develop social skills.
- Train your child to share, to take turns, to be gracious in losing/winning, to compliment others, and to use “please and thank you” regularly.
In conclusion, the brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him/her biking skills. If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach your child patience. If you want your child to be polite and respectful of others, you need to teach him/her social skills.