Helping your child with their social skills is one of your many important jobs as a parent. Doing so will help them feel more comfortable interacting with their peers and teachers at school, as well as other people they meet throughout life. A preparatory school in Birmingham have put together the following advice to get you started.
Teach Your Child to Empathise
Encourage your child to think about other people’s perspectives, like how they might be feeling. Doing so should help them make better decisions when it comes to how they treat people. If they know that snatching whilst playing with toys might hurt someone’s feelings, they might be more inclined to share. Being empathetic should help them build stronger relationships with people.
Explore Body Language
Help your child understand that when it comes to communication, talking is only one aspect of it. People can also communicate via their body language and facial expressions. Being able to gauge what another person is thinking or feeling from these visual cues will help your child become better at reacting appropriately. For instance, if their teacher is frowning with their arms crossed, it might imply that they are cross, and the students should therefore follow their instructions and be respectful.
Your child won’t become great at socialising if they don’t practise. With this in mind, try and arrange regular playdates with their friends whilst they’re young, but also create opportunities for them to meet different types of people, not just other children. Praise them when you notice them behaving favourably, like taking turns or sharing, as this will encourage them to do the same next time.
Suggest Conversation Starters
Sometimes the hardest part of socialising is getting the conversation going, particularly with a stranger. So, it will help your child if you teach them some conversation starters like “what did you get up to this weekend?” or “I love your top, where did you get it from?”. Generally speaking, open-ended questions work well because they encourage the other person to respond.