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How To Teach Your Kids Social Skills – And Why You Need To!

Pick up any paper and you’ll see a rant from someone (usually a Baby Boomer) about how ‘the youth of today’ have no social skills.

It’ll talk about how they have their heads in their phones and never play outside, kick a can down the street or catch fish from a river. They’ll be moaning about the death of socialisation and what this means for our society (the Apocalypse, if you listen to talk back radio).

However, step inside today’s classrooms and you’ll see that children are still able to socialise. They can talk (using words! Out loud!) to each other. They can use eye contact. They can listen to opinion and involve themselves in conversation.

Social skills aren’t dead. They just don’t look exactly the same as they used to.

If you’ve got young children and you’re wondering about how you can promote social skills in them, here are some great ideas you might like to try.

Kids running and playing - teaching kids social skills

Social Skills: The Play Date

Ahhhh, the play date. Not only is this a great way for you to work on your own social skills (hello, other adults) but this is a great opportunity for your young children to learn some important social skills of their own.

While you’re chatting, your kids will be negotiating toy usage. They’ll be dealing with elation and disappointment. They’ll be engaging in verbal and non-verbal communication. Admittedly, they’ll probably squabble but that’s actually what they’re supposed to do! It’s all part of the socialisation process.

Social Skills: The Lost Art of Conversation

Children learn by osmosis, which means they can pick up relevant information that’s going on around them and in the background.

If you’re anywhere with your kids, their little ears are always listening. Narrate what you’re doing (not in a weird way, more in a “I’m unpacking the dishwasher and putting the bowls away” or “I’m shopping online” kind of way) and watch how quickly your child can pick up these language cues. They’ll learn intonation, conversation and new words and phrases quicker than you can say “What is that? Get that out of your mouth!”.

mum and son smiling parenting is tough

Social Skills: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Take your child out and about as much as possible. Let them see for themselves how different people negotiate socialisation. Let them watch people standing in line, paying at the cash register, loading groceries onto the conveyor belt and parking their cars. Observation is key as communication cannot be learnt in a vacuum so get your children out into the world as much as possible.

Social Skills

How did you teach your young children social skills? Got any great ideas? Let us know in the comments!



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4 Comments

  1. 05/02/2018 / 7:28 am

    Nice one!! I notice the teens have very strange social skills these days…:/

  2. 05/02/2018 / 10:17 am

    I must admit, with all of the social media happening these days, I do worry about social skills. I tried building my kids social skills through playgroup, daycare, play dates and particularly for my eldest, picking him up on poor social skills if I spot them.

  3. 05/02/2018 / 3:54 pm

    My kids are all very into their phones etc but have no problem socialising. it’s just a different way of socialising- I do it myself!

  4. 06/02/2018 / 4:50 am

    True! Nothing shows me how much kids are like sponges than seeing my toddler mimic me by putting her doll in time out for not listening! LOL Keeps you on your toes and makes you want to speak and act the best around them- so that they repeat good behavior. #mummymondays

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