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13 Effective ways to teach social skills to your kids at home

Looking out for effective ways to teach social skills to your kids at home? Sometimes a parent, you may find it difficult to implement strategies to make your child focused and build some social skills at home. It is important for the kids to stay focused, listen, and build their interaction skills with their peers. You can check out some of the easy ways to teach social skills to your kids at home.

Socializing is an important skill and what’s most significant is that this skill can be learned at home. Everyone can effectively learn, write, and learn social skills from their home. Kids look out at their parents to build a ground for their social skills. The child first inherits the traits of their parents. Although the academics are generally not ideal for the parents to teach, the social skills come naturally to the kids based on the parenting steps that is implemented to up bring the child.

Why are social skills for kids important?

Social skills enable the child to create and maintain healthy relationships with their peers and family members and instills a sense of manners and responsibility for their actions on others. It helps them to analyze and understand what to say and what to do in any particular situation and how they have to respond in different social situations. Efficient social interactions are most likely to build satisfying relationships and also affect the mood significantly.

It would allow your child to navigate through tough situations and manage problematic situations effortlessly. While we all experience socially awkward moments, it is important that the child understands how to cover up and navigate such situations in the best way possible. It is important that the child learns to get along with others, accepting their own flaws and acknowledging the strengths of others, and also being empathetic and having sympathy towards people around them.

The ‘red flags’ that you need to look out for to identify the social issue in kids

It is important to identify when the child lacks social skills. There are some traits that you need to look out for that can be an alarming issue and signs that your kid might be lacking social skills and calls for your immediate attention.

Effective ways to teach social skills to your kids at home

Preschool kids

  • Not being in the present situation and being in their ‘ imaginary world ‘
  • Stays silent when around others
  • Takes a step while doing any task or engaging with others
  • Does not make any eye contact with others while struggling to interact.
  • There is very little emotional and physical touch with the loved ones.
  • They don’t have any favorite parent or known person
  • They usually struggle and end up being exhausted while they try to interact with other siblings or peers.
  • They don’t have any close friends and are usually up alone.
  • They don’t have any gesture towards anyone or maybe lack of it.
  • They don’t remember the names of the peers and classmates and are usually not interested to go out or attend parties and gatherings.

Elder kids/ teenagers

  • The child regularly tries to escape gatherings and engages in solidarity activities like spending more time playing video games.
  • Avoids interaction with guests at your house and always having ‘ I don’t care attitude’ with friends and family members.
  • Might be disconnected, even if they may appear to be social from the outside.
  • Does not interact in new situations and doesn’t interact with others.
  • They regularly tend to have panic attacks and have social anxiety.
  • They feel comfortable being alone.
  • They may find themselves zoning out frequently.
  • They get nervous and scared frequently.
  • They are usually confused about how to respond and interact with people.

Red flags that you might notice with your own behavior as a parent

  • Do you sometimes feel that your child doesn’t have enough friends or close friends?
  • Do you notice that the child lacks interaction when they are introduced to new people?
  • Do you feel yourself getting embarrassed when your child interacts and struggles to keep up with the interaction?
  • Do you notice that your child is extremely proud and not empathetic?
  • Lacks body language that is misguiding and inappropriate
  • Doesn’t listen to anyone and frequently gets lost in their own world.
  • Doesn’t like to interact a lot with people
  • Always tends to reject any help that is offered by others
  • takes everything very seriously
  • has difficulty in understanding other people’s perspectives and doesn’t acknowledge the same.
  • responds and communicates in an inappropriate way
  • constantly feels restless while interacting with others

Causes of social skill defects among children

Everyone goes through a phase where they may get socially awkward with interactions and that is okay, but what is important to look over the pattern and way the child prefers to respond to a particular situation.

Some children may make interactions awkward and difficult for themselves frequently, this can cause issues with the confidence that the child may have and correct their situation.

There are various factors and experiences that can trigger your child to be anti-social, especially during the age when they are trying to learn and understand behaviors and manners, understanding the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

It is hard to find the cause of the social skill deficit due to differences in the attitude of the people and the social environment that the child grows up in. The lack of skill can be found among kids that have some kind of disorder or disability that can make your child feel socially reserved and shy. Environmental factors like bullying and traumatic experiences, failures, anxiety, or depression can also make your child anti-social.

They may also find trouble maintaining self-control and self-confidence or face stressful situations at home or at school. Social skills are also affected because of the way of parenting and upbringing that the parent chooses to implement for their child.

Non-verbal social issues can relate to inappropriate body language, expressions while interacting with someone and tune when they convey or communicate with others.

Effective ways to teach social skills to your kids at home

Ways to build a child’s social skills from home – A parent’s guide

It is around the age of kindergarten, that the child starts to learn the social skills. It is important that as a parent you start focusing on improving the way the child interacts and communicates with others and ensure that they have good social skills as it will also reflect upon how effective is your own parenting style. There are a lot of benefits that social skills can enable you to learn-

  • Helps with dealing with disappointment
  • Makes the child expressive
  • Helps them to identify over how to respond to people
  • It helps them to be social and understand perspectives
  • It inculcates the habit of sharing in them
  • It helps to behave appropriately
  • It helps them to accept the failures and success, the way it is
  • It ensures that they have good bond and connection with people

We are all set to list down effective ways to teach social skills to your child at home. There are some activities for social skill that you can try while your kids are at home. Give them a try yourself.

Identifying perspectives

It is an activity that involves your kid to identify the tone and intention over a comment or any dialogue that is made in a movie or while watching TV. Push them hard to think over the emotions and thoughts that the person is likely to go through. Make them aware of the emotions that the person goes through. You can also help your kid identify emotions and thoughts through role plays and acting activities

Pretend to be a character

You can collect some toys with character that your child is familiarized with and then pretend to have conversation with them. You can either have conversation with them or pretend to do some activity. Understand the reaction from your child and respond if their reaction is right or not. It not, say them in a friendly tone with the character’s voice. Use this strategy as a technique to understand and help your kid to understand more about emotions and responses.

Play games that helps the child to learn social skills

Games are a fun way to teach your child some social skills. You can really take advantage of some board games that will eventually help your child that requires patience and perseverance, as it teaches them to wait, earn merits and progress and sticking by the rules that are placed in the game. You need to make sure that there is a balance in the rules otherwise your child might not like playing the game and you might lose the chance to use this technique to teach your child some social skills

You can play hunt the treasure with your child

Rather than asking you child to find items that is scattered out in the house, you can play treasure hunt. There is an opportunity to learn to solve problems. You might need to take some effort from your end but this will help build problem solving skills. This will also help them to solve a problem while collaborating with others and understand the importance of team work. It will help your child to understand different perspectives and analyze their emotions and work with it. This will also help them to answer as a team. You can include some riddles and make them and think and identify the clue.

Problem solving with some props

You can use some props that can help you instill social skill in your kids. It might take some effort from your part but you can take up some strategy like getting some props like paper clips, notes and straws and you can instruct your child to create some thing from the items based on their creativity. They can choose to make a house or a tower. This helps your child to cultivate creativity in them.

keeping up the balloon

You can blow up a balloon and ask your child to make sure that the balloon is in the air without having it touch the ground. This will help your child stay patient. Also, ask them to make count the dodges they make. This will also help them stay focused.

Encourage them to tell short stories

Storytelling is a very powerful way to connect with people and it is always useful to teach your child if you teach them how to connect with others. You can create surrounding the things they like to grab their interest in your stories. You can also ask them to create similar stories in their own versions with the situations they want for the characters. After your child narrates the story, you can appreciate it and summarise their story as an indication that you are listening to them.

References

Wikihow: https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills-in-Children

The conversation: https://theconversation.com/3-ways-to-promote-social-skills-in-homebound-kids-143410\

Global kids world: http://www.globalkidsworld.in/

The genius of play: https://thegeniusofplay.org/genius/expert-advice/articles/supporting-social-play-helping-children-learn-social-skills-from-play.aspx

OCED: https://www.oecd.org/education/school/UPDATED%20Social%20and%20Emotional%20Skills%20-%20Well-being,%20connectedness%20and%20success.pdf%20(website).pdf

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Written by Anu Chaudhary

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