Social skills are one of the most essential skills that people of all ages should learn and develop to be happy and successful in life. Social skills are necessary to be able to establish and maintain meaningful relationships. These also enable people to communicate and interact effectively with others, display good manners and express their personal needs. Like any other skill, social skills can be learned and developed over time. Read on for some helpful tips on how to improve the social skills of your preschooler.
It’s important that kids understand empathy. It isn’t easy for them to automatically think about how other people would feel. We can’t expect them to know how to put themselves in another other person’s shoes. Because empathy is a basic social skill, let your child understand what it is to have empathy by letting them explore and use their imagination. Run through a variety of scenarios with your child and ask them how they would react to these situations.
For instance, you can create a typical school day where a kid gets picked on by other preschoolers. Ask them how they’d feel if they were in that child’s shoes. Will they feel sorry for that child? Will they feel bad? By learning empathy, they’d learn how to relate to other people’s feelings and this will further encourage them to be nicer and kind towards other people.
Teach them how to have a conversation
Whether verbal or non-verbal, it’s crucial for a preschooler to learn how to express themselves, interact with others and appropriately respond to social situations. It may not come easy at first but you can definitely start with the basics. Let them practice saying simple greetings such as “Hi” or “Hello, how are you?” They can also use non-verbal cues like waving and smiling. If they are naturally shy, doing this step will help them overcome their shyness over time.
When it comes to having a conversation, make sure your little one understands that they need to wait their turn before speaking. It’s critical that they learn listening skills and respond appropriately when another person is done talking. When your child feels the need to express themselves, encourage them to do so. Assure them that there’s nothing wrong with communicating. They should feel free to speak up and express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. However, there’s always a good and polite way of doing so.
Teach them basic manners
Basic manners are another important aspect of social skills that young kids should be equipped with. Explain to your little one importance of using magic words such as “thank you”, “please” and “sorry”. These words are part of common courtesy. Let them practice saying these words at home. Give them a constant, yet gentle reminder until they get into the habit of conveying positive manners.
Put them in an environment where they can practice social skills
Another effective step to help improve the social skills of your preschooler is by putting them in an environment where they can practice. If they’d usually stay home surrounded by family members, you can consider giving them more exposure to a social environment. Set up playdates and let them invite some friends over. During weekends, you can take them to playgrounds or ask them if they want to participate in hobby classes or sports clinics. Not only will this provide an opportunity to socialize but it will also help them discover and develop other talents and skills.
Practice activities that reinforce social skills
Even at home, there are plenty of things that parents can do to reinforce and teach social skills. One of them is reading. Read bedtime stories at night and make it a daily habit. This will help your child develop empathy and better social skills they can use throughout their lives.
Enhancing your child’s social development is crucial in their holistic growth. Follow these simple tips to improve the social skills of your preschooler.
Here at My Quest Montessori, we value the importance of developing social skills in children. Therefore, we make sure to provide the kind of environment that fosters their growth not only socially, but emotionally, physically and intellectually. Please feel free to give us a call for more information.