Developing social skills in our little ones is crucial and parents have a pivotal role in assisting their social progress. When kids lack exposure to socialisation, they find it difficult to communicate, cooperate, and navigate social situations. A lack of diverse conversations and interactions could impede the child’s language development and hinder their self-expression. Furthermore, being socially awkward impacts their emotional intelligence, posing challenges in recognising and responding to social cues. This leads to a sense of social discomfort, and as time passes, they may withdraw from their social circles.
Parents need not fear! We’ve got three easy and fun ways that can help young kids build on their social awareness and responses. With consistency and time, they can refine those innate social skills and enhance their discernment in social settings.
1. Encourage Playdates
Plan playdates with other children who live nearby or from your child’s preschool. Playdates offer invaluable chances for children to gain social skills, such as sharing, collaborating, and resolving conflicts. Your active involvement in these sessions can help exemplify positive social interactions and offer guidance when needed.
Despite the hectic weeks filled with work responsibilities, incorporating two-hour playdate sessions on weekends can include unstructured play at home or trips to parks with other children and families. These social activities are beneficial opportunities for children to engage with others while enjoying the security of their parent’s presence.
2. Practice Taking Turns
Games and activities that involve taking turns can teach children patience as they learn to wait their turn. Patience is a crucial skill for many social situations, such as listening attentively, waiting for a chance to speak, taking part in class, and behaving properly in group settings. They must understand that taking turns enhances the enjoyable shared experience.
Children can also develop greater empathy through patience. Understanding others’ emotions and perspectives requires taking the time to observe and listen. Board games, charades, pass-the-parcel, group art, and ball games are great examples that reinforce the benefits of patience, turn taking, and cooperation with others.
3. Strengthen Family Bonds
Taking part in weekend activities as a family not only benefits the child, but also strengthens family bonds. Engaging in social outings as a family with or without other friends fosters a sense of togetherness. Treasure these moments that create a nurturing environment for the child’s emotional and social growth.
Families can strengthen their bonds every day, not just on weekends. Every time the family is together is an opportunity to bolster cohesiveness and improve communication. The family can do a multitude of activities, whether it’s going out or enjoying tasks together at home. This can involve preparing dinner and breakfast, reading, and playing games before bedtime.
Raising Social Superstars
At New Life Infant Care in Woodlands, we know every child is uniquely packaged with their own special traits and personality. We cannot approach social skills development for children with a one-size-fits-all method because of their different extroverted and introverted tendencies. However, the focus should be on supporting and nurturing children in ways that align with their inherent temperament. By ensuring they have positive social experiences, we can equip our children with valuable skills that enhance their development in communication, empathy, and cooperation.