For many parents, it is common to notice that their kids might find socializing and making friends quite challenging, and we should do everything we can to help them develop their social skills. When we show our kids how they can relate to others and start building relationships, we are giving them the opportunity to change their lives for the better. Socializing and making friends is an essential part of life, and missing on this opportunity from an early age can have long-lasting effects. Therefore, we have gathered some simple tips we can teach our kids so that they can grow their social skills in a very effective and natural way.
Whenever we talk to someone we don’t know, making eye contact is the best way to communicate and relate to others. Therefore, we should encourage our kids to always make eye contact when talking to a new kid at school or in a playground. This might be hard for kids, especially younger ones, as they tend to look away from people, either because of a lack of confidence or because they get distracted, or simply because they don’t feel comfortable. Practice this with your kids while asking them about their day or having them tell you a story.
Learning to identify emotions and acting on them accordingly is another essential part of effective communication and social interaction. If we want our kids to improve their social skills, we need to make sure we are covering emotional intelligence as well. When we know how to identify others’ emotions, we will be able to know when and how to approach someone, and when not to. Going over different facial expressions and identifying the corresponding emotions, as well as practicing different social cues and situations will help our kids feel more confident when approaching new kids.
Another important skill we need to teach our kids is that of both verbal and non-verbal communication. Most of the time, children are unsure of how to start a conversation without the interaction being awkward and trying to avoid being rejected, so they decide not to interact at all. However, when we teach them different ways to greet and respond to greetings, we give them a wide range of communicative resources they can use to interact with those around them. The best way to do this is by using different kinds of greetings and responses at home.
Finally, we need to remember that giving our kids the chance to experience an environment that encourages and stimulates social interaction is an essential part of their development. Therefore, we should always make our kids feel free to express themselves and share their thoughts and ideas at home. Also, we should also offer them the opportunity to be exposed to social situations, whether it is at the playground, with after-school classes, and workshops, too. All these experiences will help our kids develop the interpersonal skills they need to become more social and make new friends without difficulty.