Not all children have a natural ability to build a thriving social life. Most of the time, parents have to help their children build a social skill set.
However, it is natural for children to possess the desire to interact with the world around them. In fact, a lot of their personal and professional success depends on this very desire.
If you’re like most parents, you want your child to succeed in all areas of their life. The problem is that it’s tricky to know how to help them.
Here are a handful of ways to encourage your child, helping them build the social skills they need to succeed.
Identify Social Skills
Firstly, it’s vital that your child understands what social skills are. To help them gain this understanding, make it a point to identify certain social skills that naturally occur on a daily basis.
For example, notice when they display a certain social skill, point it out and name it for them. When they willingly let another child take a turn with their toy, identify this behavior. Tell them that taking turns is a great way to share and be friends with others.
This will help them understand how human interactions work and how they can use those particular skills to connect with other people.
Name Their Emotions
Another roadblock in developing social skills is often your child’s own emotions—or rather, the misunderstanding of those emotions.
But let’s back up, it takes time and effort to develop emotional intelligence. Plus, it can be incredibly difficult to know exactly what you feel and why you feel it, let alone expressing those feelings to others in a social situation.
Again, take the time to observe when different emotions arise in your child. When you see your child display frustration, for example, name that emotion. Validate their feelings by confirming with them that their behavior expresses frustration.
This will help your child learn to recognize emotions and regulate them accordingly. Not only does this knowledge help them understand themselves but also the world around them.
Teach Effective Communication
As well as identifying their emotions, communicating those emotions effectively can be challenging to many children. To help your child build their social skill set, it’s helpful to teach them how to communicate with others effectively.
This might mean, guiding them through a frustrating moment to help them identify where the frustration stemmed. Or it could mean, having a conversation with them about why they feel a certain way, helping them get to the root of the emotion.
Plenty of adults struggle with effective communication. Unsurprisingly, the impact of inadequate communication skills runs far and wide.
The more your child understands themselves the better they can communicate to others. Additionally, the more thoroughly your child learns communication skills the more success they’ll find personally and professionally.
Encourage Personal Boundaries
Personal boundaries often carry a stigma surrounding toxicity or abusive situations. More than anything, though, they are a way to teach others how to treat you.
This means addressing inappropriate behavior as well as promoting self-expression. For children, it’s important to teach personal boundaries to ensure a proper balance within their relationships.
A great way to teach this social skill is to break it up into categories—physical, mental, and emotional.
Physical boundaries are probably the easiest because they’re also the most obvious. Mental boundaries consist of teaching your child to honor their own thoughts. It’s also giving them the right to say, “stop it” or “no.”
Emotional boundaries help protect your child (and their relationships) in that it promotes equality and respect. When your child can identify their emotions, they can establish boundaries based on those emotions.
For more support in helping your child to build their social skill set, please reach out for help soon.