The ability to adapt, which is an important concept in our lives, is a form of behavior acquired in childhood. In order to achieve this, the child’s social skills development must be positively supported.
So how do children gain social skills? What responsibilities do parents have? We told you what you need to know!
What is social skill?
The ability of an individual to make sense of others’ behaviors, to respond appropriately to experiences, and to exhibit learned behaviors in an environment in a way that fulfills their social responsibilities is called “social skill”.
It is very important for the child to gain these skills so that they do not have problems in their social relationships. Emotional and academic needs of the child may change according to age. Children whose social development is not supported since infancy may experience a lack of social skills later on.
1. Pay attention to eye contact when communicating
Parental support in social skills is undeniable. This process, which starts with the mother-baby relationship, plays a big role in the later stages of life. Realizing that their needs are understood and met, there is a secure attachment between the baby and the mother, and these children’s social skills are more developed. For this, responding to your child’s needs from infancy, making eye contact with him and touching him often will help him develop his emotional and social skills.
2. Give information about every aspect of life
You should inform your child about all kinds of social issues that you encounter in daily life. Because these are the things your child will encounter. For example;
- How to talk to someone on the phone?
- What do you say when you wake up in the morning?
- How should one behave when asking for something?
- Why do people thank each other?
- How to behave when faced with an unpleasant situation?
It will be very beneficial in terms of social relations if you enlighten your child by giving examples on such matters.
3. Ask questions about a new situation
Asking questions about the situations you encounter on the days you go out with your child will help him think and produce alternative answers. In this way, you will also have the opportunity to inform him about various subjects.
For example, let’s say you are walking in a touristic area and you come across people taking pictures on the road. You can ask your child what these people are doing, where you are traveling right now, how someone who wants to have their photo taken should ask someone else to do so. It would be good to make various referrals every now and then.
4. Set an example of appropriate behavior
Pedagogue Güzide Soyak says that her ability to establish social relationships develops by taking family members as an example. Because children learn by imitation. Therefore, it is necessary to be a good role model in order to have a child with developed social skills.
- A child who sees apologies, requests and thanks from his parents learns the concept of respect by observing his parents.
- The child who learns to “share” from his parents does not remain indifferent to the needs of others.
- The child, who sees how his parents deal with negative situations, can reflect this behavior on his own relationships. That’s why it’s so important to be a good role model.
5. Support positive behavior
Supporting your child by praising his positive social behaviors will encourage him to continue these behaviors. In this way, you can instill self-confidence in your child. It will be very encouraging if you support your child in feeding an animal, help a friend, or congratulate him on the toys he collects after giving them away.
6. Get him to relate to his peers
It is also important to be able to establish healthy friendship relationships in the development of social skills in children. The relationships he builds with his peers teach the child to share, to cooperate, to cope with competition or anxious situations.
However, children who prefer older or younger people in their relationships may have problems with establishing or maintaining social relationships. Children who choose to communicate with younger people tend to be controlling. Children who are constantly in relationships with people older than themselves may have disagreements with their peers.
7. Support game building skill
The social competencies of the children, whose imagination world expands with the ability to play, expand and they become able to build their own mentality. This also allows their creativity to develop by developing unique ideas. You should direct your child to games that will develop problem solving and analytical thinking skills.
You can spend productive hours with your child in various activities such as studying animals together, planting plants in the ground, and picturing what you see in the open air.
8. Lead to courses and events
Introducing your child to different environments through courses, arts and sports activities will enable him to reinforce the education he received in the family. Social skills activities that he will do here, paying attention to the rules of etiquette while speaking, trying to solve the problems encountered in rational ways will greatly contribute to the development of his social skills.