How To Teach Your Children Social Skills
As our children grow, they will be going to schools and interacting with lots of different people other. For example, friends and teachers. Hence it is necessary to teach them the social skills that enable them to get along with others, work as part of a group, follow rules, make and keeps friends and act with confidence. These abilities also help our children to build good character.
Families have a profound influence on the early development of our children social abilities and skills. If they enjoy love, warming relationship with parents, siblings, grandparents and other relationships, they will have a strong foundation in form good relationship with other people. They will be more understanding about how other people feel and have the ability to treat other the way they want and how they should be treated by others.
To help children acquire the basic social behavior, parents must set the proper expectation, rules, rewards and punishment associated with those rules and more important set themselves as good examples for their children. Your children learn by observing what you as their parents do and how you behave in your daily life - e.g. how you treat and interact with your spouse, eldest and friends. As they begin interact with others, your kids will model their behavior on actions he has witnessed at home.
Following are some of the important social skills that you will want to work with your children:
Learning that Others Have Their Own Views and Feelings
I have seemed adults hold very strong views about certainly things and they try to impose their views onto others. This often results in tension and uneasiness in the relationship. It is not something healthy.
It is important for parents to teach their children from young that others have their own opinions and feelings. They need to learn to respect them and know that it is perfectly okay for people to have different views. With this understanding, children can then begin to develop empathy - the ability to discern and share another's feelings or ideas. It is the ability to put themselves into some else's shoe that make them willing to share, take turns, cooperate and treat their friends with kindness and respect.
Preschoolers usually do not have a clear sense of empathy. However you can help them begin to understand by talking about other people's thoughts and feelings. At home, I teach my preschool daughter empathy by asking her question such as:
"How do you think Sarah will feel if someone takes her toys without asking her permission?"
"How mummy and daddy will feel if you hurt yourself?"
"How would you feel if none of your friend didn't ask you to join them when they are playing?"
Often she will provide a sensible answer and follow by the proper action. When parents practice these often and long enough with their children, they will form the habit of being empathetic and sensible children who are welcome and love by their friends.
We need to help our children know that they are certain rules of proper social behaviors. For example, no hitting of others, no cutting of queue, wait for others to finish talking before they can talk, ask for permission if they want to take something that doesn't belong to them etc.
Sharing does not come automatically to most young children. Often they learn this skill by observing their parents.
I know of some parents who in general are not very generous with their things. And their young children demonstrate this selfish characteristic very clearly when they interact with their playmate. For example, I have observe some of children refusing to share their toys when they are playing with their friends, quickly and quietly keep all the good things for themselves and leave the not so good ones for their friends etc - they all have not so generous parents.
If we want to make friends and build good relationship with others, we need to be generous. Generosity does not have to be related to material things; it can be sharing of love and care, ideas, knowledge etc. At home, I often share this teaching with my loved ones include our young children
"The more we share, the more we get"
Taking turn is one form of sharing that requires little children to do something hard - wait. It is important to practice this because there are plenty of turn takings in school - waiting to answer until the teacher calls, waiting for their turn to touch the rabbit in the science concern, waiting for their turn to play with an interesting gadget etc.
Respecting Others' Properties
In school, your kids will be surrounded by many children with their own things such as books, stationary, toys, food etc. They need to learn how to treat their friends' things and handle them with care when their friends lend anything to them. And parents must teach their children the proper way of making a request if they want to borrow something from others and how to show their appreciation if their wishes are granted. Teach them the proper use of words like "May I...", "please" and "thank you"
Working With Others
Help your children learn to cooperate and help out their friends in schools or when they are in a project team. The best way to teach them at home is to get them to share the work of family chores and housework. Get your children to help you tidy-up up the rooms; help you to clean the table after meals etc. Tell them that they belong to the family and it is important for them to help in keeping the house clean so that everyone can enjoy a good environment. And when they help out, they will have more time from mummy and daddy reading and playing with them - this method works very well in our home.
Children are more apt to get off to a good start in school and be more confident of their own social skills if they learned to treat others with courtesy. Teach your children to say words like "please", "thank you", "yes Sir/ Madam" etc.
Social skills emerge slowly in children. Parents need to persevere in teaching them. Often you'll have to go over rules again and again, talk to your children many times about the right and proper way to behave and treat others. Children need to be guided and reminded and corrected - no matter how well disposed they are.
Article by Alvin Poh, founder of Learning Champ, a parenting wesbite that provides information and resources to parents, who want to help their children develop the important skills and mind set for a brighter future -> http://www.alvinkh.per.sg/learningchamp
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