Some children seem to be an expert at social skills from birth, while others seem to struggle with different challenges of social acceptance.
However, those children who seem to be lacking skills in making and maintaining friends can develop these skills with time and patience. Having good social skills can give children an advantage in life, they can do better in school, have better self-esteem and be more resilient.
Here are some activities you can do to help your child with social skills when they’re at home.
Eye contact: Good eye contact is a great skill to teach to children. It shows you are interested in what people are saying and shows confidence in your ability to listen. Have a staring contest or put some stickers on your head to teach children where to look when talking.
Reading faces and emotions: This skill is important in all aspects of life. Learning to understand facial expressions and emotions help children learn to play and interact with others and can lessen misunderstandings and arguments between kids. Games like emotions charades, drawing faces and even making silly faces in a mirror can help teach what facial expressions mean.
Staying on topic: Some children have difficulty staying on topic in a conversation and get easily distracted. You can help teach your child to stay on topic by getting them to make up and tell stories and by asking lots of questions about the topic.
Sharing: Some children have difficulty with patience and sharing. For younger children, simply learning to roll or throw a ball can help develop this skill. For older kids you can give food and ask them to divide it equally and have them practice being fair.
Empathy: This is extremely important to teach children and can be a difficult concept to teach to children. Joining your children and playing with stuffed toys or pretending to be someone else can help teach empathy as they imagine different scenarios.
All these skills need to be taught to children and built upon as they get older. Playing games is a great way to get children to learn in a risk-free environment.