Helping Your Child Develop Their Social Skills

We all want our children to have lots of friends and social opportunities, but some children struggle more than others with making conversation and maintaining relationships. This can impact on their wellbeing and academic progression, so it’s important as parents that we help our children develop good social skills. Read on for some advice from a reception in Lincoln on how you can support your child socially.

Lead by example

Children learn a lot from watching how their parents interact with others; seeing you chatting to different people and responding to them appropriately will show your child how to behave in social situations. If you always keep your head down and don’t often talk to people, your child may follow suit and see that as normal. Try encouraging your child to join in when you’re chatting to someone in the supermarket, for example, or while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. They’ll learn how to strike up conversations with others and keep discussions going.

Sign them up for extra-curricular activities

Your child may have a particular group of friends they spend time with at school during break times and prefer to stick with them, but encouraging them to speak to new people regularly will benefit them later down the line. Getting involved in extra-curricular activities will introduce your child to new potential friends and different ideas and opinions, and help them learn to adapt their communication style depending on who they’re talking to, which is an important social skill.

Help them practise

If your child struggles to know what to say to people or how to start conversations, you can help them by role playing different scenarios together and practising responses. Having some go-to phrases they can use will boost their confidence and encourage them to talk to new people and respond appropriately when spoken to. You can take this further by finding a mentor or buddy they can practise with.

Arrange playdates

If you’ve noticed that your child likes someone in particular at school, maybe because they talk about them a lot, help them explore the friendship by inviting the child to your house for a playdate. Some children (and adults) cope better with one-on-one socialising, and this will still teach your child valuable communication skills. They’ll learn to compromise (if they both want to play with the same toy, for example) and discuss a shared interest, as well as how to consider someone else’s needs and feelings - all of which are important social skills for children to learn.

*This is a collaborative post*

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