Children standing together in boots

Helping Your Child with their Social Skills

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With a takeover in technology in recent years, social development in children is now more important than ever. Children need to learn how to interact with other people, which can be difficult when they are spending more and more time in front of their screens.

So what can you do to help your child improve their social skills? Here is some great advice from an independent school in Somerset

Set a good example

It is important that parents set a good example for children. Try to limit your own screen time, especially while you are with your children. When your child is talking to you, put away your phone and show them that you are listening by making eye contact. This will demonstrate good social skills for your child to replicate. 

Use your manners

If you want your children to be polite, then it is important that you remember you manners when talking to your children. You should also encourage kindness and point out unkind behaviour in movies or in books. If you make a mistake or have a disagreement with your child, be sure to apologise later on and discuss how you can avoid a similar situation in the future.

Cultivate empathy

Helping your child to develop their social skills isn’t just about following rules and remembering manners. Parents must inspire their children to think for themselves and understand feelings.
This should include their personal feelings and the feelings of others. By discussing feelings and emotions with your child you can teach them to have empathy for others. This will help them to respect the feelings and perspectives of other people.

Build friendships

Try to provide lots of opportunities for your children to play with others. For younger children you could arrange regular paly dates. This could begin with structured play activities until the children get to know each other better.  You should then begin to see that they have developed the skills to play their own imaginative games together.

Family time

Playing games is a great way to teach your children how to play together. This will help them to learn the skills required to share and wait patiently for their turn. A good board game will also help your child learn how to follow instructions, stick to rules and be a good winner or loser! Furthermore, games can teach children how to work together as a team to reach a common goal. For example you could play games where it is adults versus kids!

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