Social Skills: If Our Kids Don’t Have Them, We’ve Got to Teach Them
Social skills are the verbal and non-verbal cues we use every day to interact and communicate in a positive and productive way with others. They help us make good decisions and guide our behavior through different social situations. If a child is not being understood or is relating poorly to others, developing their social skills is key to promoting acceptance by their peers and other social circles.
Why Are Social Skills So Important?
When it comes to making and maintaining positive interactions with others, social skills are a vital component to developing sustainable friendships, healthy relationships, and effective school and (eventual) work interactions. As we’ve probably all experienced, there are times when social interactions don’t run smoothly. By implementing appropriate social strategies, such as conflict resolution and an understanding of empathy, we are able to navigate effectively through difficult interactions.
“...developing their social skills is key to promoting acceptance by their peers and other social circles.”
How Can I Tell If My Child Has Poor Social Skills?
Deficits in social skills can occur in children due to a variety of factors, and deficiencies become more apparent as children age and the social landscape they experience grows in complexity. Your child may help and support developing their social skills if they:
- Don’t understand facial expressions or body language.
- Listen to conversation poorly and lose the point of what’s being said.
- Use fleeting eye contact.
- Has little interest in social interactions, or fails to recognize rejection from others
- Is overly literal and does not understand sarcasm..
- Doesn’t understand how to properly greet people, gain attention, or request information.
- Shares information in inappropriate ways.
- Doesn’t adapt well to different situations or people.
The ultimate goal in being a parent is to react in a way that teaches our children how to positively get their needs met and help them understand how the world works and their place within it.
What Can I Do To Help My Child?
- Helping your child meet other kids by looking for classes or clubs that focus on your child’s interests and passions.
- Connecting with other parents who are experiencing a similar situation and sharing insights and strategies.
- Observing and taking notes when you notice your child having social difficulty. Pay close attention to behavior patterns and list all the strategies you’ve used to help your child, as these will be helpful when talking with your child’s therapist.
Most children can learn how to better navigate social interactions when their needs are understood, a plan is created for building their self-esteem, and effective strategies are implemented for personal success and continued motivation.Interested in learning more about deveoping your children's scocial skills? Connect with us on our contact page.