Social skills with children

8 Important Social Skills For Kids And How To Teach Them

Teaching social skills for kids is one of the most complex, confusing, but rewarding aspects of raising young children.

It’s no secret that preschoolers and kindergarteners are naturally egocentric. Even when playing or interacting with others, many children have difficulty sharing, empathizing, collaborating, and cooperating.

HOMER is here to help you learn eight of the most important social skills for kids, as well as how to incorporate them into your family life.

8 Important Social Skills For Kids

1) Sharing

Sharing is a part of daily life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy!

Sharing is a difficult concept for young children to get behind. Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners have a particularly difficult time, as they are more focused on their needs and desires than the needs and desires of others.

This is normal. The feeling that something “belongs” to them is typically much stronger than their desire to please others.

Even though it’s hard to share, doing so is critical to a child’s social skill development, as it helps them keep and advance friendships. It’s also a great way to bond and show appreciation.

2) Listening

Active listening is an important skill that even some adults struggle with. Properly deciphering and absorbing information requires significant focus.

We all know this can be challenging for young kids, but active listening can strengthen their receptive language skills (the ability to comprehend spoken language).

Receptive language skills help your child:

  • Handle social interactions
  • Answer questions
  • Understand stories
  • Comprehend what they’re reading
  • Understand gestures

While developing their social skills, your child will come to see how important it is to actively listen when others are speaking.

Paying attention to what someone is saying and responding directly to their statements or questions is a big part of healthy communication.

3) Following Directions

The cousin of good listening skills would be executing the instructions your child heard — a.k.a., following directions!

Following directions becomes particularly important once your child enters into their school years.

It’s one thing to follow directions at home with their parents where they’re innately comfortable; it’s another task entirely to follow directions from adult authority figures they may not know well.

Your child will learn how listening and following directions overlap with one another. If they listen well, it becomes easier for them to follow directions accurately. And when they follow directions accurately, they’ll often be rewarded for their hard work!

Keep in mind, however, that multi-step directions are challenging for young children. To help them develop the ability to follow directions, give them one direction at a time.

4) Collaborating And Cooperating

Similar to sharing, your child will learn how to move beyond sharing objects to sharing ideas, stories, and work.

With good collaboration and cooperation skills, children will learn that working in a group gives them a chance to express their ideas and listen to the ideas of others. It allows them to see that it can be fun to work on a shared project!

This may sound simple, but for young children, cooperation can often require real effort. It will take time for them to learn to respect others’ opinions even when they’re different.

By working together toward a common goal, kids can advance their sharing skills to include both intellectual and physical (think: cleaning the dinner table with a sibling) feats.

5) Patience

How many times have you heard the cliche, “Patience is a virtue”? Well, we are here to say it one more time!

It’s normal for young children to be impatient. However, patience really is one of the most rewarding social skills for kids.

Patience is critical for many things, including maintaining friendships and relationships and achieving big goals that can only be completed over an extended period of time.

This is where the concept of delayed gratification comes into play. When you help your child understand that good things often take time (not everything in life is microwaveable!), you nurture them into a patient person.

Learning patience takes practice and, you guessed it, patience! Trust that it will come with time (as everything does).

6) Empathy

When we say “empathy,” we’re referring to the traditional definition — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Your child will learn how to appreciate the similarities and differences between their lives and those of people they meet. They will also learn how to empathize with these people, no matter how different they are.

For young children, this can mean small gestures.

For example, if their friend or sibling cries because your child is playing with a specific toy, your child may pause and say, “I know you want to play, too. Don’t be sad. We can take turns!”

But this sense of empathy will likely not appear overnight! Empathy develops over time and across a variety of scenarios.

The easiest way to promote your child’s development of empathy is by showing it in action. When you extend grace to your child often, they will learn how to extend it back.

7) Respecting Boundaries

Some people require different emotional and physical boundaries than your child.

This can be a particularly difficult concept to learn, especially for very young children who receive most of their socialization from within the household.

Likely, if your child is extroverted, they may assume everyone is OK with hugs, questions, or lots of chit-chat. In some cases, they may be right! In others, they may accidentally cross boundaries in their efforts to be friendly.

Teaching your child how to ask permission and identify boundaries helps them establish a sense of respect between themselves and others. The same goes for helping them establish boundaries for themselves.

Let your child know that it’s OK to say no to hugs, kisses, or other displays of affection from someone — no matter who it may be — if they feel uncomfortable. Model this idea by asking questions yourself (“Would you like a hug?”).

When they make their boundaries clear and ask for others to do the same, it will make both parties feel much more at-home.

8) Positivity

Working on positivity can make it exponentially easier for your child to tackle many of the other social skills for kids we’ve mentioned, especially patience, boundaries, listening, and sharing.

With a positive attitude, your child will find it easier to make and keep friends, succeed in school, and achieve their goals.

The easiest way to demonstrate positivity is by modeling it. The more positive you are about your child’s social skill development (including their inevitable slip-ups), the more reassured and positive they will become themselves.

This doesn’t mean you have to be positive all the time. In fact, a healthy amount of honest criticism can be beneficial in helping your child learn to express their feelings.

To do this, start with your own emotions. Let them know how you’re feeling and how you’re managing it in real time if you can. Kids need to know it’s OK to be sad, angry, or mad sometimes and how to handle it.

How To Teach Social Skills To Kids

Now that you know what social skills for kids to include, how do you go about teaching them at home? Let’s take a look!

Normalize Mistakes

Your child should know that you do not expect perfection. There is no way to execute all of these social skills every time, everywhere, without mistakes.

That is OK! In fact, it’s encouraged. Mistakes are normal; they’re how we learn what went right or wrong.

Make sure you normalize this for your child. If they know all humans learn lessons this way, it’ll be easier for them to push through the sting of a mistake and try again.

Encourage Sharing (Without Violating Boundaries!)

Although sharing is great and should be encouraged, there may be some things that are special to your child that they don’t want to share. This can be especially true of stuffed animals, blankets, or special toys.

This is OK, too! It’s great for your child to set boundaries that you and other children respect. To encourage sharing, try not to force it.

Encouraging without forcing also demonstrates to kids how boundaries can be created, acknowledged, and respected between people.

This will motivate them to share with those around them by taking comfort in the fact that what is special to them has been kept sacred and separate. It will also encourage them to be direct about their and others’ boundaries when it comes to play, school, or emotional issues.

Check Their Listening

During social interactions within your own family or outside of it, pay attention to your child’s listening skills. You can observe them to see if they are listening carefully.

Do they seem engaged? Are the asking questions?

And remember it is just as important to listen to your child. This shows them that what they are saying is important and encourages them to listen to you in return.

Think About How You Give Directions

In teaching social skills for kids, the parent or authority figure is responsible for ensuring the directions they give are something a young child can execute successfully.

When giving instructions, be clear, firm, and gentle. As we mentioned earlier, children have a very difficult time executing tasks with many directions at once. Start with one direction at a time that your child can focus on.

When giving instructions, have your child repeat what you want them to do. Only give an additional instruction when the first has been completed. Repeat until the task is complete.

Your child can give you directions, too! That way they have a sense of what it takes to delegate, manage, and execute a task from start to finish.

Give Empathy To Get Empathy

Show your child that you think about other people’s emotions, too! This is less of a teaching moment and more of an authentic display of empathy.

If you see that your child is expressing an emotion, validate it for them. “Oh, I see that you’re excited. I love that you’re so eager and happy to do this!”

You can acknowledge negative emotions, too. For example, you might say, “I know that must make you angry. Do you know how I can tell? What can we do together to make you feel less unhappy?”

This not only helps them feel seen and heard in the moment, but it also gives them a direct example of how to tackle empathy with others in similar situations.

Social Skills For Kids Are Essential

The more your child experiences the benefits of social skills, the more intuitive these skills will become for them. However, all children learn at different rates. With practice (and patience!), we know they’ll get there.

The Learn with Sesame Street app is an effective tool that helps kids learn and develop their social and emotional skills. With the help of their Sesame Street friends, kids learn how to express their emotions, empathize with others, and create healthy relationships. Explore the Learn with Sesame Street app today!


15 Critical Social Skills for Kids and How to Develop Them

Child development is fascinating. Human beings start as vulnerable infants who rely on caregivers for their every need, then, over time, turn into independent children and hopefully high-functioning adults. What happens during each of these milestones is essential to the next stage of your child’s development.

Social skills are learned a little differently from one another as your child grows up. A toddler, for example, won’t learn new skills the same way a school-age child might. The skills kids learn will vary depending upon need and environment. These skills build upon each other as they get older. Social skills training for kids is exceptionally important; starting early and building upon skills as a child grows will help them acquire what is necessary to become a well-developed individual.

Keep reading to learn about critical social skills for kids, and what age they learn those skills. Plus, we take a look at various activities you can try with your child to teach them these important skills!

Why Should a Child Learn Social Skills?

There is strong, valid research available that proves teaching social skills to children has lasting benefits. Children should begin learning basic social skills even as early as infancy.

The Benefits of Learning Social Skills as a Child

Whether social skills are taught in a social-emotional program at school, at home by parents, or even by a specialist such as a speech therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst, there are tons of benefits to doing so.

Teaching social skills to kids will help them be able to:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Problem-solve
  • Make and keep friends
  • Cooperate with others
  • Practice active listening
  • Use manners
  • Adapt to different situations
  • Utilize non-verbal cues
  • Set and keep boundaries
  • Share with others
  • Say “no” appropriately
  • Ask for help when needed

Overall, the effects of learning social skills lasts a lifetime for your kids.

A study published in the July 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health yielded the following results after monitoring the child participants over 20 years:

For every one-point increase on the 5-point rating scale in a child’s social competence score in kindergarten, he/she was:

  • Twice as likely to attain a college degree in early adulthood;
  • 54% more likely to earn a high school diploma; and
  • 46% more likely to have a full-time job at the age of 25.

The results “indicated statistically significant and unique associations between teacher-assessed prosocial skills and outcomes in all domains examined.”

Types of Social Skills That Children Can Learn

So, what are the skills that your children can learn? Generally, the types of skills that children learn can be split into five categories:

  • Physical social skills
  • Socially-related social skills
  • Cognitive social skills
  • Behavioral social skills
  • Adaptive/functional social skills

The way that your child will learn skills in each category will depend on a few factors. Naturally, the type of skill will change how your child learns it. For example, your child will learn how to listen differently than they learn how to share with their friends.

Ready to see all the amazing things your child will learn to do? Follow along in your child’s development as we break down the skills they learn by age.

Social, Cognitive, and Motor Skills Activities for Kids by Age

When you think of your baby, the first thought likely isn’t about their social skills. After all, they’re a baby! However, infancy is when the brain is the most malleable. The synapses created and connections made in the first three years of life are so numerous and frequent—this is when important external input is happening.

Experts at the Urban Child Institute say it simply enough: “Genes provide a blueprint for the brain, but a child’s environment and experiences carry out the construction.”

Below are examples of critical social skills for different child development stages, as well as social skills activities you can try with your kids.

Infants 2 months to 1 year

Skill #1: Two-Way Communication

Two-way communication is the act of two individuals exchanging forms of communication back and forth (verbal or non-verbal). You’ve likely noticed that your baby can be pretty social with you! That’s because babies will communicate with their caregivers in one form or another. At this stage, behaviors are copied from what they see and hear. Caregivers can help their infant learn to communicate back and forth by:

  • Using appropriate eye contact
  • Using non-verbals appropriate for the situation
  • Responding to each other’s styles of communication
  • Talking often to the infant/having a conversation even though the infant may not be able to say actual words at this stage.

Activity ideas for two-way communication include:

  • Peek-a-Boo
  • Baby Sign-Language
  • Magic Mirror
  • Use rhyming words and songs to communicate
Skill #2: Exploration

As your baby grows, they’ll start to move around more, and their natural curiosity will have them exploring their surroundings. Being able to do this is important to their physical, emotional, and social development. By exploring, infants can begin to develop more independence, and more trust in their environment and the people around them.

Activity ideas for infant exploration include:

  • Provide baby with items and toys that will stimulate different senses
  • Allow baby to have new and enriching experiences daily
  • Give the freedom to roam in a safe environment
  • Let baby get messy—too much structure doesn’t allow for exploration
  • Take baby to the zoo, on a nature walk, or to a festival; they really do take it all in!
Skill #3: Communicating Needs/Self-Advocacy

Communicating effectively and appropriately is a huge part of helping your baby become socially aware. Even though infants don’t typically speak their first actual words until around a year or later, they can still understand a lot more than people think.
Teaching an infant how to communicate their needs at this stage will not only cut down on your frustration when they begin to cry, and you don’t know why, but it will help them to be less frustrated and get their needs met.

Activity ideas to help infants communicate their needs:

  • Learn Baby Sign Language and teach it to baby
  • Use pictures or a communication board
  • Research and learn more about infant communication
  • Learn baby’s non-verbal cues and types of sounds
  • Practice sounds and simple words with baby
Skill #4: Emotion Regulation

Psychology Today defines emotion regulation as “the ability to exert control over one’s own emotional state.” The importance of this is to grow into an emotionally healthy child and adult who can identify their emotional state and alter it if needed (such as if s/he is too angry or frustrated) and utilize coping skills to regulate those unwanted emotional states.

While this seems much too complicated for your infant (they can’t choose a specific coping skill to use, for example), emotion regulation does begin in infancy if it’s taught in the right environment. Much of an infant’s ability to regulate their emotions has a lot to do with the attachment style s/he has with the caregiver. An infant whose caregiver provides too much attention or not any attention, such as neglect, are both likely to have deficits in this skill.

Activity ideas to help an infant work on their emotion regulation:

*Most of these ideas are what the caregiver will do.

  • Give reliable and consistent protection and support to baby (secure attachment style)
  • Keep a routine
  • Modeling emotion regulation (taking a break, deep breathing, talking about emotions)
  • Help baby self-soothe with the use of a stuffed animal or pacifier
Skill #5: Expressing Emotions

Your kid learns how to express emotions from their parents by copying what they see and through their own trial and error. If an infant frowns or looks as if s/he is going to cry, the caregiver will more than likely respond with comfort or solve the problem. The infant then learns s/he will get certain reactions for certain expressions/emotions shown.

Activities to help infants learn how to express emotions:

  • Singing and dancing
  • Imaginative play
  • Reading picture books about feelings
  • Looking at pictures of other infants expressing different emotions
  • Modeling different emotions for babies and naming them.

Toddlers (1-4 years old)

The following are skills for kids that are in the toddler years.

Skill #1: Cooperating and Sharing

Cooperation is an important social skill activity category for kids. As they say, sharing is caring!

As toddlers start being social with others their age at school or a playdate, for them to make and keep friends, they must learn how to cooperate in a group and the act of sharing. Learning how to play fair and make things fair while being kind and respectful is a must at this stage in development.

Activities to help toddlers learn about cooperation and sharing:

  • Obstacle course or relay race
  • Make a tower or build something together
  • Work on a puzzle together
  • Play a game in which participants take turns
  • Follow the leader
  • Donate a toy
  • Create a sharing box or bin
  • Role-play and model sharing
  • Positively praise appropriate behavior
Skill #2: Following Directions

Now that your child is a toddler, they can walk, talk, and explore. They can also be somewhat independent throughout the day as they learn new skills. Following directions (following step-by-step instructions and learning to follow them without arguing) are skills for kids that those in the toddler years absolutely need to learn.

Activities to teach about following directions:

  • Simon Says
  • Stop, Wait, Go
  • Using books and songs with instructions
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Practice giving one to two-step directions
  • Model how to follow multi-step directions
  • Positively praise for following directions on the first prompt
Skill #3: Using Manners

Wouldn’t it be nice if all children naturally used good manners? Of course! But, the road to good manners is paved with plenty of practice and learning. That’s why caregivers and teachers need to teach, teach, and teach these skills by modeling and practicing with their toddlers.

Activities to teach manners:

  • Read books and sing songs about manners
  • Have a “tea party” or family meal where everyone practices good manners
  • Mind your Manners game
  • Practice sharing toys/craft items/sports equipment
  • Yes Please, No Thank You game
  • Keep pictures and visuals up for reminding toddlers about manners
Skill #4: Communicating Needs Appropriately

Now that toddlers can speak, it is important for them to learn how to communicate their needs appropriately. Crying, like an infant needs to, no longer works. Communication skills for kids are imperative to their success in the real world.

According to the experts at Positive Psychology, eight fundamentals of communication include empathy, pausing, introspection, turn-taking, established procedures, conversation skills, respectful vocabulary, and practice in natural settings.

Activities to promote effective communication:

  • Show and Tell
  • Turn-taking
  • Picture-telling
  • Model and practice active listening
  • Telephone
  • Charades
  • Practice asking and answering questions
Skill #5: Respecting Personal Space

Toddlers don’t yet understand what personal boundaries are and why someone might want their personal space. This needs to be taught to them explicitly. Learning the social skill of respecting personal space, toddlers will have a better chance of making and keeping friends.

Activities to promote boundaries:

  • Practice with boundary lines (tape or string on the floor)
  • Stage conversations or activities with boundary lines
  • Use visuals and stories to teach about personal space
  • Teach about parts of the body and nonverbals

Primary School (around 5-6 years old)

Once they enter preschool and kindergarten, the skills for kids get more complex and involve more internalization and self-reflection. Problem-solving skills and making choices that will affect them and others are typically learned at this stage.

Skill #1: Self-Control

The emotion regulation skills that children learn before this stage are a must when learning self-control. Emotion regulation is more about calming and self-soothing at previous stages. In contrast, self-control (a part of emotion regulation) is more about understanding that actions affect others. When kids are in this stage and in school, they need self-control to sit still, follow directions, control impulses, and act appropriately.

Activities that can help teach self-control are:

  • Simon Says
  • Freeze
  • Wait Five
  • Duck Duck Goose
  • Staring Contest
  • Follow the Leader
Skill #2: Conflict Resolution

Like self-control, conflict resolution is a more advanced skill that typically won’t be learned in the previous stage. Kids in school need to be able to solve their own interpersonal conflicts in a healthy way.

Activities that will help kids learn about conflict resolution include:

  • Role-playing scenarios
  • Point out conflicts from TV shows/movies and talk about them
  • Teach about compromising and making a “middle path”
  • Conflict Resolution Visual Task Cards
  • Model empathy
  • Practice apologizing
Skill #3: Patience

Having patience is difficult even for adults; therefore, it is important to start learning this critical social skill early on and promote patience in all sorts of situations.

Activities to practice patience include:

  • Help kids to avoid instant gratification (start slowly)
  • Give kids strategies to help them be patient (deep breathing, count to 10, etc.)
  • Use a timer or a visual when the child is waiting
  • Practice taking turns
  • Model patient behaviors
Skill #4: Good Hygiene

At this stage, potty training should be over with, and kids should be more independent when it comes to following good hygiene. Hygiene is a social skill because people are more likely to want to be around a clean, well-groomed person who smells nice. Kids can get dirty and stinky—it is beneficial to teach them what to do if this happens throughout the day.

Activities to promote good hygiene are:

  • Place hygiene-reminder visuals in the home and at school
  • Discuss the places germs hideout
  • Read books or watch videos about good hygiene
  • Have kids make their own hand-washing poster
  • Post a hygiene checklist at home (hands, face, body, hair, teeth, etc.)
  • Make hygiene fun with good-smelling and fun-colored products
Skill #5: Being a Good Sport

These skills for kids are critical. Kids will have a chance to show good sportsmanship in the classroom, at home, at recess, at birthday parties, and during sports. Those who are bad sports aren’t all that fun to play with. A social skills activity for kids that centers around sportsmanship should promote kindness, acceptance, respect, and encouragement.

Activities to teach sportsman-like behaviors include:

  • Practice playing games at home and don’t let the child win
  • Make sure the caregiver, teacher, or coach models being a good sport when they lose
  • Set the rules of the game and stick to them
  • Help the child learn from mistakes and move on with grace
  • End the game with a handshake or congratulations
  • Watch videos and read books about being a good sport.

There are some obvious and drastic physical, emotional, and physiological changes between each child development stage. This is obviously why an infant, toddler, and primary-aged child will work on different social skills activities, but many build upon each other.

For example:

  • An infant works on emotion regulation and coping using a blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier; infants also have a secure attachment with their caregiver and can self-regulate by snuggling or being held.
  • A toddler continues to work on emotion regulation by expressing feelings, finding other items that are comforting aside from a pacifier, and they begin to actively learn more about emotions and feelings.
  • A primary school-aged child works on emotion regulation by asking for help, identifying emotions and specific coping skills to go along with more difficult ones, and talking to others about their feelings.

The result will be similar: the child, over time, will learn how to cope and regulate his/her own emotions, yet the strategies used will become more advanced, and thought will be put into actions and consequences.

Each of these social skills listed are critical to teach children—at home and in a school setting. Without them, healthy children may grow up to be maladaptive and not function on the same level as similar peers. We all want our children to be successful and have the most effective tools or social skills to be so.

Where do Kids Develop Skills Best? Pros and Cons

At Home via Homeschooling or Virtual Learning


Children who are taught at home during their early primary school years can absolutely be trained on various social skills. In a way, being at home while learning social skills may give the caregiver more control over the environment and what will be taught and how. Being at home can give the child more one-on-one attention, and caregivers may have more time and flexibility to introduce the child to novel experiences, such as going to a museum and practicing certain skills. At this time during the pandemic, technology has made it easier for students who learn at home to get access to other students and activities via Zoom or another online platform.


Some children who are taught at home have less access to peers and groups of peers necessary to teach certain social skills. Many skills, such as showing good sportsmanship, cooperation, and self-control, would best be learned and practiced with other children around. Caregivers may need to be a little more creative when thinking of social skills activities to use when there aren’t many other children involved.

In a School Environment


Interactive social skills activities for kids are sometimes much easier to create in a classroom setting due to having access to multiple students in one area. Not only can teachers do whole-group instruction on skills, but they can also differentiate by grouping students based on need and skill level. It is always beneficial for kids to be around other kids in a social environment. In the classroom, teachers can also embed social skills training into each subject area and within each environment at the school by using a classroom matrix.

An example of how social skills are promoted within an educational setting is Cadence Education’s Kind Child. Each month, teachers working in a Cadence school focus on developing valuable character traits like friendship, thankfulness, and a positive self-image. They advocate for a “kind child, kind school, and kind community.”


Students getting social skills training in a classroom setting may not get as much one-on-one attention due to classroom demands and the number of other students in the class. Also, certain students may be poor examples in relation to social skills, and vulnerable children may pick up on bad habits if not addressed.

Regardless of the caregiver’s learning environment, social skills should be explicitly taught, and appropriate behaviors should be positively praised and rewarded.

Prepare Your Children to Thrive

Schools that know a thing or two about positively teaching and promoting social skills among children are Cadence Education schools. They also provide students with engaging and creative content-based lessons while using various types of curriculum.

The Ascend Curriculum combines skills-based learning across nine different learning domains, including literacy, math, science, physical fitness, creative expression, social-emotional development, cultural understanding, technology, and language.

Another curriculum offered in some Cadence schools is the Pinnacle Curriculum, a faith-based curriculum designed to encourage children to develop their emerging skills in developmental areas while discovering and experiencing God’s love.

Some Cadence Education schools also offer Montessori and Private Kindergarten programs as well.

Cadence staff provide parents with peace of mind by giving children an exceptional education every fun-filled day in a place as nurturing as home.

Cadence may be the right fit for your child—a place where they can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

Are you interested in finding out how a Cadence Education school can benefit your child? Click here to search for a school in your area and contact someone from Cadence to learn more.

Social skills of preschoolers - the development of social skills in children

The development of social skills is a necessary point of education. A child with a high degree of socialization will quickly get used to kindergarten, school, any new team; in the future will easily find a job. Social skills have a positive effect on interpersonal relationships - friendship, the ability to cooperate.

Let's figure out what social skills are.

What are social skills and why develop them?

Social skills - a group of skills, abilities that are formed during the interaction of a person with society and affect the quality of communication with people.

Man is a social being: all our talents and aspirations are realized thanks to other members of the group. Others evaluate our actions, approve or condemn our behavior. It is difficult to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization alone.

That is why social skills are important. They should be developed from early childhood and honed throughout life.

Social skills are a reflection of the child's emotional intelligence, to which educators and teachers assign an important role in the process of personality development. Without this group of skills, a smart child will not be able to apply the acquired knowledge in practice: it is not enough to create something outstanding, you need to be able to correctly convey thoughts to the public.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that social skills relate exclusively to the topic of communication, communication. In fact, skills include many multidirectional aspects: an adequate perception of one's own individuality, the ability to empathize, work in a team, etc.

Why do we need social skills?

  1. Regulate the area of ​​interpersonal relationships: the child easily makes new friends, finds like-minded people.
  2. Minimize psychological stress: children with developed social skills quickly adapt, do not feel sad due to changes in external circumstances.
  3. They form an adequate self-esteem from childhood, which positively affects life achievements and development in adulthood.
  4. Social skills cannot be separated from building a successful career: the best specialists must not only understand the profession, but also have high emotional intelligence.

Development of social skills in a child

Social skills need to be developed from preschool age, but older children and even teenagers may well learn to interact with the world.

It is recommended to pay attention to areas of life that bring discomfort to the child, significantly complicate everyday life.

  1. Friends, interesting interlocutors: the kid does not know how to join the team, he prefers to sit in the corner while the others play.
  2. Verbal difficulties. The child does not understand the rules of conversation, is poorly versed in the formulas of etiquette (when you need to say hello, say goodbye, offer help).
  3. Problems with the non-verbal side of communication. Such a baby does not recognize the shades of emotions, it is difficult to understand how others relate to him. Cannot "read" faces and gestures.
  4. Does not know the measure in expressing a point of view: too passive or, conversely, aggressive.
  5. The child bullies classmates (participates in bullying) or is a victim.

In case of severe moral trauma, one should consult a psychologist: for example, school bullying is a complex problem that children are not able to cope with on their own. The involvement of parents and teachers is required.

In other cases, family members may well be able to help the child develop social skills.

What are the general recommendations?


Be patient

Don't push your child to get the job done. Let them take the initiative: for example, do not rush to help during school gatherings, let the baby work on the problem on his own. The same goes for lessons and other activities.

2. Support undertakings

Children's dreams seem trifling to adults, but the initiative turns into a habit over the years and helps to discover new projects, meet people, and experiment.

3. Criticize the right way

When making negative comments, remember the golden rule of criticism: analyze the work, highlighting both positive and negative sides in a polite manner. Commenting on the specific actions of the child, and not his personality or appearance - this will lead to problems with self-esteem.

4. The right to choose

It is important for children to feel that their voice is taken into account and influences the course of events. Invite your child to personally choose clothes, books, cartoons. Ask about ideas, plans: “We are going to have a rest together at the weekend. What are your suggestions?

5. Personal space

Make sure that the baby has a place where he can be alone and take a break from talking. Personal things should not be touched: rearrange without prior discussion, read correspondence with friends, check pockets, etc.

Children, noticing the respectful attitude of adults, quickly begin to pay in the same coin; the atmosphere in the family becomes warm and trusting.

What social skills should be developed in a child?

Let's dwell on the main qualities and skills, the development of which is worth paying attention to.

1. The ability to ask, accept and provide help

Without the ability to ask for help, the child will deprive himself of valuable advice; the lack of the ability to accept help will lead to losses, and the inability to provide help will make the baby self-centered.

  • Let the child help those in need: for example, a lagging classmate.
  • Explain to your child that getting help from friends and teachers is not a shame.
  • Show by personal example that mutual help enriches experience: tell how you exchange advice with colleagues, friends.

2. The ability to conduct a conversation and get the right information

Being a good conversationalist is difficult, but the skill is honed over time and brings a lot of benefits.

  • Prompt your child for dialogue development options: for example, you can start a conversation with a relevant question, a request for help.
  • Do not leave the child in the role of a silent listener: when discussing pressing issues at home, ask the opinion of the baby.
  • Support children's public speaking: presentations at school, performances, funny stories surrounded by loved ones will add confidence.

3. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to recognize the emotions of others, put yourself in the place of another person, empathize.

This ability will make the child humane, prudent. How can it be developed?

  • Start by recognizing the child's feelings - it is useless to listen to people if the person does not feel personal experiences. Ask your baby: “How do you feel after a quarrel with friends?”, “Do you want to relax today?”
  • After conflicts with classmates, ask your child how the children with whom the quarrel may feel now.
  • While watching cartoons, reading books, pay your child's attention to the emotional state of the characters.

4. Ability to work in a team

Many children can easily cope with tasks alone, but this is not a reason to refuse to work in a team. It gives the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience, delegate tasks, achieve goals faster and more efficiently.

  • If the child does not communicate with members of the team, try to introduce him to another social group: for example, the lack of communication with classmates can be compensated by a circle of interests, where the child will feel calmer.
  • Make the family a friendly team in which the child has his own "duties": for example, do housework, remind parents of upcoming events. Any activity related to the well-being of other family members will do.

5. Respect for personal boundaries

The absence of an obsessive desire to interfere in other people's lives is a valuable skill that helps to win people's sympathy.

  • Respect the child's personal boundaries: do not enter the nursery unannounced, do not rummage through personal belongings and correspondence, if the matter does not concern the life and safety of the baby.
  • If the child violates other people's boundaries (takes toys without permission, asks uncomfortable questions), talk about it in private.

6. Ability to overcome conflict situations

It is difficult to imagine our life without conflicts. The task of the child is to learn how to culturally enter into a discussion, defend his point of view, and not be led by the provocations of his interlocutors.

  • Discuss problems that arise calmly, without raising your voice. Do not put pressure on the child with parental authority unnecessarily: the child is a separate person who has the right to an opinion.
  • Do not judge people for views that differ from those of your family but do not affect your well-being. Show your child that the world is very different.
  • You can demonstrate to children the basics of a civilized dispute, explain what arguments are, etc. It is advisable to teach this child in kindergarten.

7. Self-confidence

Stable and adequate self-esteem is a quality that not all adults possess.

It is formed under the influence of many factors: relationships between parents, the role of the child in the family circle, the characteristics of the environment that surrounded the child in early childhood.

It is important that the child does not grow up to be either a narcissistic narcissist with fragile self-esteem, or an overly shy person. How can you help your child find balance?

  • Praise your child for personal progress: to receive a compliment from parents, it is not necessary to win prizes in school competitions. The zeal of the baby, the interest shown and the stamina also deserve praise.
  • Explain, remind the children that initially they are worthy of respect and love, like all people around.

Social skills will help in many areas of life: in studies, hobbies, friendships, building a reputation in a team. The main thing is to encourage and support children at all stages.

Emotional intelligence for children

We introduce children to the types of emotions, how to manage them and how to express themselves in teamwork, through situational games

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Development of social skills in children

Development of social skills in children prepares them for favorable interaction in all areas of life. Social skills are an essential part of functioning in society. Demonstrating good manners, communicating effectively with others, being sensitive to the feelings of others, and expressing personal needs are very important components of basic social skills. Helping children develop these important skills requires a range of strategies at each stage of development.

Steps to develop social skills :

1. Demonstrate social skills to children. Babies enjoy social interaction, which is expressed by their smiles and coos. At this stage, children are aware only of their needs and desires.

Talk to babies . When they cry and make sounds, answer them in your own language. This encourages children to try to talk to you

Encourage them to be considerate of others. By responding to their cries and needs, you teach children to be considerate of the needs of others. Show attention and love. Kissing and hugging are essential for the social development of children. These are the basic needs at this stage of development and one should not think that excessive attention will only spoil the baby. Be calm with children. A crying baby who has kept you up all night may disappoint you. However, exhaling and calming down before taking the child in your arms, you thereby simulate the harmony of the social environment.

2. Help little ones to respect people and their things. In the infancy stage, babies can say some words and sentences. They tend to play alone and dislike sharing their toys with others. Create a social environment at home. Invite your friends who have children so that the baby gets used to the company of adults and children. Teach toddlers the basics: share toys, gently touch people and pets. Reward good behavior. When toddlers show gentleness and share their toys, praise them.

3. Help preschoolers to expand their circle of friends. Preschoolers can already verbalize their feelings and should be encouraged to make friends with other children. Organize social activities for preschoolers. To enhance your preschooler's social interaction, host parties at home. Visit and invite your neighbors who have children. Teach preschoolers to use their words, not fists. Explain why this is important. Pay attention to how the offended person feels in a fight is child , and teach preschoolers to apologize if they hurt another child. Teach preschool children to talk about their feelings. Ask them to explain how they feel around other children and help them find words to describe their feelings.

4. Develop social skills in school-age children . When children go to school, they are placed in an environment that provides them with opportunities to interact with each other, share toys, and communicate with other people about their feelings and needs.

Show good manners. Children observe and imitate adults . Teach them social skills by setting good examples and greeting people warmly.

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