A human being is a social animal! We all have read that line in our science book. It is still there in our children’s book and we read it out to them too. This set of social skills is instilled in them after birth.
As grown-ups, we wish to go out, socialize, hang out and spend time with our friends or family. That is because we understand the value of it. Similarly, as a parent we want our kids to socialize, to be a part of social groups, activities and adapt to various social skill.
But, according to many recent reports, nowadays, children are increasingly lonely, bored, frustrated and impatient. One major reason is they don’t socialize and therefore, there is a lack of social skill development.
But what is the big worry about it?
Why Children Aren’t Socializing?
Screen Time Addiction –
The major reason is the digital addiction. Children long to be in front of the screen more than they long to socialize. Since they are hesitant to socialize, their social skills remain undeveloped.
It’s not that the children don’t have friends. Ironically, they have virtual friends and they are interacting more on social media platforms than exploring outside and socializing. This is ultimately resulting in children failing to handle interpersonal social situations.
Personality Traits –
Sometimes being an introvert is a personality trait. As long as kids are shy but focussed, it is absolutely ok. Enough shy people like Azim Premji have excelled in life. Just that they cannot do small talk or better known as social talk. But give them a topic of their choice and watch them in action. They can discuss it for hours altogether. Being shy is absolutely ok.
Parents themselves are the reason too –
Yes, it is time for self-examination. Because with busy lifestyles, parents themselves are not socializing and are unable to take their children out to meet new people. Hence kids lock themselves in a room and spend time on social media with their friends. Their interest in going out and socializing reduces. Instead of social skills, their social media skills are getting developed.
Now that sounds serious, right?
If this is the case, then it’s the time to take this on priority.
Don’t worry. It is not as difficult as you think.
How To Teach Social Skills To Children Easily?
Play An Eye Contact Game –
Maintaining eye contact says a lot! It signifies that we are listening to and respecting the other person. We all have played this game in a school as a part of the fun. We look into another person’s eye and the one who blinks the eye first loses the game. Remember?
Play this game with your children. In case your child doesn’t have social skills, it means they are either shy or scared. Playing this game among family will reduce both, the fear and shyness. Slowly, your kid’s comfort zones will expand and he will start socializing a bit better.
Since we are on this topic, let us take a deeper dive into, who is a Shy kid?.
Being shy is a choice. Such kids are more comfortable and happy with themselves. But, it doesn’t stop his progress. Shyness is about the personality trait. Shy children can talk but only with the right people and their favorite topic.
For example – There’s one shy boy who loves football. If he has friends who are football lover too, you will observe him talking with that group for hours. The kid is more comfortable with them than others, maybe even more than his own parents.
There is another positive side to it. An introvert kid has fewer distractions while studying. Since they are less interested in mindless socializing, they are more focused on what they are doing.
A Scared Kid –
On the other hand, being scared is a matter of concern. Playing this game often will reduce the fear of people. Eye to eye contact, even if it is a game, will reduce their fear of people. You may also ask them to look at you while they are talking to you. Once the fear of people decreases, they will socialize more.
Exposure To New Places –
One of the very interesting ways to develop social skill is making children explore various types of places.
For example – Take children to places like a reading club. It will not just help them socialize, but will also increase their intellectual level. Children will understand what book reading is and how various readers use voice modulation and its impact on reading? They will get exposure to various genres of books. Include the child in the discussions there. Ask them about the meaning of new words they learned today. Doing this will help improve their social skills.
Isn’t it a positive way to help child socialize?
Model A Good Social Behavior –
Every basic training of the child starts at home. The school and the teachers there will obviously teach about subjects, but to inculcate social skills, parents are the first role models for the children. They are the first teachers as children learn maximum from their parents at their early age. They observe and adapt what their parents do.
Be polite to other parents and kids, and kids will imitate. Be rude to others, the kids will be rude too
Forcing Will Not Help –
Think about a situation where you and your little one are in the garden. You observe that your little one is not talking to other kids, neither is he or she interested in playing. Rather they feel shy to ask for space during various rides. In such situations, instead of forcing them, you just ask them, what is bothering them? What is it that is stopping them from having fun?
Do not shout at them if they do not listen. It bottles them up and stops them from sharing things. They will start keeping things to themselves. Your positive words support the children to be optimistic.
We always wish for the best for our little souls. Let’s help them socialize and gain more real-life experiences that will help grow, explore and achieve.
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