#AtoZ Parenting

How to Improve Social Skills in Your Child?

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 should parents take the child’s social skills seriously?

Let’s find out 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 gone on to excel 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 for hours together. Being shy is absolutely ok.

Parents themselves are the reason too-

Yes, it is a time for self-examination. Because with busy lifestyles, parents themselves are not socializing and are unable to take their children to meet new people in new situations. Hence kids lock themselves in the room and get connected on social media to their friends. Their interest in going out 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 an 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 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 too. Slowly, your kid’s comfort zones will expand and they 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 about 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 their 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 uses voice modulations and its impact on reading? Their exposure to various genres of books will be higher. Include the child in the discussions there. Ask them about the meaning of a new word that they learned today. Their socialization, communication, and knowledge will increase.

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 are doing.

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 she interested in playing. She is feeling shy to ask for space on the 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 and lines 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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The Author

Manasi Kulkarni-Kutwal

Manasi Kulkarni-Kutwal

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