The most common expectation that parents might expect of their child at school is to learn well and achieve great scores. But many skills are just as important besides the academic aspect.

Studies show that another important skill that children need to learn is social skills. Social skill makes them learn how to cooperate, control themselves, show confidence, independence, curiosity, empathy, and communication.

Social skills are skills that are used when we build relationships and interact with others. These skills will develop as someone gets older, including children.

Developing children’s social skills will prepare them to have healthy interactions with those around them. Demonstrating politeness, communicating effectively, paying attention to other people’s feelings, and expressing personal needs are important components of social skills.

Therefore, as a parent helping your child develop this skill is important. You will need a different set of strategies at each stage of development.

For some children, they will naturally feel comfortable socialize than others. This is the type of person that other people like. Like any skill, social skills can be learned. However, what is important is that children are willing to build a good relationship with others, can empathize and interact appropriately, and have the skills to adapt in all situations.

You can start practicing their social skills from infancy. Babies cannot tell them what they want right away. This means that you need to pay attention to the cues the baby is giving. When you know what your baby needs, give it to them. If that does not work, you may have misinterpreted their needs, and you should try something else.

Adults sometimes make the mistake of thinking that children’s playtime is just for fun. In fact, children acquire many skills through play. That is how they explore the world around them, and it should be encouraged for them to learn new skills as they play.

As babies, they explore their world through play and they can learn new skills. Parents can choose to reinforce certain skills by giving positive feedback to their baby. This allows your baby to develop self-confidence.

In general, children will develop certain social skills at the following ages:

Children 2 to 3 years old

Starting to be able to seek attention from others. At this stage, they initiate social contact with other people both verbally (saying “Hi” and “Bye”) and physically seeing the person who is talking, have the ability to take turns talking, and laugh at funny objects and events.

Children 3 to 4 years old

Children can learn to take turns when playing games, playing with dolls, and initiating verbal communication with actual words.

Children 4 to 5 years old

At this age, children can show more cooperation with others by using direct requests (such as “Stop”). They also interact more often and pretend to be playing.

Children 5 to 6 years old

At this age, children can please their friends, for example by saying words like “Sorry,” “Please,” and “Thank you,”. In addition, they are also started to apply strategy in bargaining, playing competitive games, and understanding the fair and good play.

Therefore, playing time is an important part of growth. Schedule your children’s playing time with your family and their friends. This is a great way to introduce your children to the concept of using rules when a friend comes and to teach them how to be polite to others.

Other things can also help further enhance your child’s social development:

Teaches empathy: Try to have different scenarios with your children by asking them how other people feel when certain things happen, and alternate different situations each time.

Explain personal space: Tell children that everyone has a personal space to feel comfortable and practice acceptable ways to interact with someone during playtime.

Practice social invitations: Teach children appropriate ways to start a conversation, get someone’s attention, or join a group of kids who are already playing together. These are all situations that can be discussed and think about at the dinner table, in the car on the way to school, or in activities.

Take turns: Sit with your children for at least an hour a day and play with them to explain what it means to wait, take turns, and share.

To have a great relationship with each other, it is important that children learn and can practice social skills that socially being accepted by everyone. It is important to teach them to behave in a way that allows them to develop relationships with other people.

As children get older, they interact more and more with people in situations where parental supervision is not often possible. Therefore, for what they have learned at home and school about socializing, they will learn to make friends in their peer groups.

This friendship is important for all children to develop. Friends have an important function for children which cannot be replaced by parents. They play an important role in shaping children’s social skills and their identity.

May 9, 2021

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