Building Strong Connections: Parenting Social Skills in Kids
Parenting Social Skills – Part 1 – In this episode, Ms Swati Salunke discusses how parents can cater to social skills among their children. A lot of times parents share that their child is fantastic in academics, but somehow they lack social skills.
To start with what do you mean by social skills, it’s not what you see online or in the virtual world but in the real world, now what could be the skills? Be it at home, in society, school, or at the workplace, there are certain skill sets that are required to be adapted, to adjust, and to make the most of it in our lives.
So to start with it, what could be those few social skills that we should talk about? When we talk about listening to the first question which comes up is listening to that difficult?
Listening is just not paying attention, listening is giving eye-to-eye contact and giving time which a child requires from their formative age. Parents need to set aside certain things which are not so important and If you are in between something explain to them that you are in between something and you will definitely get back. Be it a child, an elderly person somebody who is doing a menial job, or somebody who is authoritative.
Listen; just listen to what the instruction is and what is expected and also something that is not said through body language. Listening is a very important social skill. Followed with listening would be sharing. A lot of time teenagers also say “I can’t share so and so things with my parents or I can’t share so and so things with XYZ”.
Yes, we do have our individual choices of sharing things, but it is very important to share things in day-to-day life. Have seen a lot of families with separate rooms, individual names written on the pillow cover, on the bedsheet, on the towel, and all the possible things children use, and when there are siblings or other relatives in the family, they say it’s mine, or I can’t give you my share of so and so things.
It’s good to have your personal space but sharing is the most important human element. A lot of time we come across families who say that their child doesn’t share, it is not only about things the child doesn’t share but the feelings too.
So, how to show them share and care? Sharing starts right from early childhood these days, and need not be something very specific, if it is not shared at home, the child finds it difficult to share things when the child goes to school be it notes or any other school-related things.
Further, as they grow up they find it difficult to share their feelings or their true self. So start sharing feelings, remember charity begins at home. Right from the beginning if the child is used to or is accustomed to the parents or the elderly people who are giving him /her certain instructions the child needs to obey them. Most of the time we obey certain rules be it being on time, or being properly dressed, or certain kinds of rituals that are followed in the family. Start it right from the beginning.
Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs) for Parenting Social Skills
1. Why are social skills important for children?
Social skills are crucial because they help children form positive relationships, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and succeed in various social settings, both in childhood and later in life.
2. How can parents foster the development of social skills in their children?
Parents can foster social skills by modeling positive behavior, providing opportunities for social interactions, teaching empathy and active listening, and offering guidance on conflict resolution.
3. What are some common social skills that parents should focus on teaching?
Common social skills include making eye contact, taking turns, sharing, using polite language, showing empathy, and respecting personal space.
4. Are there age-appropriate social skills milestones for children?
Yes, social skills milestones vary by age. For example, young children might focus on sharing, while older children may work on more complex skills like active listening and understanding social cues.
5. How can parents help children develop empathy and emotional intelligence?
Parents can teach empathy by encouraging perspective-taking, discussing feelings openly, and modeling empathy in their own interactions and relationships.
6. What strategies can parents use to address common social challenges, such as bullying or peer pressure?
Parents can address social challenges by providing guidance on assertiveness, teaching problem-solving skills, and maintaining open communication with their children about their experiences.
7. Is it normal for children to have occasional social difficulties or shyness?
Yes, it’s normal for children to experience social difficulties or shyness at times. It’s important for parents to provide support and encouragement while respecting their child’s comfort level.
8. How can technology and screen time impact children’s social development?
Excessive screen time can potentially hinder social development. Parents can balance screen time with face-to-face interactions and encourage digital etiquette and responsible use.
9. What resources are available to help parents improve their own social skills for better parenting?
10. How can parents address social skill differences in siblings or children with special needs?
Parents can tailor their approach to each child’s individual needs, provide additional support as necessary, and promote understanding and acceptance among siblings.