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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 in 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, society, school or at the workplace, there are certain skill sets which are required to be adapted, to adjust and 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 questions which comes up is listening to that difficult?

Listening is just not paying attention, listening is giving an 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 it to them that you are in between something and you will definitely get back. Be it a child, elderly person or 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 which is not said through the body language. Listening is a very important social skill. Followed with listening would be sharing. A lot of time teenagers also tell “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, buy it is very important to share things in a 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, all the possible things child’s 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 my 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, 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 in the 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 or is accustomed to the parents or the elderly people who are giving him /her certain instructions the child needs to obey it. Most of the time when we obey certain rules be it being on time, or being properly dressed or certain kind of rituals that are followed in the family. Start it right from the beginning.