Social skills are what help us make new friends and work well with our peers at work, school, or university etc. There are lots of things parents can do to help equip their children with the necessary social skills to succeed in life, as explored below by a private school in Hampshire.

The best thing you can do to help your child become more socially proficient is to encourage them to socialise as much as possible. Arrange playdates with their school friends, invite your own friends over so that they can interact with adults as well as children, and even encourage them to join extra-curricular activities where they can meet other children with similar interests.

Role play some conversations with your child, so that they can learn how to keep a conversation going. Encourage your child to ask questions that can’t necessarily be answered with a yes or no, as this is the best way to learn about other people and form connections. Some examples:

– What did you do over the weekend?

– What’s your favourite TV show?

– What do you want to be when you grow up?

– What do you think of the new [insert pop star] song?

– What are your hobbies?

– What was the last book you ever read?

– What is your favourite subject?

You should also teach your child about body language. This will not only help them express themselves, but it will also help them read other people and understand how to respond. For example, if someone is crying, it would be inappropriate to laugh. Remind your child that it’s important to make eye contact when chatting to people and smiling helps people appear more friendly and approachable.

Teach your child to have empathy for others by discussing some scenarios and asking your child how they might feel if that was them. Explain that listening to others when they’re talking and responding appropriately is important. For instance, if someone is struggling with something, your child might offer to help in some way.

Most importantly, you’ll need to be a good role model. Consider how you interact with others when your child is around, as they will learn through observation. Are you well mannered? Do you show empathy? Do you share and take turns? Let your child learn how they should behave by showing them what they should and shouldn’t do.

*Collaborative post

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