Communication and socialization

8 tricks to develop children's social skills that every parent should know

Learning social and communication skills begins in the child's first months and continues throughout his life. Children learn these skills implicitly and easily thanks to the early experiences of social interactions that are provided by their family environment, but even so, at home we can strengthen them. We give you 7 tricks to develop children's social skills from home, and these interactions are the basis of learning in the early years of the child, helping him to feel confident and secure for his social-emotional development.

They are a set of complex interpersonal behaviors that come into play when interacting with other people. They are necessary to properly interact with others, to make decisions, resolve conflicts, detect own emotions and those of others, among others.

The first social skills children acquire are listening, starting a conversation, holding a conversation, asking a question, thanking, introducing themselves, and paying a compliment. Then there are the skills related to feelings, such as knowing your own feelings, expressing them, understanding the feelings of others and expressing affection.

And finally, we find the most advanced social skills. Here are asked for help, participate, give instructions, apologize and convince others.

All parents want our children to have good social and communication skills, to have friends, to be empathetic, assertive and able to resolve conflicts. But do we do what we proclaim and demand of our children?

Reflecting on one's own social behavior is key to accompany our children in the process of acquiring social skills. Parents play a fundamental role in social-emotional education by being emotionally significant figures for them and directly influencing them.

There is research that lists contributing factors to developing and strengthening children's social skills.

1. Clear rules
When parents teach social rules to their children, it is easier for them to act according to the context and the interlocutor. Ex: The way to address a teacher should not be the same as that used with a close relative. There are places where you should be quiet and others where you can talk.

2. Explanation of what is expected of them
Sometimes children do not know how to respond to certain situations, so it is important to make it explicit. Ex: If a friend won an award, expect them to congratulate him. If someone is sad, expect them to worry about him.

3. Environment that encourages dialogue
It is important that there is space to talk, share experiences and emotions within the family environment. Eg: sharing a meal together, it can be breakfast or dinner as a family. At that time do not use electronic devices that hinder communication.

4. Open conversation about conflicts
Help to reflect through questions making a memory of the conflict situation and how you could act to resolve it. The idea is not to solve the problem or tell him what to do, but to provide tools for the child to solve them.

5. Support and containment
A child who feels content by his family will have better interpersonal skills, being able to respond appropriately in his social environment: school, club, other social settings. For this, you can participate jointly in recreational and recreational activities. It encourages you to create social situations so that the child can have opportunities to participate and learn. Examples: Inviting colleagues from school or club home. Do not always invite your best friend or with whom you feel most comfortable, but have the possibility to meet others. Have pajama parties, picnics, participate in sports teams in extracurricular situations, which can expand the circle of friends beyond school or their close environment.

6. Expression and understanding of emotions by all members of the family
If parents express their own emotions, the child is more likely to do so as well. In addition, parents must find a balance. Be neither authoritarian nor permissive, finding a balance is essential.

7. Everyday displays of affection
If the parents are affectionate and demonstrative, they will enable the child to do it spontaneously.

8. Promotion of autonomy
Accompany the child allowing him to gradually resolve social situations autonomously.

Parents are the main socio-emotional models of our children, if we want our children to express their emotions, we must express ours. If we want them to talk and tell about their experiences, we have to share what happens to us. Generating a space for listening and contention by empathizing with them is key so that they can also empathize with others.

In this accompaniment process, they will be able to find their own social tools based on the parenting model that was provided. And do not forget that children learn through observation, imitation and continuous interaction, they learn from what they see!

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