As a child grows, adults in their lives are responsible for teaching them manners and social skills. Here are 10 Social Skills that every child should know:
- Introducing Themselves: something as simple and brave as walking up to someone new and saying “Hi! I’m Jake!” can lead to wonderful adventures and the beginnings of new friendships.
- Asking for help: we need to let children know that it’s okay to ask for help; there is nothing wrong with admitting that they don’t understand how to do something, or aren’t able to complete a task on their own. Asking for help will encourage self-confidence by engaging with the person they want help from.
- Staying on task: it may seem a little daunting for both the adult and the child, however learning to stay on task for a period of time will help children complete their work, with less difficulty in the long run. Start off with small steps, small periods of time to complete small tasks; extend these periods over time until they can complete longer, more complex tasks.
- Disagreeing Appropriately: this skill enables children to be empowered to stand up for themselves and still be respectful and dignified. This skill is essential because once children have reached adolescence, they are more likely to have “normal” disagreements with their parents, teachers, and other children. They will also need to be made aware that just because they have disagreed with someone, it does not mean that the other person will change their opinion or decision.
- Accepting “No” for an answer: this skill coincides with “disagreeing appropriately”; when a decision is made, especially when receiving a “no” from an authority figure, children need to be able to take that answer and go with it. They should understand the consequences of acting out when a “no” is given to them in response to an activity or a question. It’s important to reenforce why that particular decision has been reached.
- Showing appreciation: a simple “thank you” will always be enough to show appreciation. A hug or kiss to a loved one is simply an added bonus.
- Making an apology: as children, as well as adults, it is important to admit when you are wrong, apologies can do the world of good when someone has been hurt or harmed by actions or words. Learning this from an early age is certain to assist social skills later in life. It’s also important to emphasise that they should not apologise when they have not actually done the wrong thing.
- Controlling emotions: this one is even hard for grown-ups at times! but if you can show your child positive reinforcement for controlling their emotions (especially in public arenas) they will gain an understanding of the reasons that this is such an important social skill.
- Accepting consequences or criticism: the above nine points all lead into the last one; whether the consequences or criticisms received are good or bad, a child needs to be able to accept the result of their actions. As adults, it’s important to give constructive criticism to children and not belittle or embarrass them by showing negative behaviour towards them. As we teach the children to do, adults must also show dignity and respect when dealing with difficult situations.
At Angel’s Paradise, we seek to help in development with these social skills in a constructive and respectful way through learning and appreciating each other.