How to develop better interpersonal skills in children

The year 2020 has been a difficult one, especially for children. As they are being confined to their homes most of the time, many are lacking good interpersonal skills. These skills are significant for children to excel in real life. However, with limited social interactions, parents worry about how to make the kids more sociable. You can check out a few tips in this blog that could help in developing your child’s interpersonal skills.

  1. Sharing: It is never too early to develop the habit of sharing in children. Children as young as two show a desire to share, but only if their resources are abundant. They might be reluctant to share half a cookie with a friend because it means they will have less to enjoy. While parents might not want to force their child to share certain things, it helps if they regularly point out sharing when they see it. Praise the child when they share and indicate how it makes others feel.
  2. Cooperating: Good cooperation skills are an essential interpersonal skill to ensure that children successfully get along within a community. Whether it is a classroom or a playground, children need to learn how to cooperate with others around them. Parents can talk to their children about teamwork and how they can get their work done better if everyone pitches in. You can do that by assigning your children specific tasks during dinner time. One kid is responsible for setting up the table, and the other is for clearing it up when everyone is finished.
  3. Listening: It is one of the most essential skills to develop healthy communication habits amongst children. Giving your child plenty of opportunities to develop their listening skills would help them in their class, their work as well as in their future relationships. You can practice this by asking them questions about the book during their storytime. Ask them to fill any missing gaps, and about what they think about the events taking place in the story. Encouraging them not to interrupt when the other person is talking is also necessary.
  4. Respecting personal space: Parents should create household rules that encourage children to respect others’ personal space. You can do this by asking them to always knock before entering someone’s room and keeping their hands to themselves when meeting new people. If your child snatches things out of others’ hands or pushes other children, you should establish consequences.
  5. Eye contact: Making eye contact with the person you are speaking to is a skill many children find hard to master. You can make them learn this by showing them how it feels to hold a conversation with someone who is not making eye contact. Ask them to tell you a story while you look away or get distracted by other things. Later, ask them to tell you another story while making appropriate eye contact with them. You can then ask the children to tell you how each situation made them feel.
  6. Manners: Saying the magic words such as “please” and “thank you” go a long way in developing your child’s social skills. A well-mannered child gets respected by teachers, peers, and other parents. This can be achieved by being a good role model for them. By using “please” and “thank you” yourself while talking to your children would make them follow you. Offering reminders when the child forgets to use manners and praising them when they are polite helps encourage them.

Empathy for anyone different from them: Children are not born racist or unempathetic; they learn this from their surroundings. Parents should make sure that their child is friends with other children of all racial and financial backgrounds. The more diverse their friends are, the more empathetic your child would be towards their community. It includes being friends with children who are differently-abled. Make your children learn that every person is different, and that does not make anyone better or less than the other.

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