Some children seem to have a natural ability to make friends easily while others can struggle to make friends. Parents often worry about the later’s social skills and there are ways you can help improve your child develop better social skills. We’ve listed some ways to help your child develop their social skills in Toronto.
Following your child’s interests is a good starting place for it’s here they feel most comfortable. They might love playing a particular sport, or a musical instrument even being part of an activity they enjoy. Being involved in something they love is somewhere they feel comfortable and sharing an interest is a good place to make friends. It’s good to make friends with different interests but being with those who share their passions is a good place to begin.
Children can feel nervous when a conversation lags and this can impede their attempts to form friendships. Asking questions is a great way to learn about other people and find interests you might share. You can teach your child to ask specific questions about the person they’re talking to that can’t be answered with a yes or no. Most people like to feel someone is genuinely interested in getting to know more about them.
Pretend to be someone your child is talking to, role playing is a great way for them to practice their social skills. You can even switch roles and show them examples of how to act.
Empathy can be taught, it helps your child understand how the other person is feeling. It’s a social skill that helps a child connect with another person and form a positive bond.
As a parent you want to see your child do well socially, keep in mind your own child’s limitations. There are some children with a natural ability to make friends and feel at ease in any social situation. Your child may be a shy and more introverted one and you want to be mindful of their limits. Younger children and those with special needs may only feel comfortable socializing for an hour or so.
Your child watches your interactions with others so be a good role model and let them learn from your example. When you show interest in those social situations you’re teaching them.
Are you looking for ways to develop your child’s social skills, contact Behaviour Matters in Toronto and let’s talk about how we can help.