Developing Your Child’s Social Skills and Dealing with Strangers

Socialisation stems from human’s natural desire to be in the company of other people aside from their own family. It involves the process of social learning where they learn social behaviours by observing others. Indeed, it will be impossible for one to live by themselves all alone.

Children are born, taken care of, and raised by parents, carers, or the other persons belonging to the family. As they grow older, they realise how wonderful it is to have some caring people around them, doing their best to give them the love, care, and protection they need. These lovely experiences are also provided by Wyralla Road Kindergarten in Miranda!

Toddlers and preschoolers experience values such as love, respect, politeness, kindness, courtesy, helpfulness, obedience, honesty, and love from their families. These character traits are being taught and most often caught at home, in the community, and during their early learning in Miranda as these will help kids later in life to easily deal with other people as they meet them in their neighbourhood, school, and other places where their social skills will be developed further. Strengthening their social skills will be essential in helping them deal with others towards positive and harmonious relationships.

    
The knowledge of how kids should behave in the company of their peers will help them interact with other kids in various situations like playing, eating, and schooling, pleasantly. Kids who are being trained on how to behave properly in situations where other kids are also involved learn to be more confident, respectful, and capable of getting along better with siblings, friends, and classmates that they meet at school.

These are ways on how to develop your child’s social skills while teaching them how to be cautious in dealing with strangers:

Expressing through Words

Teach your children the words and phrases that will help them express their feelings. When they are with other kids at playtime, greetings such as, “Hi!”, “How are you?”, “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon” and “Good Evening” will show his goodwill in meeting them. Courteous expressions like “Excuse me,” “May I borrow this?”, “You’re Welcome” and saying “Please” are also taught at an early age in Wyralla Kindergarten, a childcare in Miranda—these expressions brighten whatever is the mood of a group of kids. Being gracious, welcoming, and friendly with their fellow kids and adults is a good way to show respect and may likely be mirrored by the other people too.

Verbalising their Thoughts

Encourage your kids to verbalise their thoughts and feelings so that the message will be understood by others. For instance, if a child wants to join a “Catch the Ball” game, he should say, “Can I join?” Expressing clearly what he wants instead of just grabbing the ball will not cause a negative reaction from other kids so they will be able to enjoy the play without going through hurt feelings and to minimise rejection. When rejection happens, it is a good idea for parents and carers to explain why it happened, to educate the child about respect as well as the best behaviours to practise, and to empower him that mistakes do happen and he can surely do better and enjoy the game with his new friends next time.

Value of Cooperation

Teach the value of cooperation and following directions when a child is in the company of other children of his age. Cooperation is abiding by the decision of the group or following directions, and is being obedient to the instructions and mechanics of a particular activity which the kids are engaged in. This is strongly encouraged as early as during toddlerhood and preschool in Miranda. When a child refuses to cooperate, the said behaviours may lead to disagreement and negative feelings. This may be quite frustrating for preschoolers. Parents and carers should address this issue right away so as not to lessen their self-esteem by telling the little one in an age-appropriate way to take turns with the other kids, to share her toys, and to ask for permission first if she wants to borrow a friend’s toy, etc.

Mixture of Activities

Parents should hold indoor and outdoor activities participated by family members or other kids. This is a good exposure to the child where he will learn some tips and values from adults on how to react on some situational problems. When the kids see their mum and dad respectfully interact with them, and amicably resolve issues, chances are, they will also imitate the said positive behaviours. The parents and other adults should be quick to note both the acceptable and unacceptable behaviours during the activities. Young as they are, toddlers and preschoolers can learn a lot from the experience when properly monitored by adults.

Repeating Lessons

Children learn best by repeating the lessons and reminding them of instances where a particular reaction or solution to a problem successfully resolves an issue or conflict. This helps the kids understand the whole scenario and to avoid being emotionally hurt or ridiculed. It is best that parents, teachers, and carers address negative behaviours in a respectful, loving, and uplifting manner so the kids will be driven to correct the bad behaviour with the motivation to be happy and to strive in becoming better. Strong socialisation skills build healthy relationships among kids and will surely help them to grow into stable and confident individuals.

Safety

Parents should also start educating their children about safety when interacting with others, especially with strangers, in an age-appropriate manner. When you and your child are outdoors, be wary with the people that they interact with. Remind them not to talk to or go with strangers and not to allow them or the other adults (stranger or not) to touch their hair, their skin, or to hold their hand; and not to let even the other kids their age put them in an uncomfortable situation. Teach them about ‘Body Ownership’, encourage your kids to set limits and boundaries, and instruct them to honestly let you know if they have any questions or if there’s something that bothers them. Maintaining an open communication and being vigilant will help them socialise, safely.

Explaining things in a simple manner can help your child understand the Do’s and Don’ts in interacting with their friends and grown-ups, and will make them realise the importance of the results of their actions, which will surely boost their social skills. This will allow them to socialise and deal with issues in a positive approach as they mature. Our utmost guidance as parents is indeed needed, for our little ones to live harmoniously with others and form meaningful, happy relationships.

Photos courtesy of:

HaiRobe / 25 images via Pixabay  under the Creative Commons CC0

StartupStockPhotos / 121 images via Pixabay under the Creative Commons CC0

manseok / 518 images via Pixabay under the Creative Commons CC0


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