Human beings are naturally sociable creatures. Everyone has to communicate and interact with each other to convey their messages, thoughts, and feelings. To do this successfully, you have to express yourself correctly through verbal and non-verbal means.
Children, regardless of their age, also need to learn how to socialize and interact with the people around them. Some are more adept at doing this, while others may require more help and guidance.
The good news is that children can build and improve their social skills every day. With your help, your little ones, even those as young as Dubai nursery learners, can learn to be more sociable, make new friends, and interact with others easily.
They can learn to effectively communicate their messages, thoughts, and feelings with others, as well.
Below are five tips you can follow to help preschoolers build and improve their social skills:
1. Teach toddlers about the different emotions
Learning how to react appropriately in the right situations and read emotions are important social skills children should develop at an early age.
Teaching children the different types of emotions everyone feels is a good start. You can do this by playing a simple game with them.
Study the different emotions or print out pictures or smiley faces that express these. Print these out, as well as the feelings they convey.
To play the game, make faces or hold the printouts and have your little ones guess which emotion you or the printout is showing. Once they have given the correct answer, give situations where the reaction is often used or the reasons that cause this type of feeling.
For instance, if the emotion is excitement, explain to them that this is something that they feel when everyone is going to the beach or a holiday.
This simple game will help them distinguish emotions and express themselves better. It can also help them avoid getting confused when they are mingling with others.
2. Help your children understand empathy
The ability to feel empathy for others is a crucial element of any relationship. As such, the earlier children know and practice this social skill, the better.
This is because when children understand how others feel, they will find it easier to connect with and form bonds with them. As a result, they will likely have more friends and have no difficulty joining groups.
You can teach children empathy by discussing with them various situations and scenarios and how other people may feel in such instances. During these lessons, instill in them the importance of actively listening to others.
This means teaching them to focus on and understand what the speaker is saying. If they want to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, they have to take some time to think about what he or she said once the conversation is over.
3. Instill the importance of making eye contact
Eye contact is another key element of socialization and communication. Because of this, it is essential that you help your children work on this skill.
To help your little ones develop this skill, tell them to talk to you and tell you stories while looking into your eyes. Play staring contests with them, as well. When they play with their dolls, action figures, or stuffed cuddly toys, ask them to look into their toys’ eyes too.
If your little one is struggling with eye contact, have him or her to tell a story while you stare at the ground, ceiling, or window. Next, ask your child how he or she feels while he or she is talking and your attention is somewhere else.
Next, invite your child to tell another story. This time, make appropriate eye contact while he or she is talking. Afterward, ask him or her which situation he or she felt better in.
Since your little one will say he or she liked it better when you were looking at him or her, explain to him or her that this is something that he or she should try to do every time to be polite and respectful of the other person.
4. Teach your preschoolers good manners
Children have to learn to respond to social stimuli and express themselves appropriately verbally and through non-verbal means to avoid drawing attention for the wrong reasons. One way you can help them do this is to teach them good manners.
Help your little ones learn the basic appropriate greetings and responses. These include saying “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.”
Teach them how to properly respond to greetings, as well. They have to know that they have to say “you’re welcome” when someone says thank you.
They also have to learn to reciprocate the same greeting they receive, too.
5. Be a role model
Since you spend a lot of your time with your children, they will observe and mimic many of your actions and behaviors. When you show them how to properly interact with others and conduct yourself in different situations, your little ones will follow your every move, thereby helping improve their social skills.
As such, always be consciously aware of how you talk and interact with others when your children are around.
This means practicing what you preach; if you are teaching them the importance of eye contact, look at the person you are speaking with throughout the conversation.
As a final tip, immersing your children in the right environment can give them various opportunities to hone their social skills.
Enrolling them in the right nursery class allows them to interact with their classmates and teachers, thereby widening their social circle and helping them learn more and build their social skills.
Bringing your little ones to playgrounds or nearby parks regularly will enable them to mingle with older children and other adults, as well. This will help them acquire and build more interpersonal skills that will help mold their personality.
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