11 Social Skills Every Child Should Know
Some social skills come naturally for most children due to their social influence like their parents, family or friends. However, some skills will have to be taught. All in all, making sure your child is profound in all of the 11 skills will not only teach them EXCELLENT social abilities it will teach them to be decent human beings now and in their future.
Introducing Yourself. Every child should have the manners to introduce themselves when needed. You should allow your child to introduce themselves versus you doing it for them. Therefore, as time goes by it'll become second nature for your child to say "Hi, My name is _______" or to answer with their name when asked.
Following Directions. Thinking a young child will automatically follow directions is nuts. Those short attention spans and excitement will not allow them. However, it's never to early to teach your child to follow directions. Learning this skill early on will help them to succeed later on in life in settings such as school and or their workplace.
Asking For Help. My four-year-old was terrible with this one for a while. My son would only want help from my boyfriend or me. When it came time to ask for help from my boyfriend's son he wouldn't. Teaching your kids that it's okay to ask for help from anyone; that includes peers, siblings, and parents. It ensures them that asking for help is okay and that sometimes you will need it and there is nothing wrong with that.
Staying On Task. Kids tend to move from one thing to another. It is essential that you teach them to finish their task at hand before starting something else. Staying on task could include chores, lesson plans, etc.
Accepting No For An Answer. I am a firm believer in not always telling a child "no." I look for other alternatives like "not today," "not right now" or "maybe later." I feel no is harsh to little ones and I don't want to be the mom always saying "no" to everything. However, children have to understand that they can not have or do whatever they want whenever they want and be okay with it. Being able to accept no's in their life will travel with them until adulthood.
Disagreeing Appropriately. Kids want to be right about everything and anything especially when talking to their peers and or siblings. Somethings they disagree on contains facts behind them, and some are just opinion based. Teaching your child that it's okay to disagree and or be wrong when speaking to peers is essential. Teach them not to become upset when someone doesn't agree with them or proves them wrong. We all have our own opinions, and that's okay.
Show Appreciation. Telling someone "thank you" can go along way. Thanking someone shows appreciation for something they did for you. Another great exercise is asking your child what they like most about someone. For example, "What do you like about your teacher, Ms. Lowe?" Your child will list a few things about Ms. Lowe that he/she appreciates.
Making an Apology. Your child should know how to apologize for the wrong that they've done, even if it is an accident. Teaching your child that its okay to say sorry for their misdeeds will perpetuate better relationships in their future. People who can apologize will tend to have better friendships and relationships.
Taking Accountability. Kids tend to blame things that they've done on other kids, or they may even say they don't know what happened if there's no one around to blame. Teaching your kids accountability makes them an overall better person. However, as parents, it's our job to show them that it’s okay to mess up but when you do own up to it. No one likes a liar.
Accepting Consequences or Criticism. After taking accountability, kids need to understand that consequences may follow. Some kids may show confusion as to why they are taking accountability and still have to "suffer" consequences. You have to explain to them that just because they took accountability it does not mean that they still wont get punished for what they have done. However, their punishment shouldn't be equivalent to the punishment they would receive if they had initially lied.
Controlling Emotion. Kids have to learn how to manage emotions. It's okay to feel upset, happy, angry, etc. However, you have to learn to control those emotions and not to react to them. Reacting to emotions, such as hitting, name calling, etc., can cause enormous consequences.