It’s easy to help your preschooler develop social skills when they have the chance to be part of fun-filled, sociable experiences like summer day camp, where activities are geared to sharing games, crafts and activities with friends under the watchful eye of trained counsellors. Kids at day camp have endless opportunities to learn important skills like sharing, working as part of a team, taking turns and treating others with kindness and consideration. However, as parents we also have endless opportunities to nurture our children’s social skills.
Play dates are a great way for preschoolers to make strides socially, helping your child learn about how to act when a friend comes over and how to be polite to company. You can go over potential play activities ahead of time and have your youngster offer his guest three activities to choose from and remind him about taking turns and sharing. Role play, practice manners and talk about what may happen ahead of time to alleviate any apprehension your child may have.
Parent /Child Bond
Your child’s primary relationship is with you as his parent or guardian, and when youngsters are confident that they can rely on you for support they become more emotionally secure and able to adapt to new social situations. They are also more likely to be empathetic and aware of the feelings of others, making them more likely to get along well with peers. Parents who encourage open communication with their children pave the way for better social skills.
Though kids although learn from their parents how to deal with setbacks, loss and disappointment, overall parents should strive to display positive, warm emotions at home. An upbeat, can-do kind of attitude does much to inspire confidence in preschoolers, leading to more ease in social situations. Kids who experienced a lot of positive emotions at home tend to have better developed social skills.
Talk to Your Preschooler
Talk to your youngster about his friends and his social experiences in a relaxed way. Not only will this keep you informed about what’s going in your child’s social life, but it lets you talk about how to use various social tactics with peers. When talking about interactions with other kids, encourage a confident attitude toward problem solving in your child. Let your youngster know that everybody has to experience rejection sometimes and that rebuffs can be considered temporary setbacks. It’s helpful to suggest possible reasons for a seeming rejection, that perhaps the other child was shy or just in a cranky mood, and then trying to suggest ways to improve the situation.
If your youngster comes home from preschool or playing at a friend’s house all upset because of an incident with peers, try to stay calm and supportive. If you help your child figure out solutions in a positive manner, they’ll know it’s not the end of the world after all if Tommy and Billy wouldn’t let him play pirate with them that day. Don’t dismiss or belittle negative feelings; let your child cry or vent and then talk with him about his emotions, helping him become more self-controlled and socially adept.
Be a Role Model
We all slip up sometimes, but try to be a good role model you’re to your preschooler, and explain what you’re doing at times. For example, “I thanked the cashier for bagging our groceries. She works hard and I want to let her know I appreciate that.” This way, kids see how courtesy and consideration for others finds their place in everyday life and will tend to be more polite, empathetic and socially at ease.
Help your pre-schooler be active and responsible by providing opportunities that develop socialization skills.