Tip & Suggestions to Help Kids to have Social SkillsBy Angela Marshall, 17th Apr 2014
Last week I talked about the importance to teach children, from a young age, to have good social skills so that they will have more confidence socialising now and in later life.
Here are some ideas and suggestions that may help you to prepare your children:
1. Ps AND Qs
Children should be taught to say please and thank you in all situations. It shows respect and appreciation.
Teaching children how to introduce them self can be a very useful social skill and will help them when meeting new friends. It is good to introduce your children to friends when they meet them, and teach them what to say in response. On certain occasions let them shake hands and do include girls as well as boys.
3. Letter Writing
Thank-you letters seem a thing of the past and yet the person that receives a handwritten note always remembers it in a very positive way. Encourage your children to send postcards and thank you notes to grandparents, relatives or friends instead of telephoning or sending emails and texts.
4. Telephone Etiquette for Children
Encourage your children, from an early age, to answer the phone politely. Playing with a toy phone or an unplugged phone will help, playing both roles of answering and phoning the person. It can be a fun game for children to play. Also show them how to leave a message on an answer phone.
5. Dining Manners
Sitting down together as a family for a meal is important for both children and adults and no mobile phones is a great rule. Families who share their meals together tend to be more attentive and interested in each other. It is also the perfect time to teach the children table manners. Encourage them to help you lay the table as this will teach them what goes where.
Children (and adults) often eat too quickly which is bad for their digestion as well as bad mannered. Teach your children to eat slowly and not rush their food. Advise them that elbows on the table, making rude noises when eating or wearing hats at meals are not good table manners.
6. Eating out in Restaurants
It is good to eat out with your children so that they become accustomed to being waited upon. However they need to appreciate that meals can take longer to arrive and that they will be served at the table by someone strange. Remind them to say “Please” and “Thank You” to the waiting staff as well as smiling can go a long way!
7. Social Skills
Not all children find it easy to make new friends yet encouraging them when they are with you or another adult, whilst they are young, will help them in later life. These skills will give them confidence to mix with new people. You never know – it may refresh and improve your own skills at the same time!
8. Art of Conversation
It is important for all the family to make conversation and also an important rule for children to learn to listen to what others have to say and to wait their turn to talk. They will find it will help to broaden their interests and it can be fun to talk to them about subjects you would like them to know more about. Meal time is the ideal time to talk about what happened during the day or subjects on the news.
9. Respect Different Styles and Cultures
When people do things differently from your family whether it is due to having a different style, religion or culture then encourage your children to embrace it and appreciate the difference and to respect it and show them how interesting it can be.
10. The Golden Rule
It might seem like common sense, but it’s worth repeating to your child: treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you don’t want someone to be mean to you, don’t be mean to them. If you want people to say nice things about you, say nice things about them.