Improving your child's social skills and helping them make friends

There are several things you can do to help

Social skills are vital for young children to learn as this will give them the confidence to make friends and build good relationships However, some youngsters need more help than most and you may have to step in to improve their social skills. This isn’t a bad or a rare thing as kids are all extremely different, some are natural socialisers whereas others need some guidance. Either way with these few tips you will be able to help your child along their socialising journey. 
  • Encourage play dates- Your nipper needs to have several play dates to really learn the art of socialisation. It may seem natural to some but other kids need help and practice. The best way is to have their pals over and give them a chance to mix or chat about whatever they like with their friends. 
  • Mix with family often- If your child has cousins or family friends this is a good opportunity to socialise your kiddie from a young age. It can start the minute your child is born as they will grow and be comfortable in social circles. Start young and you won’t regret it. 
  • Be a good role model- For your youngster to learn how to socialise and be open to chats they need to observe you showing these skills. If you are awkward and nervous upon social scenes it will understandably follow on to your nipper. Try and act like you are in control and brave social events to prepare your child for the future. 
  • Read to your kiddie- Reading is vital for a kid’s language skills and obviously being able to communicate is important to showing social skills. Read to them each night and this will build their vocabulary and they will learn how to assert themselves while growing in confidence. 
  • Ask questions- Asking your child questions will prepare them for when teachers or friends ask them stuff. It gives them a chance to talk and this will only improve their skills. Don’t allow your child to skulk away at home and withdraw even if they are happy in their own personal space. It is imperative they know how to be social as it is a way of life. 
  • Show empathy- You may not realise it but showing empathy is rather important. It shows people you are thoughtful and caring therefore they will understandably want to chat to you and ultimately build a relationship as a friend or partner. Show your kid how to empathise and they are onto a winner!
  • Practice and role play if needed- Practice at home especially if your kid has some presentations at school or wants to talk to a certain person. Let them have moments of role play and they will gain confidence as they go along. 
  • Keep at it- Rome wasn’t built in a day and you will get there. It may take time but working on it will ensure your child isn’t socially inept come years later, when it really matters most. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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