It is important for children to improve their socialization skills while they are still young. Your children will take what they learn into their teenage and adult years. Use the following ideas to go through the stages of socialization and help to improve your kid's social skills.
Determine The Stage:
The stage of development varies per age group, so use the following guide to determine the stage of your child.
- Two- to Three-Year-Olds: Can communicate verbally and physically, such as using small words, waving to greet someone or reacting to a scenario. They know how to seek attention, make eye contact and take turns when talking.
- Three- to Four-Year-Olds: Are expanding their vocabulary, learning how to take turns when playing and learning how to use their imagination.
- Four to Five-Year-Olds: They are using their imagination more, whether they are pretending to be a parent or a doctor. They use directs requests and cooperate with other children. They may also go through a phase of tattling on their peers.
- Five to Six-Year-Olds: Children in this age group understand polite phrases, bad words and playing fair. They know how to make others happy, use strategy and play competitive games.
- Six to Seven-Year-Olds: Children in this age group are more understanding of feelings, sharing, good sportsmanship, posture, and listening. They tell jokes, use gestures and stay on topic when talking. This age group is still learning the difference between right and wrong.
Improving Social Development
Scheduling a playdate is a great way to improve your kid's social skills. Children learn how to use rules, plan activities and be polite to their guests.
- Approaching Their Peers: Take your time to come up with scenarios that teach your child how to approach their peers. Your child should learn how to start a conversation or join a group of children who are playing a game, such as politely asking if there is room for one more.
- Taking Turns: It is important to teach your child how to be patient, take turns and share when playing with others. You can improve these skills by playing with your child for at least one hour a day.
- Showing Empathy: Come up with various scenarios for your child, and ask them how they and others may feel during each one. Your child will learn that everyone has feelings and those feelings need to be respected.
- Understanding Personal Space: It is important for your child and their guests to have enough personal space. This way, everyone feels comfortable during the playdate. Talk to your child about the importance of personal space and appropriate ways to interact with others.
Reinforcing Social Skills
Use different activities to reinforce the social skills you have taught your child. You can use common games and activities to improve your kid's social skills.
- Playing Games: Use The Name Game to teach your child how to get the attention of a peer, and use Follow The Leader to teach your child how to take turns and follow directions.
- Tone of Voice: Record yourself speaking in different tones, from a soft tone for sadness to a cheerful tone for excitement, and ask your child to identify each tone. Be sure to explain the difference between the tones to your child.
- Nonverbal Skills: Put a kid-friendly program on mute or look through magazines to teach your child the different movements, gestures, and facial expressions.
Children are going to model your behavior, so make sure you practice good socialization skills as well. The improvements you make on your kid's social skills will bring them a lifetime of healthy friendships and relationships.