14 ways to build your child’s social skills at home

It can seem like a daunting challenge to replicate social skills learning fro home, but these activities can help!

Research indicates the following areas are some of the most common that children learn while at school and playing with friends:

  • Dealing with disappointment
  • How to express their emotions
  • How to respond and interact with people (other than immediate family)
  • How to take turns and share
  • How to make eye contact
  • How to listen without interrupting
  • How to play fairly
  • Accepting winning or losing (being a good sport)
  • Using appropriate manners and greetings

According to the Child Mind Institute, it’s important that we as parents work to consistently model social skills.

  • Taking turns is a fairly common struggle for many young children. The organization recommends that you focus on purposeful turn-taking with your family at home. Have your kids take turns being in charge of the movie you’ll watch together that night or what you’ll have for dinner.
  • Help your kids see things from someone else’s point of view. Walk your kids through some of the decisions you make throughout the day like when to take the dogs for a walk or why you picked out the outfit you’re wearing. This will help your child understand your perspective on why you made the choices you did. You may also let them see you understanding someone else’s perspective by explaining how you noticed a coworker was having trouble with a project so you offered some feedback.
  • Work social learning into a movie night. Keep the remote handy so you can pause the video and talk to your kiddos about what’s happening in real-time. Ask them about what just happened and how it made them feel. Ask them what they think is going to happen next and why they think that.



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