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6 Important Social Skills For Kids

Social skills give kids a wide range of benefits. They are linked to greater success in school and better relationships with peers. Let's have a look at some benefits of social skills.

Better educational and career outcomes: Researchers from Penn State and Duke University found that children who were better at sharing, listening, cooperating, and following the rules at age five were more likely to go to college. They also were more likely to be employed full-time by age 25.

  • Better success in life: Good social skills also can help kids have a brighter future. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, a child’s social and emotional skills in kindergarten might be the biggest predictor of success in adulthood.2

  • Stronger friendships: Kids who have strong social skills and can get along well with peers are likely to make friends more easily. In fact, a study published in the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences indicates that childhood friendships are good for kids’ mental health.3

Friendships also give children opportunities to practice more advanced social skills, like problem-solving and conflict resolution.

Sharing

How to Practice

While you may not want to force your child to share certain toys or with certain children, you can regularly point out sharing when you see it. Praise your child for sharing and indicate how it makes others feel. Say something like, “You chose to share your snack with your sister. I bet she feels happy about that. That’s a nice thing to do.”


Cooperating

How to Practice

Talk about the importance of teamwork and how jobs are better when everyone pitches in. Create opportunities for the whole family to work together. Whether you assign everyone a specific job when you’re making a meal or you assign specific chores that are integral to the family, emphasize the importance of cooperation.


Listening

How to Practice

When reading a book to your children, periodically stop and ask them to tell you about what you’re reading. Pause and say, “Tell me what you remember about the story so far.” Help them fill in any gaps they're missing and encourage them to keep listening as you continue. Don’t allow them to interrupt others when they’re talking.


Following Instructions

How to Practice

Praise your child for following directions by saying things like, “Thank you for turning off the TV the first time I told you to.” If your children struggle to follow directions, give them opportunities to practice following simple commands. Say things like, “Please pass that book to me,” and then provide immediate praise for following directions.


Respecting Personal Space

How to Practice

Teach your children to stand about an arm's length away from people when they're talking. When they're standing in line, talk about how close to are to the person in front of them and talk about keeping their hands to themself. You might role-play various scenarios to help them practice describing appropriate personal space.


Helping Others

How to Practice

Encourgae your children to help where they can. Helping others is a great way to improve social skills as well as problem-solving skills. When children help other they learn how to effectively communicate and solve problems in a trying or challenging time. Children can start helping out around the house or even in the classroom, this way they will learn and become more open and comfortable to helping when help is needed.


Social skills may be a treaky topic when it comes to children and their development but implementing the above mentioned ways will help children to subconsciously learn to function in society and how to handle different social situations.




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