According to studies across different disciplines, a child’s experiences play a significant role in his or her overall development. Social and emotional competencies learned in childhood help an individual become independent later. He or she can manage emotions, cope with stress, and have a realistic concept of individuals.
Challenges arise, however, in the modern days because more often than not, parents are busy with their careers. This circumstance leaves the children in the hands of babysitters or caregivers. The problem is that not all caregivers know how to teach kids about socialization.
Fortunately, there are ways to incorporate learning social skills into your regular activities.
Let them play outside
Perhaps one of the oldest methods to teach socialization the children is to let them play outside with other kids. According to Dr. Claire McCarthy, playing outside teaches kids to cooperate, share, and interact with other people. They also learn how to make friends. These are something some structured setups, such as schools, tutorial centers, or even the home might not always offer. The outside world gives them a glimpse of what real life is; therefore, they can start learning everything they need to know.
Improving their social skills is not the only benefit you can get from playing outside. You can also learn to appreciate nature, exercise, take risks, and even bask in the sunshine. The last is particularly beneficial if your house in Utah doesn’t have skylights.
Encourage eating out
A simple gathering around a public table not only feeds us but also enhances social skills even for young children. Calgary’s Child Magazine published an article that enumerates the social skills a child can learn from eating out.
First, there are manners. Table etiquette and proper behavior around other people are necessary to be in harmony with others. In addition, you can teach them about social cues such as facial expressions and body language. Discerning these helps a child adjust to their surroundings. You can also teach them about self-control. Kids are naturally inpatient, so taking them out to eat will teach them that they have to wait sometimes.
What about the introverts?
However, we should understand that not everyone enjoys being around other people. Society calls them introverts. If your child displays the characteristics of an introvert, know that it is okay to be alone most of the times. According to Susan Cain, there really are quiet kids even in the classroom. We need to understand and accept that it is okay as long as they are happy or do not show any signs of discomfort.
So, if you’re a parent or a teacher who has a quiet kid at home or in school, you must think of ways to make them feel comfortable. In classrooms, lessen the group work and focus on individual and pair activities. At home, allow your kids to have a quiet time on their own.
If you are running a school, see to it that there are spaces for those who want to be alone. There should be a solo space, a small group space, and a big group space.
With the limited time that we have, it’s crucial to think of ways to maximize our time with our kids so we can teach them life lessons. Whether we are dining out or relaxing on a Sunday morning, we can find a small window where we can impart knowledge to them. Just be sure that they are comfortable doing it.