In this age of technology, people are spending more time on their digital devices rather than quality time with friends and family – this includes children. This may impact their ability to interact, adapt and socialize with those around them. Many studies have concluded that children’s physical, personal and social development will suffer due to excessive exposure to technology.1 Hence, parents will need to balance their child’s screen time and help stimulate their child’s social development, so the child can learn to adapt well to others, have kindness, be helpful, learn to share and hopefully be accepted easily by others. This will also help them form a good relationship with others which in turn, will let them live happily with other people no matter how the world changes.

Developing your child’s social skills for happiness

Developing your child’s social skills for happiness

Most importantly, good social skills will enable the child to work together better with others. This skill is crucial for children, so that they can learn to be gentle and humble to the people around them and reduce the possibility of them being left out while growing up.

Recommending activities to help develop social skills

Recommending activities to help develop social skills

Here are a few activities that you can carry out with your children to teach them about interaction with other people and help develop social skills:

Recommended activities for children 1 year and above.
The Details
Teach your child to say, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’

“Thank you” and “Sorry” are very important words for a child to learn. Parents need to teach their children when these words should be used. For example, when a child begins to do something inappropriate such as hit or snatch a toy from their friend, gently explain to the child what they did wrong, why it is wrong and get them to apologize accordingly. They also need to learn to say “Thank you” when they receive help or an act of kindness from other people.

Calm down your child’s tantrums

Ignore the child if they throw a tantrum inappropriately, pay no attention to them and maintain calmness. Parents should not show that they are emotionally upset and give in to their children as an easy way to solve the problem. This is because, the children will take this as a cue that they can get whatever they want from their parents just be throwing a tantrum. If the parents were to stand their ground, the children will understand that this tactic does not work and will not do it again in the future.

Do not pamper your child

Pampering your child may hinder them from learning and managing their needs appropriately. They may grow up and become selfish which may cause issues for them in the future. Parents should guide their children on ways to manage their needs, emotions and expectations. For example, if the child begs their mother to tell them a story while the mother is busy cooking, the mother may explain to the child that he will have to wait until after the cooking is done and the reason behind it. This may help the child learn the concept of waiting and consideration when dealing with other people.

Teach your child about the rights of others

Children should be taught to respect the rights of others. For example, they should knock and ask for permission before entering other people’s room to respect their privacy and to not play with someone else’s toy without their permission.

Teach your child to speak politely

Children should be taught to speak politely as part of their social skills development. They need to learn to greet one another, apologize for their mistakes, thank people politely and be respectful towards other people.