— Helene Goldnadel Classes

How to Teach Our Children The Social Skills?

How can we teach our children the social skills they need to prepare them for life? Here are 10 tips by Helene Goldnadel to get you started.


1) In order to help your child develop social skills you need to find time to be social and communicate with your children. Family dinner together is a perfect opportunity. Sitting around the table over a meal gives family members a chance to share their experiences of the day, laugh and joke or support and comfort each other. These daily interactions help children develop skills in listening, taking turns and expressing themselves. I encourage you to ensure the television is turned off during dinner and that children learn to sit at the table until everyone has finished eating or speaking. Dinner together is also an ideal opportunity to teach your child manners such as proper use of cutlery or asking to get down from the table.


2) Children learn by what they see you do, not what you say they should do. Be a model of good social skills for your child. Use every chance you can to show how you try hard to understand others, for example. You could do that by demonstrating how you think about another person’s feelings, how you try to “step into their shoes” to better understand how the world looks from their perspective, how you think carefully about how you say something to someone and try to anticipate how they will “hear” it first, before you say it.


3) Explain to your child, as you demonstrate these skills, how and why you are doing it. Ask them how they could do it better.


4) When your child mentions a disagreement with another child, take the time to discuss it together. Take the “side” of the other child and help your child see the different perspectives and the possible reasons why the other child acted as they did. Encourage your child to tell you what they would like to say to the other child, discuss with them how you would feel if you heard that. When your child is ready, encourage them to go back and discuss the matter with the other child and try to resolve it themselves.


5) Talking to your child and explaining the choices you have made in life provide rich opportunities to teach social and emotional intelligence. When you are faced with a difficult decision or a painful experience, don’t hide it or try to “protect” your child. Be open and talk to your child in a language they can understand. Communicate about your thoughts and emotions and ask them about their thoughts and emotions. Explore with them how they might have handled the situation or the choices they might have made. Being able to speak in a “language” of emotions is a vital part of emotional intelligence.


6) When your child displays their emotions by being either upset or happy, notice their feelings and comment to your child about them. Be a model to your child of someone who reads the emotions of others and responds sensitively. If they are hurt, ask them kind and sensitive questions to explore the hurt and explore what might be the best way to “make it better”. If they are happy, explore and savour the happiness, ask questions about what made it so good, so both you and your child will learn how to experience that happiness again in the future.


7) Traditional board games are an excellent way to teach children social skills. Buy or dust off games like draughts, dominoes, connect four and card games, which are not only terrific fun but they are also stimulating, encourage concentration and involve communication and social interaction skills. Learning through play is the idea behind MindLab, an after school education programme that teaches children thinking and social skills through playing board games from around the world. The positive impact of MindLab on children’s development is supported by prestigious research (www.mindlabeurope.com).


8) Explain that to enjoy playing games we all have to play by the rules, respect our partners and respect the outcome of the game. Regardless if we win or lose, to have fun playing games together we can’t gloat when we win, and can’t get upset when we lose. If we play lots of games together, there will be lots of chances for each of us to win sometimes, and lose sometimes. Either way we will have had a fun time playing together.


9) Whether your child wins or loses, at the end of the game summarize what you learnt from the game and then ask your child “what did you learn from that game?” “What might you do differently next time we play?”


10) Praise your child highly when they get it right. Whether that be understanding the needs of a friend, communicating their own feelings in calm way that allows you to discuss it together or managing their time so they get their homework done before they go out to play, let them know what they have done well and that you are proud of them. Children learn much more effectively from praise and recognition, in contrast to punishment and reproach.


To learn more, visit here: https://helene-goldnadel.jimdofree.com/

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