6 Best Social Skills for Kids
Social skills help all of us belong to a group, to fit in so we don't feel alone. Learning social skills starts early.
Why are social skills important for kids?
Research studies have found that social skills like listening, taking turns when you talk, getting along with others, etc., are just as important to the academic success of children as academic subjects like math.
Our curriculum focusses on the whole child and therefore we teach social skills in school alongside reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. Children who learn social skills also tend to perform better academically. This shouldn’t, however, be mistaken to mean that social skills make kids smarter. Far from it!
Social skills also make kids more open to learning, according to Stephen Elliott, an Education and Psychology researcher with Vanderbilt Peabody.
This is why experts recommend that parents keep actively working on teaching their children critical skills like cooperation, empathy, communication, self-control, independence, curiosity and confidence.
Top social skills for kids
As mentioned above, social skills are vital because they make kids more open to learning. There are certain social skills that kids need to achieve the highest levels of success academically. If you want your kid to embrace learning, you should ensure they learn these skills at a young age. The skills include;
1. Listening to others
Listening is a crucial social skill every child should learn because it forms the basis of learning. It is impossible for a child to learn from their teacher without learning this skill. The same applies to kids being able to learn from their elders and peers. Kids who don’t listen can’t learn anything.
2. Following the rules
This is another top social skill for kids because rules are a crucial part of an emotionally healthy and balanced life. Rules exist to create order and safeguard other people’s rights. The order and harmony brought about by rules create a conducive environment for learning. Furthermore, kids crave rules or simply, knowing what is expected of them. This fact has been attested by many children experts like Stuart Goldman, a psychiatrist at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
3. Asking for help
Kids who learn how to ask for help also have an easier time learning. This skill is, therefore, crucial for learning. When kids learn at a young age that there is nothing wrong with asking for help, they learn faster. Learning this social skill also enhances other skills i.e. listening to others.
4. Ignoring distractions
Kids should also learn how to ignore distractions to be able to learn effectively, become more productive and successful academically and in life. Considering life is full of distractions, this is another important social skill every child must learn at a young age.
5. Being nice to others
Although this skill may not be directly linked to learning, it is important for creating a good learning environment. Kids who learn to be nice to others at a young age get along better with their peers and other people i.e. their teachers, which improves a child's learning. Furthermore, kids who learn to be nice to others have an easier time asking for help.
6. Taking responsibility for your behaviour
Kids who learn how to take responsibility develop discipline at a young age which is a great skill for learning. A disciplined kid will follow rules and be nice to others. A disciplined kid will also take initiative to complete their homework among other school tasks which boost learning.
How can you help your child develop social skills?
You can help your child learn important social skills like following the rules and being nice to others by encouraging play. Children learn a lot through games. For instance, they learn how to ask for help, interact with their peers, follow the rules, avoid distractions, etc.
Provided kids play under the guidance of their parents or educators; they are bound to learn valuable social skills in the process.