While teaching your child important skills like walking and potty training, don’t overlook their social skills. Learning to socialize with other children and adults means knowing how to adapt to new situations, share toys, and get along well with others. By helping them to socialize when they’re still little, you will help ensure a successful transition to preschool or kindergarten later. Here are four ways to help your child socialize:
Enroll Them in Day Care
Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, consider enrolling your child in a part-time day care center. At day care, your child will learn to be comfortable in social settings when you are not around, all under the supervision of caring and trustworthy professionals. They will learn to play and share with other children their age, and as an added bonus you will have some time to yourself to tackle errands, chores, or simply relax.
Teach Social Skills While Playing
Using playtime to teach your children social skills means they will learn in a natural, no pressure manner. When playing with toys, offer to share toys and then enthusiastically thank your child when they do the same. Show them how to patiently take turns and ask for the toy they want instead of yanking it out of your hands, then tell them how proud you are of them for being so good.
Model Good Social Behavior
Children pay close attention to their parents and unconsciously model their behavior. Use this tendency to your advantage by modeling good social behavior whenever you are out and about. Greet strangers in a polite, warm manner, and always ask others how they are doing.
Show appreciation for people who help you, for example by warmly thanking strangers who open the door for you when you’re struggling with the stroller. Your child will learn that being polite and social in public is the norm.
Sign Up for Playgroups
Playgroups and play dates can be a great way for your toddler to learn social skills. You can find playgroups at the local library, children’s activity center, or rec center. If there aren’t any active playgroups in your area, consider hosting a small one at your own home once a month. While the kids learn to interact with each other in fun ways, you can get some much needed time with other parents.
By being proactive about your child’s socialization you can help your child become well-adjusted and socially comfortable.Read More