How to Improve Social Skills for kids
According to the National School Readiness Study, there are five important factors that influence school readiness. These include motor skills, cognition and general knowledge, language and literacy, social-emotional interactions, and approach to learning.Written by: Bright Horizons How to Practice Social Skills at Home Read with your child often. When doing so, focus on the characters in the story and encourage your child to practice taking on new perspectives. Ask your child questions such as, “What do you think she was thinking?” “How would you have tried to help her?” and “What do you think made her feel better?” This perspective takes helps your child learn to work with others. Provide opportunities for open-ended, child-directed play. When children play, they decide what materials to use, what to do, and when to stop or change to a different activity. They naturally try out roles, experiment with cause and effect, test conclusions, and practice getting along with others. Researchers have shown that high-quality play experiences not only enhance cognitive and academic skills but also build social skills as children work together. Ample play experiences can even build memory and language. Additionally, play helps your child learn to work in a group, make friends, and practice resolving problems with communication rather than aggression. Most often, your child can work with other children to negotiate a solution to a problem. However, sometimes opportunities may emerge for you to offer some gentle guidance. Keep in mind that your child probably just needs a small suggestion on how to proceed, but not for you to solve the problem for them. This soft encouragement helps build their social competency. Play games. Board games such as Candy Land, Sorry, Yahtzee and Backgammon naturally encourage children to follow directions, focus attention, take turns with others and exert self-control while waiting their turn. These are all social skills that translate directly into school success. While there are many daily opportunities to foster social skills, this area of development is never a fait accompli. Children and adults are continually growing, learning, and improving upon who they are. We all have moments where we stumble and need a little guidance or support of others. Keep this in mind and accept that some days your child may need more assistance in this area, while on other days they may even offer you a bit of insight into your own social skill development.
For more than 30 years, Bright Horizons® early education centers and preschools have been helping children around the world develop confidence and a passion for learning. Bright Horizons is committed to the field of early education and to practices that guide each child’s social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development. For more information about our curriculum, visit brighthorizons.com/programs/ care-school-curriculum.