Social Skills Tips

  • A child’s social and emotional development are entertwined.  If child is having difficulty in one area, it likely spills over to the other.  Teaching emotion language and about emotions lays foundation for social development.
  • Social competence in children is described most simply as their ability to play while keeping friends.  If your child’s play isn’t going well, good to look what is happening with social skills.
  • It is best to coach social skills when all is well.  Don’t wait til you are on the heels of an upset, coach social skills over snack or when you are tucking them in at night.
  • Fine to coach social with you, best to practice with peers.  This means have playdates, go to the playground looking for others to connect with, join gym sports and other group activites.
  • When there are social conflicts, good to step in but let children do as much of the actual problem solving as they can.  Provide guidance, walk them through decision making.
  • Teaching social skills can take a long time and a lot of repeated effort.  Try to vary what and how you say or present things each time, come up with new stories or examples.  
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