Little Leaps Group Therapy transitioning to year-round school: What you should know
March 28, 2017
Tips to Promote Healthy Social Skills
June 19, 2015
In today’s increasingly diverse society, we often need to be careful with what information we divulge. Sometimes, there is a fine line between making friends and spilling life’s secrets. Kids are notorious for that, right?! However, on the flip side, there are kiddos who have big time difficulties making new friends and “fitting in.” As most parents and educators know, bullying and being left out is on the rise. So, the last thing you want is for your child to feel like they don’t belong. Here are some tips that you may want to consider. Keep in mind that everyone is different and you know your child best so choose what is appropriate.
Teach manners: Please and Thank You, excuse me/pardon me, no thanks, etc.
Be sure they know appropriate greetings/farewells. Hi and Bye, how are you, thanks for letting me play, etc.
With summer, comes lots of camps, birthday parties, barbecues and get togethers. Before these events happen, have a discussion about how they can interact with other kids. Help them come up with topics to discuss or simple questions they can ask the other kids in order to get conversation going. Make sure they know proper kid “etiquette” when going to someone else’s house
Read books about making friends and friends that do fun things together
Make sure they know they need to be friendly and polite to adults too
Get them involved in structured group activities such as sports, summer camps, and fun classes. Some places even hold language specific “social and play groups.”
The basics of sharing and turn taking are important, as is them knowing that not everyone has the same interests and that they should be respectful of that.
Asking for help, knowing how to appropriately gain attention (from adult or peer), and asking for permission are also good to know
They should know it is important to listen to what others have to say even if they don’t agree. On that note, disagreeing respectfully is good to understand as well
As mentioned above, there is a certain level of safety that they should understand when making friends and meeting new people. Be sure they know what you are comfortable with them discussing and what is off limits.
Have them maintain eye contact with their communication partner
It is also important for them to understand that their communication may vary from place to place(i.e. manners/communicating may be a little formal at church as opposed to a bbq with familiar friends).
Things to understand:
Conversation starts from a very early age. Imitating your baby’s cooing and babbling, and then having them respond, is the first step to conversational turn taking.
There are different levels of play skills that should be taken into consideration. While socialization is important, you also do not want to force your kids into situations that are highly comfortable for them or that will in a sense, traumatize them. These are the steps of learning play skills and as long as they are moving up, their social skills are emerging.
The child is playing by themselves
The child may be playing near or beside another child or group, but they are not necessary interacting.
Children may be in a group sharing toys, but are going separate ways (i.e. sharing blocks but building their own towers)
Children are playing together and are working toward the same thing (i.e. game or building a tower together)