A child learns social skills from the people around them. A child’s nature and temperament influence the way the child sees and experiences situations. However, all children can learn how to act in social situations.
As a parent and educator you can support the development of your child’s communication skills. You can also encourage your child and take them to hobbies that interest them. Social skills can also be practised.
A child learns behavioural patterns for how to act in different situations from their loved ones. This is why it is recommended that you consider your own emotional and communication skills:
- can I identify my own emotions?
- can I identify the emotions and needs of my child?
- can I listen to and give others enough space?
- do I express my feelings and hopes to my loved ones clearly enough?
There are no perfect parents, but it is good to be able to recognise your own weaknesses. If you are aware of your feelings and actions in different social situations, it will be easier for you to guide your child on how to communicate well with others.
Tips: How to reinforce communication and emotional skills with a child or a teen? Source: The Finnish Association for Mental Health
- Talk about feelings, try to find names for them, observe where you can feel them. Talk about your emotions, too, and show how you process them.
- Think about how your feelings affect your actions. For example, does your anger come into how you communicate, even if it has nothing to do with the person you are talking to.
- Give each other positive feedback about successes.
- Practice being present and listening to others. An adult can set even a small child an example of what it means to listen to others and face emotions.