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Each child has their very own personality and temperament. Some kids are very verbal and interact with others easily; On the other hand, some kids are quiet and more reserved and just want to play by themselves more, as their parents you have a wonderful opportunity to help your child thrive in social situations. Helping them to succeed and develop socially will give them more confidence and the ability to adapt to situations with more ease.

Despite their individuals differences, every child needs to be taught and encouraged to build social skills as they grow.

In the toddler years, it is important to teach them how to handle their emotions accordingly. This means that old familiar tantrum has to go, but at the same time working to create a warm environment to encourage more verbal expression of how they feel is essential. This will allow your child to identify their emotions and have more discipline over them creating the thought process to think before they act out. And, it also enables them to learn the difference between good and bad behavior.

After the toddler years, one of the most important social skills you can teach your child is to listen. The best way to teach this is to be the example, the role model for this and any other social behavior you are trying to teach. Point out the great unprompted behaviors you see from your young ones so they can thrive and feel more confident and pleased with their developing social skills.

In the ‘tween years, role playing and setting up scenarios helps a child to practice how they may choose to behave when they are in a situation that requires them to listen and respond with manners. During these years, another important skill is communication, specifically talking about how your ‘tween feels and get them to identify specific emotions in themselves and others. This helps further develop empathy and understanding.

Teenagers need the chance to talk, to be heard and validated; to verbally work through their issues and (to some degree) have you there as their sounding board. They need an adult to give their take on what you see without creating judgment.

No matter what age, every child needs and deserves to have role models for their developing skills and to have a safe place to “practice” what they are learning and observing.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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