6 Easy Ways To Develop Your Child’s Social Intelligence

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Samidha Raj works as part of the content marketing team at PlanetSpark, a platform that provides online classes to K8 learners on “New Age Skills” like English Communication, Public Speaking, Grammar, Creative Writing, Debating, etc. She is passionate about empowering the youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!

For the first few years of a child’s life, they stay in the protected nest of their parents’ warmth and comfort. But when they go out, say to school or any social gatherings, kids are expected to mingle with those around them and be able to communicate aptly. This requires them to develop basic social skills.

Social intelligence refers to a person’s aptitude to understand and manage interpersonal relationships. Knowing when to talk, when to listen, what to say, and what to do plays an important role in the personality development of kids. The importance of social skills goes well beyond a kid’s academic results – it is a critical part of their success and wellbeing. 

Here are 6 ways you can help your child develop social intelligence.

1. Teach Them How To Express Themselves Without Attacking Other

Communication skills for kids are essential to make them capable of expressing their needs and wants without appearing selfish or bullish, and this needs to be inculcated in them from the beginning. 

Teach them the importance of equality, sharing, and caring. Help them learn how to say things more adequately. For example, if they want to say, “You’re hogging the ball,” ask them to use a softer tone and instead say, “I need a turn too.”

2. Help Them Learn To Resolve Conflicts

Two kids yelling at each other with their noses touching

As your child grows up, they are bound to have several rifts in their relationships with friends and family members. But premature apologizing is not useful if they don’t understand what they’ve done to cause the rift. 

Good social skills for kids are centered on self-awareness. So, first, help your kid cool down after a spat. Then, ask them to think about their actions. Also, don’t turn apologies into a public-shaming activity, or your child will associate apologizing with negativity.

3. Instill the Importance of Emotions

You can use simple activities for teaching social skills to your kid. Familiarizing them with different emotions is a great start. You can paint different smileys on placards like happy, sad, angry, disappointed, mischief, nervous, etc., and play the ‘identify the emotion’ game with your little one.

You can also communicate to them what makes you happy or sad. For example, if they misbehave, you can make a straight face to imply that you are upset with them. This will help them understand and feel the emotions of others.

4. Encourage Them to Greet and Respond Appropriately

Assist your kid in learning how to interact appropriately in a social setting. For instance, saying a simple “Hello!” when they meet their classmates or responding with a “Thank you” when a guest brings home something special for them. 

Teach them both verbal and non-verbal ways of good social behavior. Smiling, nodding, good body posture is all non-verbal social skills that are required to be a decent communicator.

Related: Understanding Child Development Stages [Parenting Guide]

5. Foster Quality Interaction with Different Kinds of People

Girl with good social intelligence receiving help from her teaching during class

Lonely kids might find it hard to develop their social intelligence as they don’t get exposed to the world. So, creating an environment that allows interaction with different people can help personality development in kids. That is why it is a good idea to send your kid to a summer camp, swimming class, chess club, dance school, etc., as these activities will help them get more socially comfortable, improve their interpersonal skills, and build new relationships.

6. Be a Good Role Model 

While you teach the importance of social skills to your kid, also try to be a good role model for them by practicing the skills and desired behavior yourself. Speak to others with kindness( especially when your kid is watching), listen when others want to speak, and show empathy to family and friends. 

Doing this regularly will require constant effort and prudence from your end, but motivate yourself to do so because not only will your child learn from your behavior and actions, but it will also help you become a better person.

Set Your Kids Up For Success WIth Social Intelligence

Social skills are an indispensable part of a well-rounded human. These skills give kids:

  • Wholesome education and a bright future
  • Stronger and meaningful relationships
  • Immense confidence and a good personality

Now that you know what social skills are and how your child can benefit from them, also understand that you will need to be patient while trying to help them develop these skills. Don’t nag around your kid constantly and tell them that they are bad if they make mistakes. This will only demotivate them and might even cause them to distance themself from you.

So, ensure that you are kind and sensitive towards your kid’s emotions and be a good role model for them.

You might also be interested in: How To Reduce Your Child’s Smartphone Addiction [With 6 Easy Tips]

6 Ways To Develop Your Child’s Social Intelligence: 

  1. Teach Them How To Express Themselves Without Attacking Other
  2. Help Them Learn To Resolve Conflicts
  3. Instill the Importance of Emotions
  4. Encourage Them to Greet and Respond Appropriately
  5. Foster Quality Interaction with Different Kinds of People
  6. Be a Good Role Model 

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