Stop Worrying! Most kids lack social skills. Now you can give your kids a boost with 5 social skills every kid needs.
- Listen to the other kid. Most kids are like adults. They love attention. Giving attention by listening to the other kid is the highest kind of compliment. Here's a parenting tip to help your child get started. Tell your child to ask questions. If the child your son wants for a friend is talking about his new bike, ask him how fast it goes, how big it is, or its design. These questions will get him talking. Your child will be giving him the attention he craves. He'll want your child for a friend too.
- Look the other kid in the eye when listening and speaking. Use this parenting tip to stress that looking directly into the other kids' eyes makes them feel important. They'll know you are interested in them. They'll like your child for it too.
- Repeat your friend's last few words: Repeating the other kid's last few words and waiting for the kid to continue speaking is a great parenting tip. It's a superior social skill because it helps the other kid keep on track and continue his train of thought. He'll feel like your child really listens too.
For instance, let's pretend the other boy said, "I'm going to be a fireman and help save people." Your child could reply, "Help save people?" The friend might say, "Yah, my uncle is a fireman and he tells us..." Who wouldn't want to be friends with your child? He's such a great listener. One more thing, the other kid won't even know your child is moving the conversation along by repeating the other kid's last words.
- Say your friend's name often throughout the conversation. Dale Carnegie, the author of the signature book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," told his readers that a person's own name is the sweetest word for him to hear. Tell your child to sprinkle the other kid's name throughout the conversation.
For example, your child could say, "Let's play tag, Michelle." A few minutes later your child could say, "Michelle, let's rest and then go to my house." Still later your child could say, "Let's watch TV, Michelle." Every time your child said Michelle's name, her ears perked up. She liked hearing her name. She'll like your child too.
- Repeat what your friend says in your own words. This parenting tip takes a good ear and an active mind. When your child repeats what the other kid says in her own words, it's like magic. The other kid is likely to say "Yes," and continue the conversation. Let's pretend the other child is saying, "I like my teacher because she holds contests and gives rewards. Your child might say "No wonder you like your teacher. I like contests and rewards too." The other kid might continue talking about a reward she received. She'll enjoy talking about her success and she'll enjoy having your child for a friend.
Role-play these social skills with your child. Tell your child to practice on other kids and share the results with you. If you do, you'll be teaching your child how to make friends, become a confident communicator, and build character too.