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Blog - social skills

6 More Social Skills Tips for the New Year

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Here are some more SOCIAL SKILLS tips to help you help your children learn ways to think, act, and behave that will enable them to get along well with others. Another benefit is these skills will better prepare them for BULLYING PREVENTION. 

1. When we GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT to a child for a job well done, a chore completed, a kind word spoken, a nice gesture or action performed, we show that child that we appreciate their efforts. They do want to please us. A child living with encouragement will learn how good that feels for him, and extend encouragement to others. Shower your child with praise via verbally, fist bumps, high fives, and thumbs up as often as possible. 

2. When we train a child to BE HELPFUL, we are offering that child a secure place in the family, or classroom. It boosts their confidence and assures them of your praise and acceptance. Even if they do something wrong, retrain them and begin again. It is a learning process. Teaching a child to show siblings, or fellow students, how to BE HELPFUL encourages the important values of patience, perseverance, and compassion. 

3. Along with being helpful, is the important lesson of learning how to COOPERATE WITH OTHERS. Children who go to preschool or daycare without learning this skill will have difficulty getting along with others and with learning. Start early with providing times when your children have opportunities to interact with other children, both of the same ages and different ages. Be present to provide the needed guidance as they learn give and take. 

4. For children to have friends, get along with other children, and be able to reject bullying, they must learn how to CARE ABOUT OTHERS. This is what we call "empathy." No child comes into the world knowing this. Their needs are paramount; from being fed when hungry, being changed when wet, to being held when not feeling well. Empathy is best taught at a young age; such as having sympathy for a sick pet, or a sibling's lost toy. Not doing this results in a self-centered child who could grow into a self-centered adult. 

5. Encourage your children to BE GENTLE. Start with how they speak. Model speaking softly and quietly. Show them how to BE GENTLE when interacting with others, as opposed to hitting, climbing on people or pets, running and jumping around where it annoys others. 

6. When we RESPECT THE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS OF OTHERS, we can expect that they will do the same for us. Point out how others might be feeling in situations your child can understand. Some examples of this include: helping your child understand that his friend is sad because his dog died. Or, Grandma is upset because Grandpa is sick. You can also point out that the neighbors, who are of a different race and religion, have different customs from yours. Help your children learn some simple ways to prepare them for school and life. 

SOCIAL SKILLS will never go out of style. We may think they are unimportant, but they are the basis for our moral behavior and can help PREVENT BULLYING in your child's life.

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