All parents want the best for their children and fitting into some basic social constructs is something that is necessary for a child to lead a normal and healthy life.
Being able to socialize with others and verbalize their thoughts and feelings can open many doors for different experiences and it is almost 100% proven way to break the walls, build friendships and have fun. Therefore, parents have the obligation to show their children all the benefits of social contact and teach them to be strong and confident in their own opinions in general.
Play with Your Child
The first step of any positive reinforcement is taking the
time to play with your child. Children are not immediately ready to be left
alone with other kids, and parents’ role is to prepare them for different
social activities. Start out by playing any kind of a fun and enjoyable game
where children can show what they feel. For example, role
playing games would definitely help them learn about different situations
and personalities thus enabling them to become prepared for facing others
straight on, not to mention that taking a role of a superhero instills positive
values in a child’s behavior.
Talk with Your Child
If you want your child to be socially aware and ready to
communicate, you need to set an example first. Talk with your child about
anything and most importantly, listen to what he/she has to say. By treating
children’s problems, worries or interests as equal and important as yours, they
will feel more secure about talking about themselves. If a child sees that you
as parents are open, communicative, willing to listen and help and politely
give advice, it is only normal that a child would try to copy that behavior,
sometimes even unconsciously.
Use the Weekends
Weekends are times when you can devote yourself entirely to
your kid but it would be also nice to provide opportunities where you can be
together with child’s friends. Organizing fun parties at kids
party venues can prove to be a great strategy to have your child play with
other kids from day care while feeling extra safe because you are there as
well. It is necessary to talk about this with child’s teachers at day care so
you would get a general idea about all the kids that spend time with your
Don’t be Afraid to
Invite Your Friends
Some parents think that it would be too overwhelming for
their kids to spend time with other adults thus refraining from calling their
own friends over. Still, this is a wrong approach. Of course that a child
should not witness any arguments or excessive alcohol drinking, but having your
friends over for a chat and coffee or tea would actually benefit your child in
many ways. Firstly they would get used to being around other people older than
them. Secondly, your friends can talk to your child and play with him/her thus
making it possible for a child to understand how to behave in an unknown
environment. Finally, having your own group of friends over from time to time
will definitely help the child loosen up and overcome any possible shyness more
easily, which is especially useful in the future.
Encouraging your child’s social development is a constant work but it does not have to be difficult. Remember to talk to your kid and explain how you feel even when you are tired. That way, a child will start to understand and empathize with others more.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”