As we are about to begin a school year that may be different for your child if they will be participating in virtual school or distance learning, it is vital to give your child the opportunities to practice their social skills. Developing social skills prepares children for healthier interactions with their peers, friends, teachers, and adults. Displaying good manners, communicating effectively with others, being considerate of the feelings of others, and expressing personal needs are all important components of solid social skills. Some children are more naturally comfortable in social situations than others. For other children, it may take some more practice at home to learn social skills, especially if they are in quarantine and experiencing a lack of interactions with their peers. It is important that young children are able to form meaningful bonds with others, can empathize and interact with others appropriately, and have the skills to adapt to new situations. Here are some great ways that you can teach your child social skills during quarantine!
Role-playing: Use your child’s virtual lesson time to review social skills that can be role-played. For example, you can teach your child how to leave a voicemail, talk to their teacher, respond when in a disagreement with a friend or classmate. It gives students a chance to practice and a chance for parents to help identify skills they excel at and where they need more practice.
Use videos: There are a variety of topics related to social skills that can be addressed with videos found on YouTube, Nearpod, and other sites. These videos often demonstrate the skill, as well as ways in which the situation can be handled differently.Instead of searching for “social skills” when looking for videos, focus on a specific topic that can help you narrow down your search and find the topic you are specifically looking for. This video is a perfect example of what would be a great resource for your child because it incorporates animation and music to engage your child into the lesson of working on their social skills.
Use books: Books are always a great way to introduce the concepts related to social skills and to begin conversations.Focus on one skill each week and explore that through videos, texts, and dialogue. Picture books, like the ones provided in this resource, are great for young children.
Social skills are necessary to have so that when your children can go back to school, they are ready and excited to interact with their peers and make new friends. By thinking outside the box and using the tips provided above, you can provide your child with ease while learning new social skills.