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With the unending pandemic scare and the lockdown being extended for weeks, both children and adults feel anxious and cooped up at home, to say the least. School going kids have been hit the hardest, and if you can sense that with your kids too, and you fear how the extended isolation might impact your child’s social skills, here’s a bit of help your way.
Read on to discover some of the best actionable ways to teach your children social skills even while you’re all stuck at home.
- Teach Your Children Social Skills With Online Classes
- Host Playdates
- Foster Healthy Conversation at Home
- Give it Time
- Understand Children Social Skills Learning Pace
- Encourage Them to Maintain Friendships
- Push Them to Learn to Pay Attention
- Take a Virtual Field Trip
- Try to Connect More in Person
- Do it With Good Books
Teach Your Children Social Skills With Online Classes
Online classes are a great way to help school-going kids stay in touch with their friends and peers. Most schools have already opted for this now, but if that isn’t enough, you can also consider getting your child enrolled in one that’s creative or instructive in some way and get other school kids to join in as well.
You could plan it out with their teacher or with other parents who might be interested.
The lockdown rules have certainly become less strict over the past few months, and people are stepping out, even with their children, to run errands or just spend some time outdoors while practicing the social distancing norms, of course. If that’s the case where you reside, you could put that to use too!
Foster Healthy Conversation at Home
The pandemic and the rising number of cases being affected, coupled with the impact on businesses and work, has caused everyone to get into panic mode, and that’s not healthy. As a parent, take steps to keep the conversation at home light and healthy as much as possible.
Try not to watch the news all the time and catastrophize the situation. Try to use this time to create a stronger communication channel with your kids, and build a good, trusting relationship with them.
Give it Time
Babies are born with the innate ability and need to socialize- it is more of a survival skill than anything else. Remember that when you’re trying to get your child to build and improve his social skills. Don’t lose hope if your child isn’t as outgoing and socially active as you’d like him to be. Give it time.
Emphasize on helping him learn to initiate conversations and keep up with ones that are already in motion. Build his self esteem and help him voice his own opinion about things at home as well- it can make a huge difference.
Understand Children Social Skills Learning Pace
Parents need to remember that every kid is different, and each kid has a different learning style and pace. Some can pick up social cues and establish a healthy conversation with others effortlessly, while some others may take a lot longer time and may need to be pushed as well, and that’s okay.
Allow your kid to polish his social skills at his own pace. Don’t try to rush it. You’ll only end up pushing him backwards.
Encourage Them to Maintain Friendships
Your children may feel socially isolated, and unlike us, they might not have access to phones and social media networks to stay in touch with their peers. Every once in a while, allow them to have a video chat with their friends, talk about their days, the skills they learned, the new things they discovered, and how they are spending their time in the pandemic scenario.
You might need to be the one to initiate this along with other parents and set it up of course, but it will be totally worth it.
Push Them to Learn to Pay Attention
This is also a great time to teach your children the importance of paying attention to detail. The fast-paced lifestyle that we have been living for years hasn’t made it any easier, but now that things have relatively slowed down, it has offered us a good chance to be more calm and practice mindful living in our day to day life, and your kids can do that too.
Help them learn how to pay attention to detail in the little things they do and experience how it makes a difference in their quality of life.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
This one’s another super cool idea you can work on. Many museums and organizations are now offering virtual field trips that students can take, and if you’re trying to make learning at home fun and exciting, this one could be a great way to do it.
You could also team up with other moms and get them to have their kids join the trip, too- the kids would then have a common topic to talk and discuss, which could be a great way to encourage a positive and inspiring conversation between them.
Try to Connect More in Person
Isolation is the perfect opportunity for families to connect deeply with one another. Take it as an opportunity to teach your children social skills! If your busy schedule coupled with your kid’s classes and school work hasn’t given you enough time to truly bond with each other, now’s a great time to work on that and strengthen your relationship.
Plan out movie nights, game nights, or literally any other activity that helps you all bond together as a family. You could also look at old photos and bring back old memories, which is another great conversation starter.
Do it With Good Books
Don’t underestimate the power of a good book when it comes to teaching your children valuable life lessons. If your child is acting shy or isn’t taking the isolation situation too well, you might want to pick up a few good books and help him make sense of the situation through stories and experiences.
You could also get your kid to join a book club with other kids- they will have a common topic to discuss and learn many valuable life skills together.
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