For my post today, in #28DaysofAwareness, I would like to share some helpful hints from Gelli’s speech therapist, Teacher Geline.
Teacher Geline has been Gelli’s therapist since she was able to sit up.
She has seen Gelli’s growth and development in language acquisition and has celebrated her triumphs with all of us.
One of Gelli’s short term goals in her therapies (across the board) are positive ways to reinforce social skills.
Here are some helpful hints from Teacher Geline:
Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills
When children start to interact with peers and adults, it is imperative that we teach them various social skills.
Social skills can be quite tricky to teach. These are usually ‘unspoken rules’ between people. From a simple act of greeting their friends, sharing toys, or something more complex such as regarding others’ feelings as a consequence of their actions, these skills should be learned through experiences, observations, and a little help from therapists when needed.
Here are simple ways to teach social skills to your child:
1. Encourage your child to join play dates, kids’ events, group activities, etc.
This is a good way for children to learn sharing, taking turns and greeting friends. If pretend play is involved, they will learn to assign roles to each other, have actual and make-believe conversations, and conflict resolution.
2. Grab opportunities to prompt your child to use socially appropriate actions or statements.
Ideally before an event, you can remind your child to say “hello” to a friend, or respond with a “thank you” when she gets gifts, or to ‘bless’ her elders. It will also be helpful to explain to them why they need to do such things.
3. Apply ‘Theory of mind’ in social skills.
When your child reaches a certain level of maturity to reason, you can use the ‘theory of mind’ to teach social skills. You can ask questions such as “what would you feel if that were done to you?” or “what do you think is he/she feeling?” to help them process the consequences of their actions.
4. Use social stories.
Social stories are books or narratives that teach children about good manners and proper conduct within or outside the home. This can involve stories about punctuality, cleanliness, and generosity. You can find these kinds of stories in local book stores.
Using these simple guidelines, you can improve your child’s social skills by creating a sense of self-awareness and how they should conduct themselves around others with respect and harmony.
I hope these tips help!