Tuesday

Seven Steps To Teaching Children To Thrive Socially


Not having friends can be tough, really tough. Feeling socially inadequate can damage the self-image immensely. Maybe you spent a portion of your childhood rejected socially, or worse, you have had to witness your child be ostracized, humiliated, or bullied. Sometimes, having just one friend can mean the world of difference. Besides being there for your child at home, there are seven definite steps you can take to teach your child to thrive socially.



 1-ENCOURAGE THEM
Teaching children to thrive socially involves a lot of encouragement. You have to show them that you care about who they are. Give them reasons to accept their own unique personalities. It is only through this that the child will feel comfortable in a social setting. The child will want to share his uniqueness to his peers. You can use encouraging words, spend quality one-on-one time with your child, and listen attentively when your child shares her feelings. Being there will encourage them and give them the confidence to show their true beautiful colors.

2-LOVE YOUR CHILDREN
This is the main ingredient of succeeding socially. Knowing how to love people is what social interactions are about. A child who feels unloved has no need to interact with other people. In some cases, the child may develop into a misanthropist or social misfit. The best way to avoid this is to love your child unconditionally. Tell your children you love them every day.

3-HELP THEM RELATE WITH THEIR SIBLINGS
Charity begins at home. A child who has a healthy relationship with his siblings easily thrives in social settings. The socially-skilled child is able to internalize important values at home from his relationship with his siblings, and later leave the nest and use those same skills with grace. At home with his siblings, a child can learn imperative social skills including how to share, how to be empathetic, and how to play. Sibling rivalry, though highly frustrating and tiring at times, is another healthy practice-ground to learning how to relate and get along with others. Let them practice social skills at home.

4-TEACH THEM SOCIAL GRACES AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Social courtesies go a long way in succeeding in adult relationships. The same applies to relationships among children. A child who can follow non-verbal cues and responds to them, respectfully, is more likely to gain friends than one who is mal-practiced in recognizing socially-relative feedback. Practice with your child what cues people are revealing in the grocery store, in the street, and on television. Teach them how not to interrupt and how to use all the pleasant well mannered formalities including please, thank you, and I'm sorry.

The best way to teach social graces is to practice them in your own home. Words without actions always fall on deaf ears. Children with good interpretation of social cues and social graces have better chances at making friends. Make sure your kids learn them.

5-DISCIPLINE
Our kids need training to shape their developing personalities. Discipline is part of the training process. You will need to discipline your children if their acts are irresponsible, rude, or involve any bad behaviors. This learning of reasonable limits and delayed gratification are all health paths to help your child thrive socially. No one wants to befriend someone with antisocial behaviors. Weed out any antisocial behavior in your children by guiding them with non-confrontation discussions and wise discipline and intervention. This discipline will make them better people, socially and in general.

6-HELP THEM TAKE PART IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
There is a lot of pressure these days on children to succeed. Parents are having their kids sacrifice their childhoods for the sake of future success. We now have bookworm kids with perfect GPAs. Though it may help your child excel academically, this constant pressure and time strain can severely stunt their social development. Create balance in your child's life. Involve your children in sports, music, or other extra-curricular activities. It is in such avenues that they will meet new people and successfully develop their social skills.

7-INVITE THEIR FRIENDS OVER
It is very wise to invite friends to your house to help your kids to develop socially. As the caring adult, you can provide food and comforts that will ensure, at least in this small and safe environment, your child and his friend/friends are enjoying themselves. Over time, this social connection will hopefully extend to the larger social arena as well. In addition, as parents, it is important to know who our children are friends with. Their friends will determine in a huge way your child's habits, attitude, and motivations in life. Help make their friends a positive influence by inviting them to your home and keeping tabs on their intentions.  This further cements their friendship and reinforces their social skills. This is all part of teaching children to thrive socially.

Photo credit:  http://www.morguefile.com/creative/greyerbaby





  1. Are your child's social issues impacting you emotionally?
  2. Do you find yourself emotionally torn over why your child cannot succeed socially?
  3. Are there unresolved social issues you carry that are effecting your ability to help your child?
  4. Who can you turn to, what can you do to create the next positive step in guiding your child to successful social skills?
  5. And if your child is doing well socially, what is the next thing you can do to help him reach that next level of social competence?

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We at Successful Modern Child are determined to share our success-building respectful, effective, and loving communication tools with others parents and educators. Help us help others raise successful modern children. We welcome you to forward this article to others or use it in your newsletter, blog, or site. Simply copy and paste with the following credit line: This article was written for parents and educators by family communication expert Gabi at http://www.successfulmodernchild.com

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SMC was created by Gabi Klaf, MA in Psychology, International Parenting Expert and Family Therapist. Gabi's research into raising successful modern children has taken her around the world. She has taught and inspired groups in Israel, USA, Panama, Peru, and Cambodia. Gabi guides parents to their fullest light around the globe in group teleconference and live workshops. Gabi also takes a very limited number of one-on-one clients for transformational parenting, family, life, and trauma therapy. You may reach Gabi directly at info@successfulmodernchild.com

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