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8 Tips to Increase Your Child's Social Skills

Do you help your child develop social skills? Children still have many different friends at primary school. Not all children already have regular friends or a best friend. Some children make easy contact, while other children find it difficult to make friends. How can you help your child to make friends? How can you teach your child to deal well with peers?

1. Listen to your child instead of giving advice

All children have conflicts with peers. If so, listen to your child. If you tell your child what to do, your child will therefore feel more insecure. Help your child to clarify his feelings and ask questions so that he can figure out how he can solve the problem.

2. Do not choose a party

Listen to your child's opinion, try to empathize with your child and show understanding for the feelings of your son or daughter. At the same time, do not try to blacken the other child. If you expect your child to lie about his own share, then help your child to empathize with the other person. Do not blame your own child, but stay neutral. Say for example:

"I wonder what was going on with Bente. Why would she have said such mean things? Would she have felt left out and sad when she was not allowed to join? "

3. Help your child to express his needs without attacking the other person

This is quite a challenge, even for adults. Children need our help in this. Try to let your child know what he needs and what he likes rather than what he is bothered by.
For example, if your daughter is angry because her girlfriend is in charge of her and says: "You always play the boss!" Say: "You sound very angry. Can you tell Tess what you would like her to do, instead of saying what you think of her? "

4. Teach your child to stand up for himself

Feeling for yourself is an important skill that all children need. Some children do this automatically and others need help to learn this. You can help your child by practicing this together in a role play. Teach your child what he can say and do to make it clear to the other person that he does not like something. If your child really has a lot of trouble with this then a resistance training can help. Read more about this in the article:

5. Teach your child to consult

Children in elementary school age are often bossy. They want to push through their own sentence, but also play with other children. Being able to consult with each other and negotiate is already a useful skill at this age. For example, ask your child the following question:

"What is more important to you? To play the game your way or to play with Emma? "

If another child is very bossy, your child may need help on how to negotiate. Help your child by saying for example:

"I really want to play with you Liv, but we've been playing outside all the time and I want to play indoors now. Can we do something that we both like? "

6. Help your child solve problems

When children feel calm again and there is room for their feelings, most children know what they can do to solve the problem. Children can then say something like: "I am no longer angry with Sam and I want to play with him again, can I ask if he will play outside again?"

If your child does not come up with a solution yourself, find something together. Sometimes it takes a while for a child to come to a solution, where it can keep his boyfriend and also his self-worth.

If your child does not know this, list a few options and let your child choose.

If something has happened, it is also good to teach your child to make up for it again. This teaches your child to take responsibility for his behavior. It often does not work well to let your child say sorry. Certainly not if your child is not ready yet or is too young for it.

7. Contact with other children

Children need exercise to develop social skills. They have to practice and experience for themselves what works and what does not work. That is why it can make sense to ensure that your child can play with other children in addition to after school program. Help your child to make play dates or choose a club or sport for your child. Sometimes making friends in a different environment (than school) is easier.

8. See what your child can help 

Some children continue to find it very difficult to get along with other children. For example, they do not automatically see how someone else feels or understand what is expected of them in a social situation. Observe your child when it is playing with other children together. See when things go wrong and also especially when things are going well. What does your child do? Try to talk about this with your child after a quiet time. Play a situation or read a book about playing together with other children.
What can also help is to discuss it with the teacher. Do they recognize it at school? What works there? Consider together how you can help your child. Social skills can be learned for a very large part, so by accompanying your child and investing in it, it will become easier for your child. Sometimes social skills training can help your child. Schools usually know where they are given in the region.

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