When a child does not develop social skills, problems come in a big box.
Felipe crawls under the school benches, hits his classmates if he wants to get something that pleases him, “pushes” the piece of cake with his fingers and pounces on the sweets that the teacher shares. If he is in a hurry, he does not open the door to get out as soon as he hears the bell, but rather throws himself out the window. A strong smell often fills the room and the other children know where it comes from when you have lentil stew for lunch.
Felipe has not lived in the jungle, but he has no social skills. His mother, out of fear of prejudice and rejection for being part of a non-traditional family, has isolated him from the world. He is only now incorporating social skills and is learning to live in society.
But do not think that he is an ogre: he is a beautiful prince who needs to forge in his daily life those skills necessary to relate to the environment. He is kind and gentle, his tenderness with the little ones is extraordinary. He never judges or criticizes and, above all, he is not phobic of anything or anyone. I have never seen him bitter, complain about something; He expresses things like: “Have you seen the beauty of that flower?”, “What a spectacular day we have today!”
What happens when a child does not develop social skills?
Social skills are that broad spectrum made up of feelings, beliefs and values, the result of learning and experience, that children acquire in relation to others. Thus, depending on the culture, skills will be acquired that will be reflected in the behaviors and attitudes that will be exhibited in interaction with others.
When a child does not develop social skills, problems come in a big box, most of them experience:
Difficulty expressing wishes and opinions
Expressing your opinions and wishes can represent torture, for fear of not being understood, in the most timid. Or on the contrary, as in the case of Felipe, they manage to express them fluently but perhaps aloud, to make themselves heard.
Self esteem issues
Their self-esteem is impaired by not knowing how to function in their social environment, causing a negative or distorted image of themselves.
Difficulty making and keeping friends
By not relating properly to others, having friends and keeping them becomes very difficult, which increases the amount of anguish when feeling lonely and misunderstood.
Poor impulse management
This occurs especially in the adolescent stage, if they lack the necessary strategies to face difficulties, either imposing themselves or acting wrongly.
How to develop social skills in children
If you consider that your son, like Felipe, has difficulties relating to others in everyday life, due to a lack of basic social skills, here are some tips that may be useful to help him develop them:
1. Listen and assertive responses
Felipe has learned that he should not take the anger of other people as something personal, but as the possibility that they are going through difficult times, or feel bad. So you are learning to respond assertively and not with the first thing that comes to mind.
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2. Value of relating
It is very important that children, from a very young age, attend family meetings and events so that they have different social experiences and can experience how they should behave. Enroll your children in recreational and cultural activities where they can be in contact with other peers, especially so that they learn to function without your presence and thus put their skills into action.
3. Conflict management
Dealing with differences is a skill that even in adults becomes a challenge. Imagine a child trying to resolve a conflict, whether it be in school or recreation. Encourage the little ones to participate in different groups or do activities with other people, without your presence being necessary. It is important that children learn to function on their own, without the protection of adult figures. Explain that on certain occasions it is healthy to defend yourself, without resorting to violence and it is even very healthy to withdraw on time.
Conflicts are the bread and butter. Learn to solve them without hurting your family
4. Do not do to others, what we do not want them to do to us
Remind your child to treat other people as they would like to be treated; even when other people are impatient, disrespectful, or act malicious.
5. Accept the disagreement, acknowledge the mistake
Teach him to apologize, to accept the criticism that builds up, to cooperate even when there are differences or he belongs to another culture or lifestyle. Make him see that differences are not bad, but accepting them makes us more complete and more human.
Social skills don’t come with breast milk, yet they have that “Mommy taught me” taste. You can help your child relate to the world so that he is happier with others, being who he is.
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