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Social Butterflies: Enhancing Your Child’s Interpersonal Skills

Children must have good interpersonal skills to live a full life. One reason our preschool in Silver Spring focuses on getting along with others is that building relationships is crucial for developing interpersonal skills. The earlier children start developing interpersonal skills, the better their chances of success.

What are Interpersonal Skills in Child Development?

Interpersonal skills are the abilities you need to deal with other people. They are also known as social, soft, people, or life skills. For kids to have good daily conversations, they need to know these skills.

The most common interpersonal skills in child development are learning to talk to people, emotional intelligence, working with others, negotiating, persuading, and influencing skills, handling conflict, solving problems, and making decisions.

How Can I Improve My Child’s Interpersonal Skills?

We all know how hard it can be to meet new people and join forces with them. Often, it seems like the worst thing for kids in the world. It can be a lot easier if you help your child get better at getting along with other people. You can help your child learn how to get along with others by showing them and telling them how important it is to do so. Enrolling them in a preschool in Silver Spring, MD, can also help, as they interact with other children daily.

Kids reading book in classroom.

Here is a list of things you can do to help improve your child’s interpersonal skills.

Teach Them to Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact may seem easy, but it’s actually a very useful skill. It lets people know that we’re paying attention to what’s being said and are fully participating in the social setting. Encourage your kids to look people in the eyes when they talk to them, and have them practice talking to others while looking into their eyes. It will boost their confidence, make them feel like they are being heard, and help them get better at listening.

Teach Them About Emotions

The best way to help your child get along with others is to talk about feelings and mental health. We’re not just parents to our kids but also teachers, coaches, leaders, and role models. By doing activities with them, we can teach our kids the difference between good and bad feelings.

Try not to mix up your emotions. If you’re telling them they did something wrong, keep a straight face and use words to describe how you feel. Talk about how you feel in different settings. Tell them they can cry, both happy and sad.

Teach Them Empathy

When we think of conversation, we usually think of how we talk to others. But listening well is just as important, both in our personal and work lives. Help your kids learn to be aware when they are feeling extremely upset. It’s great to ask them open-ended questions to get kids to think more deeply. What caused this to happen? Why did the other person do what they did? Do you understand why they might feel that way? Is there a middle ground that everyone can agree on? Getting better at getting along with others means being able to understand them as well as being able to say what you want to say.

Daughter hugging her daddy.

Communication is Crucial

We should always encourage our children to share their thoughts and feelings. Part of getting along with others is learning to think about something inside your head and then explain it to someone else in a way they can understand. Children practice this vital skill by putting their feelings into words when they say what they think and when they’re upset.

Besides talking, there are many other ways that we can show ourselves. One example is how body language can be just as important as words. If your kids are younger, try making facial movements and asking them to name the emotion you think they are showing. You can also ask them to show you what an emotion looks like without words. In many ways, nonverbal communication is stronger than spoken language. Languages vary from place to place but smiles and other nonverbal cues are understood everywhere.

Be a Role Model

It’s important to be a good social role model for your children, but people often forget this. To help your child get along with others, all you have to do is be responsible, listen, communicate clearly, and treat others with care. Talk about how you feel, make eye contact, apologize for mistakes, and show that you understand. You can be a great example in all of these ways.

Understand Your Kid’s Limits

Each child makes friends in their own unique way. A shy child might get tired quickly in loud and busy social situations, while an outgoing child might enjoy them but prefer quiet or private places. Do not push your kid into social situations where they do not feel at ease. Instead, let them learn at their own pace and in their own time. It takes a while to learn how to run, so these small steps into bigger social settings are important.

Parents with children relaxing on sofa and reading.

Teach Them to Listen

Listening carefully is an important skill to have. To teach them this skill, you can show them how to do it by really listening to what they have to say. This will teach them to pay close attention to what other people say. It’s important to understand what other people are saying while also being understood yourself.

Final Thoughts

Strong interpersonal skills, including effective verbal and nonverbal communication, are crucial for children to succeed in life. These skills involve effectively managing conflicts, collaborating with teams, demonstrating empathy, actively listening, and maintaining a positive outlook in all situations. With how crucial interpersonal skills are in children, it should come as no surprise that many Silver Spring preschool programs put a lot of focus on developing and enhancing a child’s interpersonal skills.

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