Are you making these 6 mistakes with teaching social skills with other kids? Avoid these pitfalls during play dates and outings.
We all want our kids to socialize with their peers, especially since this is a skill they’ll need to thrive in society. However, parents can place unrealistic expectations on children. See if you’re guilty of these following mistakes with your child when teaching social skills with other kids.
1. Hanging out only in big groups
Big groups aren’t always ideal for socializing. Too many kids seem overwhelming or overstimulating.
Instead, opt for one-on-one play dates. If you’re in a mommy group, invite one mom for a get together, perhaps a mom whose child has a similar temperament as your own child’s.
2. Forgetting that kids might be too young
While two- or three-year-olds can enjoy watching and being with other kids, most don’t actually interact with one another until they’re four years old.
Expecting kids to hand toys back and forth, laugh at one another and share may be an unfair request during the younger ages.
3. Expecting kids to be extroverted
We tend to express a bias towards our more extroverted peers, from childhood into adulthood.
However, up to one-third to one-half of people are introverted and would much rather work alone or in smaller groups. They prefer to listen and observe and could take a longer time to warm up to strangers.
4. Exposing kids with too much
We forget that most of the world is a new experience for kids. For those who don’t enjoy over-stimulation, exposing them to too much too quickly can easily upset them.
Instead, introduce new experiences and places gradually. There’s no need to completely shield kids from every fear; rather, introduce them in a slow and patient way.
5. Pushing kids when they’re not interested
The key to getting kids interested in pretty much anything is to encourage, not push. When they sense our anxiety and pressure to socialize, they’re not likely to feel comfortable than if we simply provided the opportunities.
6. Expressing disappointment
It’s normal to feel disappointed if your expectations aren’t met and your child balks in a social setting. Remember though that this isn’t your child’s fault and is almost always normal.
Rather than expressing disappointment, praise your child’s efforts, however miniscule they may seem to you. She’ll realize that you’re on her side, that what she did was wonderful, and that progress was made.
6 mistakes with teaching social skills [infographic]
All kids develop differently, and what may worry you now will more than likely turn out all right in the end. By avoiding these mistakes, you can help your little ones better thrive in social settings at a comfortable pace that’s just right for them.
Get more tips:
- Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Forced to Share
- What to Do if Your Child Shows Off to Others
- How to Stop Your Child from Interrupting and What to Do Instead
- How to Teach Toddlers to Share
- Parenting Doesn’t Have to Be So Overwhelming
What challenges have you faced when teaching social skills? Which tactics worked best? Have you found yourself guilty of these six mistakes?