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Helping children develop brilliant social skills- how?

(13 Posts)
reallytired Sun 13-Nov-11 16:24:44

Having good social skills is vital if a person is going to lead a happy life. I think that teaching a pre schooler how to make friends is more useful than teaching them how to read. Also a well mannered child who and follow instructions is easier for the teacher.

Other than nursery or pre school how can good social skills be fostered. Areas I can think of are in particular order

a) Manners
b) playskills
c) negioation and flexiblity
d) assertivess
e) listening skills and ablity to follow instructions
f) turn taking and cooperation
g) the ablity to share without being completely and utterly walked over.

How best can these skills be developed at home?

I am not a great fan of mother and toddler groups. DD does meet other children through church.

HoneyPablo Sun 13-Nov-11 16:49:43

I completely agree, having worked in early years for many years.

I think the best way of teaching these skills is through modelling them as children learn by copying the behaviour they see. Also using anything you see, whether on tv, in a book, or in real life to reinforce the important things. Use them as a basis for a discussion and explanation as to why certain behaviour is acceptable/unacceptable.
The fact that you have realised the importance of all the things you have mentioned means that you are well on your way to your DD learning them and accepting them as the norm.
Why not give the mother and todler gropus a do? If only so you can point out the bad behaviour of some of the other children there grin

Tgger Sun 13-Nov-11 19:23:26

How old is your DD? Age 2 and 3 it's experimenting and growing in confidence around other children, with direction on how to share/give up a toy. Age 3.5/ 4 slightly more sophisticated, playing with others, boundaries around own and others behaviour- what is what is not acceptable, boundaries put in place by parent/pre-school/nursery. Age 4/5 Reception further socialisation re fitting into school life. Empathy grows, ability to put themselves into others shoes and articulate feelings grows, more "grown up" approach to incidents and behaviours possible.
This is my take on it. But to answer your question I agree with pp, if you can model healthy social behaviour and in a quiet but kind way correct any not so good behaviours of DD as she matures. Have plently of playdates/opportunites to play with all sorts of children.

tigerlillyd02 Sun 13-Nov-11 20:15:36

I'm following this link as I'd love to know too!

I do actually take my ds to groups - although only just started getting more involved now he's turned 2.

At the moment, he is quite good at sharing, follows intruction well and has just picked up about taking turns. He does need to learn to be more assertive. On Friday, at a drama group we go to, all the kids were fighting over who was next to blow the bubbles and because he knows he has to wait his turn, he stood very quietly watching them (but, from the look on his face clearly full of excitement about having his go) and ended up being last (after some children had several goes because they were stropping). I felt a bit sorry for him (mainly because he'd been so patient for at least 15 minutes) so need to somehow teach him to get his fair share without being nasty about it! Hard one to tackle I think...

Caz10 Sun 13-Nov-11 20:36:34

Interested in this too, from the pov of someone whose dd does not appear to be developing good social skills, despite what I see as a consistent input from family and pre-school- quite frankly her behaviour can be shocking! It really gets me down and I also find the more i insist on good behaviour, am firm with her etc, the worse she gets. I also work with children and completely agree that social skills need to come first- but how?!!!

NotJustKangaskhan Sun 13-Nov-11 20:36:44

The Social Skills Wheel has a list of skills and activities that may be of use (though I think most, particularly peace skills, could use a few more activity examples).

reallytired Mon 14-Nov-11 10:05:54

The social skills wheel looks brilliant. I feel for children like tigerlillyd02 son's who waited patiently and was walked all over by the rest of the group. I think the people running the drama group let the children down by rewarding the children who throw tantrums. However that sort of experience is common in life.

I suppose he should have said "I haven't had a go yet" repeatly (broken record) when the otheer children were being given second gos. However that is easier said than done when you are a small child.

The special school I used to work at made extensive use of social stories.I have been doing role playing games with my dd. For example yesterday we made a den in the living room and pretended we were going camping. Another day we pretended that her toys were at a restaurant and she was the waitress.

The problem is that life is not always fair and the chid who throws tantrums often gets their way.

Familydilemma Mon 14-Nov-11 17:27:40

And so it continues into adult life for those who aren't assertive. How many times at work or children's school do the people who throw their toys out of the pram hold sway?! (reminds self to be politely assertive in such situations!).

Familydilemma Mon 14-Nov-11 17:30:52

The point is caz10, that we're here to help our children and they're works in progress (as are we all). Dd has just had a rubbish time socially, we've been working hard on it at home and today we had a good play at home for the first time in ages with another child. I could see dd's cogs whirring as she allowed the other girl to share her toys and I felt so, so proud of her. And tomorrow might be two steps back again!

Caz10 Tue 15-Nov-11 21:45:35

You are right! It's just very hard on the two steps back days, which I find are much more frequent!

Familydilemma Tue 15-Nov-11 22:16:22

Yep! Two steps back here for us today!

ellesabe Wed 16-Nov-11 08:46:04

Aw tigerlilly, your ds sounds just adorable!!!

I think that the key to most behaviour is an understanding of consequences. This does tend to be more difficult with abstract things such as social skills as the consequence of one's actions can be cumulative rather than based on any single action, and they also usually take effect a long time after the behaviour which preceded it.

Your ds will have found it quite difficult to perceive any positive consequences that his patience will have had, especially as the immediate consequence was so negative (he didn't get a turn at the bubbles). I think that long-term consequences require a lot if explanation.

Also, where appropriate you can orchestrate a short-term consequence in order to reinforce the behaviour. For example could you buy your ds some bubbles of his own, as a reward for his patience? Or maybe let him take some bubbles to the next party so that he can see the situation from a different perspective? This sort of thing will stick with him, especially if he doesn't anticipate it. I still remember the day my mum bought me an ice-cream from an ice-cream van just because I DIDN'T ask for one! I was 6 and I don't think I ever pestered her for an ice-cream ever again!

winemummy1 Fri 04-Dec-15 00:11:45

Would love some advice in this, I am extremely socially awkward & it has made life difficult for me. I try my best for my dcs sake but I find small talk hard & usually end up making others around me feel uncomfortable. I'm a bad model for dc but really understand how vital the soft skills are...

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