Everyone loves a well-mannered child, who interacts beautifully with peers and elders. It is a sight that makes every mum proud. As your child’s first teacher, you play a big role in the development of his social skills. You steer him towards healthy social graces and socially engaging in future with the proper dispositions and behaviour.

Self-control, empathy and effective communication are a few social skills that your toddler should develop to be prepared for early schooling and beyond. Children who are able to regulate their emotions and interact well with others live happier and more successful lives.

MUMS, HERE ARE FOUR WAYS
TO HONE YOUR CHILD'S SOCIAL SKILLS.

BE AN ACTIVE PARTNER IN THE LEARNING PROCESS

BE AN ACTIVE PARTNER IN THE LEARNING PROCESS

While you may want your child to be the most well behaved kid in his class, keep in mind that the understanding required to develop his social skills comes gradually and with practice.

 

Watch him progress. First he will do simple social acts like being comfortable with greeting people. Soon he would be holding conversations with you or even his toys! As he grows further, he will be able to engage in role play, express his views in a group, and empathise with others such as feeling happy when someone wins and sad when he sees someone cry and try to comfort them.

Be aware and encourage his good acts, while explaining the reasoning behind good and bad. Teach him what is expected in specific situations like speaking softly when someone is trying to sleep, and loudly when he’s trying to be heard over ambient noise.

PRACTICE PATIENCE ALWAYS

PRACTICE PATIENCE ALWAYS

Keep repeating. Learning by reiteration is important to form long-term memory, which is important in building habits.

Practice whenever you can and as often. Teach him how to wait in a conversation. He needs to understand that it is a two-way process and he needs to pause and let the other person speak. As he grows up, teach him how to catch your attention respectfully, then initiate and carry a conversation. These social overtures are the building blocks of good interpersonal skills.

Practice the concept of personal space at home. Teaching your child to respect one’s space will dissuade him from reaching out and grabbing other children’s toys as he wishes.

INCREASE EXPOSURE TO HIS FRIENDS IN THE SAME AGE GROUP

INCREASE EXPOSURE TO HIS FRIENDS IN THE SAME AGE GROUP

Kids learn faster when they see it in other children. Use this as a tool to engage their social skills. Integration and making friends begin early. Let your toddler mingle with other toddlers and be fascinated by their learning mechanism. As your child grows older, you can expose him to more play dates. This will in turn, strengthen his language, thinking, emotional, and social skills as well.

DON’T FORGET GOOD NUTRITION. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

DON’T FORGET GOOD NUTRITION. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Besides being an active partner in their learning, giving your little one the best nutrition also plays an important role in a child’s development.

DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is an important building block for brain & eye development^. Give your little one foods containing DHA, such as eggs, fish and milk. Enfagrow A+ is a milk specially formulated with DHA to meet the recommendation for daily DHA intake**.

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References:
Doward, J. (2014, November 08). Emotional health in Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/08/happiness-childhood-emot...
Social Development. (nd). Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/
The Importance of Pretend Play. (nd). Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/creativity-play/impo...
^ Nutrient functions claims is for children up to 3 years of age.
** FAO/WHO recommends daily dietary DHA intake of 10-12mg/kg body weight for children 12-24 months or 100-150mg DHA+EPA for children 2 years old and above, 100-150mg DHA+EPA for children 4 years of age or 150-200mg DHA+EPA for children 4 years old and above, 200-250mg DHA+EPA for children 6-10 years old. Reference: FAO 2010. Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition. Report of an expert consultation. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper no. 91. FAO:Rome.