By supporting your child’s social skill development from an early age, you can provide him with the keys to future success.
Speaking on the phone to summon you home early, a baby wailing to let others know that he’s hungry, a girl making a reluctantly pouty face when asked to take a nap, an array of questions from a kid’s curious mind about a new experience — are frequent examples of day-to-day interactions between you and your child.
Early development of interpersonal skills is crucial because they determine how well a child will get along with people and achieve in life. No man is an island, as the saying goes, and a person develops his character, builds enduring relationships, and overcomes obstacles via interaction with other people. Lead by example by being conscientious of what you say and do around your child since how you connect with him will influence how he learns to interact with others. Following are certain skills that you can begin to instil in your child from a very tender age.
Verbal communication is indeed a crucial aspect of interpersonal skills. Your child’s choice of words and vocal tone when expressing themselves, his first words, your toddler’s enthusiastic way of enlisting his body parts, and finally his animated stories – all mark milestones in this verbal communication aspect of personal development.
You can develop it by observing his interests and chatting to him in a non-baby-talk manner. Children learn more readily when they are interested in what they are doing. For instance, if a young child expresses interest in the new car that belongs to his family, discuss it. Use a photograph of the car to assist him identify its colour, observe that it has four doors and round wheels, etc.
Non-verbal communication is all about what a person conveys through their body language, eye contact, and facial expressions. Several studies have mentioned that active communication is applicable to babies as well as they make use of subtle or overt engagement and disengagement signs without using words.
Create the right stimuli to help it grow. A mom shares the experience of how her youngest kid would respond to animal flash cards at the age of two months. “Every morning, I would flash 10 animal cards,” she recalls. “Every time he saw a panda, lion, zebra, or rabbit, he would scream in response. It demonstrated that he was able to identify the creatures and also said what he was hoping to see. When these four cards weren’t presented, he would sob and lament, or he would smile when they were.”
How your child actively listens to and responds to verbal and nonverbal cues is what this is all about.
You can develop this aspect of interpersonal skill by catching his attention, delivering succinct directions, and providing constructive criticism. A mother of three boys shares how she’d get her two-year-old to pay attention to her. She’d calm down her baby boy, put him on her lap, and cradle his face when he wouldn’t listen. She would request him to follow her directions, and when he looked directly into her eyes, she would speak.
Negotiation is the art of giving and taking in a civil way. It is how your child resolves conflicts with others via finding common ground through compromises or an agreement.
Create scenarios that would let your youngster make his argument and exercise his negotiating techniques to develop it. A mom shares how her two children would work together to persuade her to let them watch or play for longer. Before approving their request, she would allow them to provide her with good justifications. She did this so that they could develop the art of negotiation.
The necessity of letting kids settle disagreements among themselves is another point made by several parents. You’d often notice that when two siblings play together in harmony, they would take turns playing with the same object.
It is one of the integral aspects of interpersonal skills. Making decisions, from the outfit your child wants to wear to school to the book she wants to read before night, is what it’s all about. Complex life decisions can have positive or negative effects on your child.
Always asking questions (so she may come up with her own answers) and allowing her to carry out her decisions can help you develop it (so she is accountable for her choices). A study advises parents to experiment with five distinct methods: defining requirements, identifying possibilities, weighing pros and disadvantages, outlining the worst-case scenario, and eliminating options to help children develop solid decision-making skills.