With the isolation of the past couple of years, many parents are worried about the impact COVID has had on their children’s social skills. It can be worrisome, but the good news is that children tend to learn rapidly and if they’re going to nursery or preschool, they’ll pick up those essential skills even faster.
What Social Skills Kids Need
The top social skills children should have include:
Working with someone else on a common goal is something that is usually learned around three or four years of age. This is a skill that most nurseries work on, as children learn to build things together and help each other to play a game.
Active listening requires the child to pay attention and actually notice what is being said. This skill begins to grow from a very young age and you can encourage it by reading aloud and asking questions about the book.
Respecting Personal Space
As adults, most of us are aware that standing in someone else’s space or sitting on their laps is inappropriate. Children don’t know that yet and will need to learn. Most children begin to understand the concept between three and four years of age, but they still need a lot of practice to master it.
Children learn this skill early on usually, but it’s a challenge as they get older. Sharing becomes difficult between the ages of three and six when they are acutely aware of the fact that sharing means they could receive less. It can be difficult to explain why they should share. By the time they’re seven or eight, they’re usually firmly locked into making sure everything is fair.
Making Eye Contact
Letting someone know you’re listening by making eye contact is essential, but shy children will often have difficulty doing this. There’s no set age, as some children naturally do it and others need reminding.
Saying Please and Thank You
Toddlers can learn these simple phrases and often do. It may take a while before they use the terms correctly, but if you model the behaviour, it will be faster. Encourage manners and politeness when at home or out.
Little Acorns Day Nursery
All these things are skills that children can learn and be taught. One of the big reasons to send your children to a nursery is to provide the opportunity to practice what they’ve been taught. It’s very different from just using the same skills with your immediate family.
At Little Acorns Day Nursery, we encourage children to improve their social skills and to interact with each other in a comfortable environment. Join us today to learn more.