5 Social Skills Your Preschoolers Need To Have (And How You Can Help Them Get It)

When I hear the words “social skills,” I usually don’t associate them with preschoolers. Maybe older kids and definitely adults, but not preschoolers. Why should I worry about their social skills at such a young age, right? But as I was thinking about it, I realized that there is no actual age limit for social skills. And on top of that, social skills are one some of the most important skills our kids (or anyone for that matter) can have. So, I listed down five social skills you can start with, and some ideas for how you can help your preschoolers acquire them.

5 Social Skills Your Preschoolers Need to Have And How You Can Help Them Get It Photo: Studio629

 

Conversing Here's what you can do: 1. Share something - conversing takes two people, and you can start it off by sharing something with your preschooler. It can be a little anecdote about your day, maybe even what you cooked for lunch, and what you plan to do on the weekend. 2. Ask questions - "What did you do today?" "How was your day?" You can also include them in your family dinner conversations so that they'll really feel like what they have to say is important to everyone. 3. Play pretend - Whether you want to dress up in costume or make puppets, playing pretend is a great way for your young ones to create their own dialogues

This is very different from just talking. While preschoolers can already say complete sentences at this stage, it’s always a good idea to try to get them to converse with others too.

 

Listening Here's what you can do: 1. Have story time - there's no better way to get your kids to listen than while reading a story (especially if it has some of their favorite characters). 2. Look at your toddlers when you talk to them - looking at your kids can not only hold their attention, but it also lends a certain importance to what you're going to say too. 3. Try to remove distractions - maybe a reason why the little ones aren't listening is because the TV is on, there's a phone somewhere beeping notifications, or loud songs are blaring from the toys strewn across the floor.

While young children are notorious for not listening, it’s still a crucial social skill to start instilling in them at a young age.

 

Following instructions Here's what you can do: 1. Play Simon Says - even though it's a party game, it's still fun and will get your point across 2. Give instructions one at a time - your little ones can get overwhelmed if you spout out multiple instructions. To help them process instructions, try to give them one at a time. 3. Use visuals - you can put a sign in front of the potty that indicates that they have to put down the lid. Even visuals like these can help your kids follow instructions.

To prepare our preschoolers for the real world, they’re going to have to be able to conform to the rules of society (even if society for them, might just mean preschool).

 

Sharing Here's what you can do: 1. Have a sharing day - assign each of your kids a sharing day, where they have to share something of theirs (toys, food, books, etc.) 2. Make the word 'Mine' a taboo - instead of a swear jar, have a 'Mine' jar. You can all keep tabs on how many times your kids say it, and talk about how you can lessen it too. 3. Give them more opportunities to share - instead of buying them individual ice cream cones, you can buy a pint of ice cream that they can share.

Not everything is about “Me” or “Mine” and we want our little ones to know this as early as possible.

 

Thinking of others Here's what you can do: 1. Do an activity together as a family - whether you visit an orphanage, donate to a charity, or visit an elderly home, these activities will hopefully open their minds to the idea of thinking of others 2. What one thing did you do for someone else today? - you can make this a routine in your home. Even a little thing such as getting dad's wallet can count. (It's also a great conversation starter!) 3. Start conversations - "What do you think this person was feeling?" "How do you think she felt?" These types of questions will really let your preschoolers consider someone else.

While it’s still too early for them to start empathizing and sympathizing with others, we can already get them started on thinking of others.

 

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