TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR CHILD DEVELOP STRONG SOCIAL SKILLS
By Stacey Buck and Amy Zebala
- Plan a powerful playdate
Plan activities to help your child interact with his or her friends such as an art or cooking project. Make sure there is plenty of supervision and limit the time to a few hours depending on the age of the children.
- Use books and videos as a learning too
Watch videos or read books and talk about the emotions of the characters. If a character is mad – ask why? Follow up with your questions about what your child does when he/she gets mad.
- Focus on nonverbal communications
Games like charades can show a child that not all communication involves words. This recognition can help them watch for nonverbal cues from their playmates.
- Explore tone of voice
Practice helping your child to recognize tone of voice by using role-playing games. Verbalize a postivie tone, a frightened tone or an angry tone and have your child identify them. Then, you could have them try the different tones of voice themselves.
- Know when to get help
If your child has significant difficulty making or mantaining friendships, expressing himself or herself or acts out by hitting other children, he or she may need help to develop social skills. A licensed speech-language therapist can evaluate their communication skills and offer strategies or therapy for social skills.