Helping your little one socialise

Young Children Socialising

Your little one will be meeting new people and making new friends soon enough! Here are some steps you can take to teach your child how to socialise.

Whether your little one is naturally outgoing or shy, developing the appropriate social skills is important in your little one’s overall growth. After all, they’ll be meeting new people and making new friends soon enough! So here are some steps you can take to teach your child how to socialise.

Dealing with emotions
It’s important to teach young children how to deal with their emotions is a healthy way. Children’s emotions –positive or negative – can run high, so the trick here is not to trivialise or punish your little one for their emotional state. For example, if your little one is upset, try acknowledging their feelings first and ask why they’re upset to understand where the emotion is coming from. If your little one is upset because their toy was taken by someone else, talk to them about what they can do next – such as asking for their toy back, or getting another toy to play with.

Be there for your little one
If your little one is shy, try to empathise with your little one instead of punishing them for their fear of socialising. After all, socialising can be quite daunting to adults, what more to a toddler. Kids need reassurance in everything that they do. So when your little one does well in social situations, show them how proud you are! When your little one does make a new friend, you can encourage their social skills further and nurture that friendship by inviting their new friend over and setting up playdates together!

Everyone’s a winner
In social situations like playgroups where the children might be a bit younger, try not to organise competitive games that pit other kids against each other for a prize or reward. This is because younger children may not be capable of dealing with emotional conflict and aggression just yet. Instead, encourage the children to play games that require them to work together towards a common goal, which nurtures communication and being friendly to one another!