10 social skills every child needs to know

Childhood is full of awkward moments ― having these abilities will help junior find their way in any situation.

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Before you know it, your newborn is a playful toddler, about to begin his first year in preschool , which comes with making new friends, and socialising with teachers and other adults.

Naturally, you are concerned about your little one’s relationships with his peers and those he’ll meet ― is your tot shy? Will he be able to make friends?

While children tend to pick up some social skills naturally through their interactions with people around them, psychologist Daniel Koh notes, “It is best to equip the child with the basics, so they can use it when it is needed, rather than having to think on the spot or in panic”.

He also adds that with this knowledge of basic social skills, your child will be able to discern if it is appropriate to pick up some else’s behaviour.

Says Dr Hana Ra Adams, a school counsellor at the German European School Singapore, “The sooner children are taught how to be in the world, the easier it will be for them to navigate their own path built on their family’s values and beliefs.”

The sooner children are taught how to be in the world, the easier it will be for them to navigate their own path built on their family’s values and beliefs.

To give your mini-me a good head start as they start interacting with more people, take a look at important social skills they should have:

1. Has good manners

Teach your tot to use words like “please” and “thank you” as it’s important for your child to be polite and courteous. Dr Adams points out that using words like “thank you” or “excuse me” in the appropriate situations “spreads kindness and respect”.

2. Has communication skills

It is important for your child to be able to hold a conversation well. Introducing themselves politely, making eye contact with the other party, listening and sharing appropriately are critical things in a good conversation you can teach your child.

3. Can handle emotions

There will be times when your tot may feel agitated and want to throw a fit or make a scene. As this isn’t the right way to behave as they grow older. So, do teach your little one how to handle and control his emotions in certain situations. 

4. Has patience

This is related to handling emotions as well. Patience is an important value that your child should pick up from young. You can emphasise this virtue by asking your tot to wait in line, or to wait for their turn when playing games