How To Help Kids’ Build Social Skills DuringA Pandemic?

Social skills are behaviours and other manners of communication required to form and maintain relationships outside our families. Children with good social skills can easily interact and communicate with others. These skills can include both verbal and non-verbal interaction through speech, sign movement, facial expression or body language. An individual with strong social skills knows how to behave appropriately and follow all the implied rules while communicating with others. Social skills can also help us initiate conversations, make friends, have good sportsmanship, and handle bullying effectively. Hence, the top school Greater Noida believes these skills are essential for children and adolescents development, as they often are the predictors of future success.

But the ongoing pandemic has put a halt on all social interactions, especially for children, as they’re more vulnerable to the virus. Like many things in our life, the pandemic has forced families to adapt to a new normal and limit their social interactions. But some parents are worrying that between strict stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols, kids may lack many skills that would help them better navigate life in the future. Hence, they might even struggle or get overwhelmed during required interactions like school presentations and nursery class admission. Child psychologists have also stated that poor social skills can also affect children academic growth as they’re more susceptible to

learning difficulties like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Before the pandemic, there were rarely any limits on social interactions or experiences that could help kids learn valuable social skills. The pre-nursery school in Greater Noida encouraged cooperation, sportsmanship, and composure through various competitions and events. Parents used to schedule playdates to teach their children impeccable manners like sharing and respecting other people’s belongings and personal space. Summers camps also help kids develop a newfound interest in listening, taking directions, independence, and resourcefulness.

But with continuous enforcement of actual social distancing, schools and parents have to take out of the box approaches to develop children’s social skills. While schools like us successfully switched to online learning, parents have to be more skilful at finding or planning teachable moments for kids to learn social skills. Here are some ways you can try to sharpen your child’s social skills in the time of a pandemic:

Put the focus on family time:

While most people don’t fare well in isolation, children are more susceptible to feelings of loneliness. Hence, children need more attention at home now more than ever. But since their social interaction with friends and peers are severely limited nowadays, their family members can step up and fill in the gaps with mandatory social time. When you spend time with kids at home, you can help them avoid loneliness while observing and identify pain points in their social skills. You can also look out for teachable moments like when they fail to say please and thank you or when they disregard the feelings of others, such as borrowing stuff without asking first.

Family time can also include fun activities like a round of scrabble, snakes and ladders, or any age-appropriate game for them. Also, try to be a good role model as kids learn more from your attitude and disposition. So if you’re working from home, try to include family time as a non-negotiable part of your routine even when working more than usual and until ungodly hours.

 Schedule online playdates:

Children behave differently with their friends than with family because they feel more comfortable and confident with them. So your kid might be talkative and expressive with their friends but curl back up into their shell with other people. Hence, you have to shift family time with play dates once in a while. While teens and tweens can do this on their own, smaller kids require you to get in touch with other parents so you can set it up.

You can also use free apps that allow group video calls or virtual games that enable them to play together. Also, remember to keep a close eye because they still need their safe space even during extraordinary times like this. This way, you’ll be there for them when they have questions or want to know how to operate eth apps.

Let them take some responsibilities at home.

The ability to take instructions and execute them is one of the essential skills a child can learn growing up. Now your kids are spending most of their time at home, you should give them more responsibilities at home. But instead of giving orders like telling them to pick up your toys or clean your room, make a task sheet and settle them into a routine. You can assign them chores and then tell them to do these tasks on certain days of the week.

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