How to Help Kids Develop Socioemotional Skills
Sat, April 17, 2021

How to Help Kids Develop Socioemotional Skills

Children can enhance their social skills by learning how to meet and make new friends. / Photo by: famveldman via 123rf


Having friends at a very young age is a special experience that one can nurture and treasure until they grow up. Letting the child build their connections with other children of their age is very simple. It can start with them just looking at each other, possibly testing their feelings if they want to be friends or not. But after this initial animosity, children usually don’t have difficulties hitting it off with each other, especially if there are toys around that they both want to play with. 

However, there are cases when children are having trouble in terms of making friends with other kids. And this holds true not only for the younger ones but even for adolescents, who may still be negotiating complex social hierarchies in school, with their rules about who you should be and who you should see. This is what makes it harder for children and teens to navigate the complicated social jungle that awaits them once they step away from your protection. 

Parents can help their children further enhance their developing social skills. It starts with them learning how to meet and make new friends and continues later on with building deeper connections as their relationship with others start to mature. Their natural curiosity and innocence allow them to socialize with their peers. Here are some of the ways for parents to support their kids in interacting with other people.

Teach Kids to Navigate With Their Emotions

Parents can start by teaching their children how to identify a variety of emotions. This will help the kids to communicate better with other people and teach them how to have a more respectable approach to other people if they know what they feel. Flintobox, an India-based company that produces educational activity boxes for children, mentioned on their website that it is important that parents must effectively communicate with their kids the factors that cause different emotions. 

In a world where academic skills are viewed as a priority, having socioemotional skills might not be the top priority of most parents and even teachers. Some recent studies showed that socioemotional skill is, in fact, also crucial for children to become successful in different areas of their life. 

Psychology Today, a website that provides information about psychology news, mentioned in an article that learning socioemotional skills early is connected to how socially, emotionally, academically, and professionally skilled the child will turn out to be in the future. This kind of skill will also help children to be persistent in accomplishing challenging tasks in the workplace. As a working professional, they will learn how to effectively seek help when they need it and to show thoughtfulness toward their actions.


Teaching kids how to identify a variety of emotions will help them communicate better with other people. / Photo by: rawpixel via 123rf


Teach Kids Polite Communication

After determining how they feel, kids must communicate it in a polite manner. According to a blog post by Santa Maria College, a university located in Attadale in Western Australia, parents must teach their kids to practice some basic social skills such as making eye contact. They must also help their kids to learn basic politeness by teaching them to say hello and to make a friendly smile for other people. 

Kids should be taught that everyone deserves respect and must be valued. Once they recognize this, children will be less likely to bully others and instead, stand up against the bullying behavior of others. Polite conversations also equate with respect for other people and themselves as well. Kids will realize that if their friends are not treating them with respect, then they are not their real friends. 

Being polite attracts other people effectively. Kids must be able to interact, respond, and express their ideas in any social situation. Parents should teach their kids on how they will respond to courteous greetings. 

Kids must be able to interact, respond, and express themselves in any social environment. They need all the help that they can get as they grow up to overcome their innate shyness, fear, and worry. 


Parents must help their kids to learn basic politeness by teaching them to say hello and to make a friendly smile for other people. / Photo by: twinsterphoto via 123rf


Develop Empathy

According to Verywell Family, an online resource for parenting news, empathetic kids are usually socially skilled. Once they can feel empathy for other people, they are also in tune with what others are feeling and often communicate care and concern. Teaching empathy among young children might be difficult because of their age, but it will be worth it since it will have a positive and significant impact on their behavior. 

Empathy is putting yourself in the situation and perspective of other people so you can understand them better. It will help kids build great friendships and make them do well in any social setting. Parents must model empathetic behavior at home first. For example, when you encounter someone in a bullying situation, ask your child how that person might feel. If they struggle to tell you about it, prompt them with some ideas that might help them understand their feelings and emotions.