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Tips for Helping Your Only Child Develop Social Skills

As parents, we want the best for our children! We give our kids the opportunities they need to live and grow. We send them to school and we enroll them in sports, but what do we do to help them grow socially? For many parents, this is simple. Their children are able to learn basic social skills by interacting with their siblings. If you have an only child, however, this is simply not an option. These tips can help you encourage your only child to develop those social skills they’ll need to be successful in life.

Play Dates

A great way to introduce your child to social situations is to schedule play dates, even at an early age! These play dates can be with one other child, or they can include a group of kids around the same age. When you go to these play dates, keep an eye on your child and observe their social skills. Does your child refuse to share or tend to play by themselves? If so, you’ll want to address these behaviors before going to the next play date.

Go to the Park

Even though you can set up regular play dates for your child, it’s important that your child learn how to meet new people. To help your child get used to meeting new children, take a trip to the park. There’s bound to be at least one other kid willing to play. If your child acts shy, you can always initiate a game, playing with the children, and then step back once your child is more comfortable.

Role Play

Although your child needs to be around other kids to develop those important social skills, you can still act as a stand-in social partner. In order to teach your child the proper way to react in different social settings, don’t be afraid to role play different scenarios. If your child has a hard time sharing, encourage your child to share with you, making it into a game where you pass a toy back and forth.

When you have multiple kids, it can be a little easier to help your child develop those important social skills. Just because you have an only child doesn't meant the process has to be difficult! Simply expose your child to different social settings and try to get your child involved in kid-friendly groups and activities.

Annmarie John
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  1. My youngest has always been social, but with my oldest it was a struggle :) He loved going to the park, but he refused to play with the other kids!! Great tips!

  2. Christine just does not want to interact unless it's someone she knows well. She's not good at making new friends and is very shy. We are working on it though. Great tips!!

  3. Kiddo has always been a social child. She is my husbands only child but she has older siblings and a younger one. I was an only child and I was always pretty social.

  4. When my daughter was a still an only child, we did a lot of playdates! She got to socialize with other kids, and I got to hang out with other moms, too. It was a win win!

  5. Play dates are a great way to help kids develop social skills. I often advise parents to allow their children to engage in them.

  6. Letting kids play with and learn from eachother is the best way to build social skills. I believe my kids would be different people had we not taken these steps.

  7. Making sure that your children have the proper social skills. When my girls were little and not in preschool, I took them to our library's storytime so they could interact with others.

  8. My oldest never had an issue. My youngest though will not speak if other grown ups are around. If it is just kids, he does great - big people come around and he clams up and there is nothing we can do.

  9. These are great tips. I think it's really important for kids to learn social skills as early as possible. It will help them so much later on.

  10. Sometimes I wished I was an only child. I grew up in a household with kids so never had a problem socializing. My niece and nephew have each other so they don't have a problem either although my nephew is an introvert and my niece the total opposite. Great tips!

  11. Play dates are so important to meet others in their age group! We also try to do other activities once a week.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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