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.
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.
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.