Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Teaching Social Skills to Little Ones

Weekly Tip from the Love and Logic® Experts
Are there any adults in your life who probably didn't get enough instruction on basic social skills when they were preschoolers? While these folks can be a bit annoying at times, it's probably wise to remember that their lack of relational finesse has probably made their own lives less than peachy. When I remember this, it's easier for me to remain empathetic with them. It also reminds me why it's so important to help our young children learn the basic social graces.

Most of this teaching should take place in the classroom of real world experience. That is, at the very moment our children are interacting with others. Listed below are just a few of the things we ought to expect our children to do:
  • Shake people's hands and look into their eyes.
  • Smile.
  • Say "hello."
  • Say "thank you" when complimented.
  • Say "please."
  • Say "goodbye" and wish people well.
I'm constantly amazed at how many parents fail to expect these things out of their preschoolers. Instead, their children are allowed to snub others or to hide behind their parents' backs.

Now, I understand that some children are extremely shy. I also understand that this takes work and can feel a bit awkward from time to time. In our book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, we teach the importance of having high expectations for our children. Parents who maintain high expectations raise far happier and more socially skilled kids.

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. 

Dr. Charles Fay