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Teaching Kids To Be Social In A Digital World

So much of our lives are now lived virtually. We attend everything from religious services to school over the web and it doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. 

 

Many have heard the term “pandemic babies” tossed around over the past year. This term has been used to refer to babies born at the beginning of the pandemic, hence having little social contact in their life so far. But this hasn’t happened to just babies.

 

Children across the globe have been distanced from their peers for a long time now, which has led to an impact on their social skills. It is unlikely that the world will ever go back to being quite as social as it once was. Many options for remote attendance are now available. 

 

How do we keep our kids social? While we live in a digital world, there are plenty of times your child will still have to interact with others. Not to mention, social interaction is crucial to great mental health. You want to help your child thrive.

 

To help you teach your kids to be social in a digital world, we have put together a list of 10 simple ways to improve your child’s social skills. 

10 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

In a traditional world, children usually learn social skills on their own but between the pandemic and the ever-changing digital space, it can be hard to get your child away from the computer and out talking to others. Improve your child’s social skills by trying some of these methods. 

    1. Use Movies or Television 

In our digital world, your kid is probably in front of a television screen at least once a day. Don’t let these moments go to waste! Instead, use them as a lesson. 

 

Keep the remote nearby and pause the movie or show to discuss certain moments. Help your child understand certain characters’ actions, body language, or facial expressions. Also, talk about what you think might happen next based on the setting and explain any jokes that have been made.

    2. Have Virtual Playdates

Virtual doesn’t have to mean bad. Use one-on-one virtual playdates with other children their age to give them a chance to talk to someone else similar to them. While many children go to school online with kids their age, they often don’t get one-on-one time with each other to just talk like normal children. This talk is important and how they develop crucial social skills as they grow.

    3. Teach Empathy

Teach your kids about others around them that may need help. If you cannot get out of the house right now, a simple conversation can even make a difference. If you can get out, consider volunteering at a local food pantry or bring baked goods to the neighbor. 

 

Either way, your child can learn the importance of making sure those around you feel safe and happy.

    4. Allow Yourself To Win

Children need to learn that they may not always win in life. Kids without social interaction may forget that other people may want to be the winner from time to time. 

 

Next time you play a game with your child, allow yourself to win and take the time to explain to your child that they may not win every time because everyone deserves to win at some point! They will realize the game can still be fun anyway. 

    5. Teach The Importance Of Teamwork

Complete an activity that requires teamwork between you and your child. This could be an activity as simple as baking. Your child will realize that you both have to work together in the kitchen to get a delicious result. Completing exercises like this will teach your child that working with others in the outside world has great results. 

    6. Read Stories That Highlight Emotions

When picking a book before bedtime, choose stories that highlight different emotions. There are many children’s books that speak on characters feeling very happy or very sad. Talk to your kids about why the characters feel this way and why their emotions are valid. 

 

Some common books for children that speak on emotion include:

  • Ruby Finds A Worry, Tom Percival
  • The Feelings Book, Todd Parr
  • When Sadness Is At Your Door, Eva Eland

 

    7. Staring Contest

Many young kids (and sometimes adults) have a hard time maintaining eye contact during conversation. To combat this, have a staring contest with your child as you tell each other stories. This will instill in them that they should always have eye contact with the person they are talking to. 

    8. Role-Play

Finally, consider playing social situation role-play with your child to practice how you should act in different settings. For example, role-play with your as if they were the new kid in class and you were meeting them for the first time.

 

It is simple times like this they will remember when they get involved in a real and similar social situation.

 

Overall, we are living in a digital age where it is often easy to forget the importance of social skills. These skills are learned young and will always be valuable, which is why it is so important to instill them in your child.

 

Take time to teach your kids to be social and you won’t regret it!

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