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A secure base: how to boost 5 Key Social Skills for Your Child

While academic performance is certainly important in life, being able to communicate and get along well with other people is equally crucial when it comes to being successful. Sometimes taken for granted, social skills, just like literacy and numeracy are skills that need to be taught and nurtured in children but it is one of the most important aspects of Parenting

Soft skills are a little more nuanced, so they can’t always be taught so formally. However, they can be learnt in daily interactions and stem very much from the secure base and attachment that children can derive from their relationships with their parents. Check out 5 key social skills for children, why they are important and how parents can play a role in cultivating them:

1. Sharing

Being able to share toys or snacks goes a long way in making friends as it demonstrates generosity and kindness. Children who feel confident in themselves and are less attached to material goods generally feel better about themselves. Effective sharing and confidence that what they deem "theirs" will come back addresses anxiety and builds confidence in relationship building

How to boost it: Praise your little one anytime you see them sharing. It will also help boost their self-esteem!

2. Cooperation/ Teamwork

Cooperating to reach a common goal is a key skill because it teaches little ones that not everything can be achieved by yourself. Teamwork also teaches children to be respectful and how to play a part in a bigger challenge. Cooperation is essential for getting on with other people and being likeable.

How to boost it: Teach kids about teamwork by dividing up tasks within a family activity such as making dinner just to show them how the job gets done faster when everyone cooperates.

3. Listening and Following Directions

Listening is an important component of good communication. It’s not just about staying quiet but absorbing what was said and acting or responding correctly. So being able to follow instructions is linked to a child’s ability to listen.

How to boost it: Teaching your child listening skills can be tough in the age of digital devices which can be a distraction but there are many simple ways to do so. For instance, asking them a basic comprehension question during reading or asking them to do a simple task like picking up their toys and commending them when they do it successfully.

4. Respecting Personal Space

Personal space and boundaries are increasingly important as kids grow up. Some children may be exceptionally friendly while others may be a little restrained, especially around new people.

How to boost it: Simple household rules like teaching kids to knock before entering a room or telling them that it is OK to say no if they don’t want to be cuddled helps them to establish boundaries and respect personal space.

5. Basic Manners

Although it’s easy to take for granted being polite is a basic social skill that’ll take your child far. Saying please and thank you, and having good table manners are endearing.

How to boost it: Often the best way to teach these skills is through leading by example and reinforcing the correct behaviours.

In a world driven by academic success, it’s easy to forget that basic social skills are equally crucial when it comes to getting ahead both in our personal and professional lives. Starting to establish and nurture these is essential during a child’s early years. Eventually, good habits become second nature and help them to grow into well-adjusted and truly likeable adults.

Improving their social skills is just one of the many advantages of taking your children to a nursery. If you’re looking for one that offers much more than just childcare: