Children’s Social Skills Indicator of Their Success
Many children today are growing up without learning the social skills and manners they need to make and keep friends, make a good impression on adults, and get ahead in school and beyond.
Technology is hindering their interpersonal communication skills. Our busy lifestyles leave little time for parents to teach their children manners and dining etiquette. Our society is becoming less civil in general, and more specifically, many people use social media not as a communication tool, but as a weapon.
However, children who are raised with polite social skills and feel confident meeting and talking to people of all ages, who can present themselves well in social settings and during stressful situations, and those children who are able to show respect and kindness to others regardless of their differences, will, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, be “happier and more successful” than those who do not have as confident and polite manners.
I believe that parents, grandparents, educators, and other adults who interact with children need to understand the importance of teaching children manners and social skills. They also owe it to children to learn what, and how, to teach them in order to propel them to success.
Below are my top three recommendations of what to teach your children and how. For my classes in the Charlotte area that teach children ages 5 – 18 social skills and manners, please click HERE.
1. Teach confident greeting and conversation skills. If your children can make a good impression on adults and other kids when meeting them for the first time, or seeing them again, it will make them feel confident, make them more likable, and help them to make friends easier. For information on how to teach kids to have nice greeting and conversation skills, go to this Charlotte Parent blog HERE.
2. Teach children to show respect and kindness to others when in person and on-line. One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is to respect others regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or as kids might say, just because “he’s weird.” This isn’t hard to teach, but sometimes it’s hard to get kids to do the right thing in all situations.
– You can start by showing by example and not talking badly about others because they are different or by treating them differently than others.
– Explain to your kids how they will never really understand someone and why they do something, wear something, say something, unless they really know what’s going on with them in that moment. So, encourage your children to not make snap judgments and to really try to get to know someone by asking them questions and really listening.
– Teach them how to show respect to kids and adults when in person and have them practice, practice, and practice.
– Teaching kids how to show respect to others when using social media is critical, but not easy. Explain that just because they are not being a bully, that it’s NOT okay to “like” something that is mean about another child, or to “share” it with others.
3. Teach your children proper table manners. Because there is a right and a wrong way to do things before, during and after a meal, it’s extremely obvious when someone (child or adult) has not been taught proper table manners and dinning etiquette. And, if someone has bad table manners, it’s only human nature to make negative judgments about that person. So, take the time to teach your children how to behave at the table so that they make a good impression when they go to friends’ houses to eat, and when they are going on a job interview over a meal. Click HERE for table manner tips written in a previous Charlotte Parent blog.
For social skills and manners classes for children in K – 12 in the Lake Norman Area this winter and spring click HERE. If you’re interested in future classes in the south Charlotte area, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.