Social skills are skills that help a child interact with others. They include self-control, the ability to pay attention, the ability to listen and respond appropriately, and the ability to be cooperative.
Children need social skills in order to make friends and be part of a community. They can also learn social skills at home or at school, during everyday activities.
There are 7 social skills that every child should master by preschool:
A toddler with good self-control will not act on every impulse. Instead, he will use the time between seeing a cookie and actually getting one to think about whether he really wants it. He will pause to consider the potential consequences of his actions before he acts.
Teach your child self-control by helping him to notice when he has an impulse, and then giving him time to think about what he wants to do. Be patient, and remind him that waiting can be fun if he is doing something else in the meantime.
By preschool, your child should be able to share with other children or adults if asked without protest or resistance. He should be able to offer an object when asked, rather than making you ask for it several times.
Your child should also be able to give up an object that someone else wants if you tell him it is okay for that person to have it.
The social development of a child usually slows down around age 4. This is when children start to feel less like they have to do everything all the time. They begin to understand that other people need time alone and that it is okay for them to have a break.
Empathy is understanding how others feel and being kind to them. By preschool, your child should be able to show empathy when someone else is upset or hurt.
He should also be able to share his toys and games with other children, and let others play with his toys if you tell him it is okay.
His language skills will also help him show empathy. For example, he should be able to tell you how he feels and ask for what he wants.
Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash.
4. Anger management
Anger management is the ability to manage your emotions so that you don’t act on them in a way that hurts yourself or others. By preschool, your child should be able to identify what he feels when he gets angry.
He should also be able to take deep breaths or calm himself down by counting to 10 when he feels angry or frustrated. He may even be able to say what he needs in order to feel better (for example, “I need some quiet time”).
If your child acts out his anger in ways that hurt himself or others, consider a professional evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you find ways for him to express his feelings appropriately.
5. Attention span
An attention span is the ability to focus on one thing for a period of time. By preschool, your child should be able to sit quietly and pay attention to what you are saying without wandering off or fidgeting.
He should also be able to focus on an activity for a short period of time without getting distracted.
Letters, numbers, and shapes should be able to hold his attention for five minutes.
6. Self-care skills
By preschool, your child should be able to take care of his own basic needs, such as feeding himself, getting dressed, and washing his hands. He should also be able to clean up after himself when he spills something or makes a mess.
If he does not have these skills by the time he starts preschool, consider working with him at home before school starts so that he will feel confident in his abilities once he begins his education.
7. Basic math skills
By preschool, your child should be able to count to 10 or 20, recognize some numbers, and add a few small numbers together.
Development of number sense, however, takes longer. It’s not until kindergarten that children really start to understand the concepts of quantity and counting.
So, don’t be surprised if your child isn’t counting yet. But you can help your child build this skill by practicing simple math games.
Help Your Kids Succeed in Life
Learning about the world around you is one of the best parts of being a kid. If you can foster your child’s curiosity and provide him with a safe environment in which to explore his world, he will learn the skills he needs to succeed throughout his life.
Our website, The Mindful Parent, is dedicated to helping parents foster their children’s innate curiosity and help them thrive in life. Take the time to read our articles now!