If your child has social and communication difficulties, it’s important to take steps to change that and start turning things around for them. These difficulties usually mask a lack of understanding or an inability to express themselves. Or it might be the case that they haven’t come out of their shell yet.
Either way, there are things that can be done to help them develop more confidence, better social skills and an ability to communicate better. You simply need to find the right approach. Here’s more information about some of the things you can begin to do as a parent.
Play Storytelling Games Together
First of all, you might want to think about playing storytelling games with your child. This is particularly helpful because it helps them to start understanding how to communicate ideas better. And it doesn’t feel like any kind of chore for them either. It’s fun, it’s communicative and it gets them into the habit of expressing ideas openly and in a way that they find enjoyable. It can help a lot.
Ensure They Can Identify Emotions
Identifying emotions is one of the most important social skills for your child to learn about. They can start to communicate more effectively and convey empathy when they understand emotions. There are ways you can assist them with this if you think they might be struggling with it. First and foremost, make it fun. Use pictures of faces expressing different emotions and discuss what emotions are on display.
Provide an Environment in Which They Can be Social with Other Kids
For your kids to develop the right kinds of social skills, they need to have the chance to play and interact with other kids. If your child is an only child, this is something that you will have to go out of your way to set up. Let them spend time with the children of your friends or take them to play groups where they can interact with kids their age. This kind of direct experience is essential to their development.
Take Them to Therapy Sessions
Taking your kids to therapy sessions might seem extreme, but it’s massively beneficial to so many children. There are lots of Pediatric Therapy options out there and they can really help with kids who are not sure how to interact with people or to communicate effectively. Of course, therapy can be used for other things too, but not everyone realizes that it’s so helpful with social and communication challenges too.
Discuss Communicating Feelings
Discussing how to communicate feelings effectively is another thing that might really help your child to grow and express themselves. If you know that they’ve struggled with this kind of thing before, don’t be afraid to discuss it openly with them. It can help a lot and it addresses things in a head-on kind of way. Show them ways and strategies that can be used for communicating feelings in a constructive way. It might seem obvious to you how to do these things, but it might not be for them.
Overcome Shyness Problems Together
Shyness is something that many children experience, not to mention many adults too. It’s something that you can work on over time with the right strategies, but it’s important not to pressure your child to be something they’re not. Some people are naturally more shy than others and that’s not always a problem. However, you can help them overcome some of its consequences if you approach it as a team. It can start with simply exploring things together and finding out what triggers shy responses for them.
Encourage Them to Make Eye Contact
With your family, your child might be more open and communicative. But if they struggle with strangers, that’s something for you to work on. One thing to consider is eye contact. If your child doesn’t make direct eye contact with people very often, this might suggest they don’t feel confident communicating with others. Encourage them to do that and it will actually help them communicate better and feel more confident over time too. It’s not a silver bullet cure to these problems, but it’s a good starting place.
Different children struggle with different things and excel in other areas. If your child has so far struggled with communication and social skills, there’s no reason why things can’t improve. Children also learn at different speeds, so you just need to give them the time, space and assistance to develop in this area.