Besides going to school with the objective of reading and writing, children go to school to learn social skills. While grades will not be provided for social skills, peers will always grade their friends depending on how effectively they communicate and participate in team activities. The social skills learnt during the early childhood stages are likely to influence the future life of an individual. Essentially, a child with good social skills will grow to be a fast learner or a team leader. On the contrary, a child with poor social skills will not develop into a likeable pro-social person (Matson, 2009). Instead, they will be introverted individuals that cannot determine the direction of society. In this light, parents and teachers should be deeply involved in the process of influencing the behaviors of the kids so as to foster pro-social tendencies in them.
Among the most primary ways through which a parent can contribute to the social development of a child is by providing opportunities for positive interaction. Such opportunities are important in initiating interactive skills in a child. In order to create such opportunities, the parent should endeavor to encourage the child to attend such social gatherings as religious gatherings, birthday parties and so on. Secondly, the parent can help the child through finding them playmates. A parent does not have to physically pick a playmate. Instead, they should expose their children to other peers through such functions as family friend dinners and interactive sessions. The third strategy could be to enroll the kids in organized social movement. Such movements as local children play clubs help a child feel affiliated with his peers (Giler, 2011). This makes them feel free to interact with their friends, hence creating social links.
The teacher is another important guardian to a child. Some researchers argue that a teacher is a more important than a parent because, typically, the teachers spend more time with the children that their parents do. As such, the teachers should as well learn ways of upholding social skills in children. The most notable ways through which a teacher can help children develop social skills is through encouraging them to engage in cooperative and not competitive activities (Matson, 2009). Cooperative activities make children feel as though they were parts of one another. Teachers and students can play with them as a way of making them feel confident and active. A parent that plays with their children will no doubt help the child eliminate shyness and lack of confidence. Other alternatives include letting the children sort out their issues with minimal intervention when necessary. Additionally, parents and teachers should teach children how to generalize and eliminate prejudices.
In trying to understand how the above recommendations work, it is imperative to look at them independently. First providing opportunities for social interaction makes the children uphold social relationships. Secondly, helping the child find playmates introduces the kid to the world of communication and independence. Enrolling the child in organized movements gives them a sense of affiliation –which is the foundation of social relationships (Giler, 2011). Cooperative activities, unlike competitive activities nurture friendships and interdependence. Playing with the kid is the most effectual way of driving away lack of self confidence. Finally, teaching the children to generalize and eliminating prejudices brings about an aspect of equality. All the above factors contribute equally towards making children pro-social.
Giler, J. Z. (2011). Socially ADDept: Teaching social skills to children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Matson, J. L. (2009). Social behavior and skills in children. New York: Springer.