Thursday, 2 June 2016

8 Ways To Teach Your Toddler Interpersonal Skills

People with strong interpersonal skills are likely to be more successful in their lives. They are likely to have more successful careers and strong relationships. It is important to develop these skills at an early age, so they become second nature. We start to develop these skills with our children as soon as they are born. We hold them, make eye contact, and talk to them. All of this creates a bond. There are lots of fun ways to develop your child’s interpersonal skills further.

1. Encourage your toddler to play with their siblings, even if there is an age gap. This will get them used to interacting, playing, and sharing with other kids.

2. Expose your child to your wider family. Ensure they have lots of people to interact with, such as grandparents, aunties, and uncles. It is important they can communicate with people of all ages and not just other children.

3. Take your toddler to a toddler class like Little Squigglers. Here they can play, make a mess, explore, and create. This provides them with a fun and safe environment. They will have the opportunity to meet other children and will learn how to play alongside them. Sharing toys and resources will sharpen their social skills.

They will also be able to explore their senses with a range of materials. They will learn stories and rhymes. It is great preparation for nursery.

4. Visiting new places and being immersed in different cultures is extremely beneficial for children. Going on holiday will expose them to different lifestyles. This will provide them with an understanding and curiosity about diversity.

5. A tricky skill for anyone to learn is assertiveness. For a child there is a fine line between being too passive, being assertive, and being aggressive. This can be hard to navigate, but there are a few ways you can help your child. Support their ideas as much as possible. Within the realms of safety and relevancy, allow them to explore and experiment. If they make a mistake, avoid being too critical. Instead, talk them through what happened and how they can overcome this. Praise them often for their efforts as well as achievements.

In some situations, a young child may not understand what assertiveness is and how to apply this. You may, therefore, need to model this for them.

6. Encourage your child to be empathic. This involves observing the behaviour and feelings of others. For example, asking them why their friend is crying. Then asking them how they think he or she is feeling. This could be extended by asking them how they would feel if that happened to them.

7. When our children are still babies, they learn to communicate their needs by crying. As they become older, this becomes less appropriate. If your child becomes upset because they want to do something, ask them to communicate this to you. Ask them why they are crying. Then explain that rather than crying they can ask you instead.

8. Don’t accept bad behaviour. If your child is aggressive, intervene immediately. Talk to them about their behaviour and help them to find appropriate ways to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs.

There are lots of ways to help your child to learn interpersonal skills. Be positive and supportive and make it as fun as possible.

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