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skills in children
presented by Farha Khan
and Husnara Ansari
• Social skills are defined as the set of
skills people use to interact and
communicate with one another.
How to identify lack of social
skills in children
• Often seems alone, “in his own world,” or
“doing his own thing,” even around others.
• Turns his back on others frequently.
• Doesn’t make eye contact while interacting.
• Play alone or play with toys inappropriately.
• Display emotions that are not appropriate to
• Poor interaction with others.
• Understand the causes and effects of emotions
• See things from a child’s perspective
• Interpret the emotions of others
• Match social interactions to a child’s
• Describe emotions verbally
• Regulate their own emotions
• Appreciate the long-term consequences of
Teach your child about emotions
• To teach emotional competence, talk to your
child about his feelings.
• Talk about your own (e.g., “When you don’t
pay attention to me, it makes me feel frustrated
• Discuss what kinds of situations make us feel
bad, and what things make us feel good.
• When parents explain emotions and their
causes, child learn how to better regulate their
Maintain an intimate, loving relationship
to your child
• When kids see, on a daily basis, that they can
rely on you for support, they are emotionally
• They adapt more easily to new social
situations. They also develop their capacity for
empathy-—a key ingredient for preschool
Display positive and warm emotions at
• It’s not necessary to be in a constant state of
• Sometimes parents experience setbacks or
loss, and these can be opportunities for
children to learn how we deal with
• But the key is demonstrating a positive, "can-
do" attitude towards setbacks, rather than
anger or despair.
Talk with your child about his social
• Discuss your child’s experiences with peers in
the same pleasant, conversational way that you
discuss other everyday events.
• Such talk helps in several ways. It keeps you
informed and sensitive to what is going on
with your child.
• It shows your child that you are really
interested in his social life.
Be calm and supportive when your child is
• When parents respond to strong emotions in
soothing ways, kids are less likely to direct
negative emotions at peers.
• Parents who respond supportively show their
children how to behave towards others who are in
• Young children who respond appropriately to the
emotional needs of others are better liked by peers
and rated as more socially competent by teachers
(Denham et al 1990).
Be a role model
• During everyday social interactions, take
advantage of the opportunity to discuss social
behavior (“I thanked our mail carrier for
bringing us the package. She works hard and I
want her to know that I appreciate it.”)
• If your child sees you or other adults slipping
up, talk about it afterwards (“Whoops. I forget
to tell Daddy ‘thank you’ for bring me the
Encourage pretend play with older
children and adults
• During preschool years, pretend play is one of
the most important ways that children forge
friendships (Gottman 1983; Dunn and Cutting
• Preschoolers who pretend together are less
likely than other kids to quarrel or have
communication problems (Dunn and Cutting
• If you participate in pretend play with your
child, you may give preschool social skills a
boost. When parents pretend with kids, pretend
play becomes more complex and lasts longer
Choose TV programs that promote
preschooler social skills
• Preview what your child watches. Many
preschooler-oriented shows promote positive
social behavior, and they can have a beneficial
effect on preschool social skills.
For nonverbal skills
• Help kids recognize facial expressions and
body language by watching child-friendly TV
shows with the sound off and observe what
characters are doing and what certain
movements might mean.
• "Predict what you think they're saying, and
really start [observing] facial gestures,”.
• To help kids differentiate a range of tones,
"use a tape recorder and record different
emotions in your voice and ask your child
what they are, then explain how meaning
changes with voice change,“.
• For example, try recording phrases like "I'm
angry!" in a loud, empathic voice, and "I feel
so sad" in a soft, low, dejected voice.
For attention span
• If your child has trouble staying on point, pick
a topic and say three sentences -- two related
to the topic and one random.
• Then ask your child to pick the sentence that's
off-topic. For example, bring up the family
• Talk about how long he played outside today
and what he did at the dog park, and then say
something about the weather.