July 17, 2023

What are the Four Most Important Social Skills My Children Need?

Written by Guest Author

Posted in Child Counseling and with tags: children

group of smiling children, social skills, Houston therapist

The life of a child is a beautiful, enchanting world. Your kiddo’s daily revelations and unique worlds may be things of novels.

And within your experience of your child, you may worry about their social development.

Witnessing your child suffer socially is an emotional process for any parent.

Developing social skills helps children feel more confident, included, known, and understood as they grow.

Social skills also allow kids to:

  • navigate the world with others,
  • build friendships, and
  • establish secure relationships.

So, what are the most essential skills to add to their toolbox? Let’s start with emotional intelligence.

1. EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

If a socially skilled child is your hope, introduce them to their feelings, emotions, and inner world. This is emotional intelligence, also known as EQ.

Having high EQ enhances all other social skills and provides children with a greater sense of self-awareness.

What to do at home:

Start teaching EQ early by:

  • building feeling charts,
  • creating a map of where emotional sensations “live” in their body, and
  • making time for daily check-ins with their emotions.

smiling child, introduce children to feelings

2. Empathy

Second to emotional intelligence is mastering the skill of empathy, or the ability to understand others by seeing the world through another’s perspective.

Empathy is a response skill taught through:

  • modeling,
  • understanding points of view in conflict, and
  • actively listening to others.

For young children, the skill of empathy is often observed.

The more you can show empathy, the more your children will understand empathy.

What to do at home:

Try enhancing your child’s understanding of empathy by debriefing conflicts and repeating your understanding of your child’s needs throughout the day.

Older kids will be able to see different sides of the story and attempt to understand others.

dad and daughter on a bike ride, show empathy to teach empathy

3. Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving may be one of the first skills babies learn, especially when getting their basic needs met. It is so immediate you could even say that humans are hardwired for this skill.

While you may not need to teach your child to solve problems, you can encourage their creativity and capacity as problems get bigger.

What to do at home:

Tap into this skill by helping your child identify a problem.

Give them the responsibility of choosing the solution.

Ask them for the:

  • silliest solution,
  • the messiest solution, and
  • the fastest solution.

See what they come up with, and don’t forget to laugh with them if they choose to make it goofy.

dad and son on beach, help your child identify a problem and allow them to solve the problem

4. Teamwork

Working with others is a necessary part of life, from sports to the science fair.

As a parent invested in bolstering your child’s social skills, you will find many opportunities to explore teamwork.

Teamwork creates a sense of belonging and accomplishment, building blocks to your child’s confidence.

What to do at home:

Have your child join a team! Nothing teaches teamwork like a common goal.

Whether soccer or a STEM team, allow your child to experience collaboration in real-time. Younger children learn the foundation of teamwork in sharing exercises.

It’s important to remember that every child has a unique capacity and timeline for these social skills. Sometimes, it may be more developmentally appropriate for your child to focus on themselves.

You may also find your introverted child may bring up tension within yourself as you balance societal expectations like extraversion.

Parenting is a journey, be kind to yourself.

father and daughter on couch

How to Know When It’s Time to Enlist Outside Support

However, if you feel like your child is not meeting developmental markers or is struggling more than others to make friends, enlist outside support.

At Eddins Counseling Group, we have trained specialists who can work with your child in a therapeutic setting. We can also help you tune into your child’s needs as well as your own.

Contact us today to get started with one of our Houston, Montrose, or Sugar Land therapists.

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