Socialisation is important for children to develop many vital life skills. Read on to learn how you can help your child socialise.
By Dr Mini Rao
Each year in a child’s life is starkly different, and comes with its own set of challenges.Your little one may show characteristics of being dominant at six, anxious at seven, outgoing at eight and independent to a certain extent at nine. A major share of a child’s social development starts at the age of six.
Around this period, you will notice a gradual progress in your child’s social skills coupled with his increasing need to communicate with the outside world. Your child is likely to feel the need to fit in, blend and be accepted by his peers. This acceptance contributes considerably to his self-worth and self-esteem. At this stage, your role, as a parent, becomes important in moulding your child’s sociability.
The right guidance will be a step towards positive personality development. Unless children are guided correctly, they will become socially awkward, secluded, and might grow into adults who lack self-confidence.
Children nearing six years can soak in information and life lessons like a dry sponge. Parents can help by teaching social skills such as how to start a conversation, how to sustain it and how to end one without sounding abrupt. Remember, your child will mirror your social behaviour, so be cordial, friendly, watch your words and be well-mannered at all times.
If your child is being a little reluctant and socially reclusive, this is how you can help him in making friends:
As they near 6, children are in the process of deciding the subjects they like, and give preference to one, while being bored of the other. They will begin to develop hobbies, not too seriously though. They will start to read, write, do mathematical calculations (basic), and learn science quite naturally. At this stage, children also go through a wide range of emotions. Hurt, anger, stubbornness and rebellion are a few for starters. Even trivial issues can annoy them, and they will ruminate about it till it is solved. As a parent, you will need to observe this changing aspect of your child’s behaviour, and make him understand the outcome of such behaviour. Be patient and supportive. It is also essential to keep a tab on your child’s emotional balance. Try to address his confusions, resolve his issues, and keep an eye over the following changes:
Inputs from National Institute of Health (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Dr Mini Rao is a renowned psychologist and family therapist
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