5 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Your little ones face many challenges the day they open their eyes in this material world.

Developing social skills and interacting with the world around them will be a critical part of their success and happiness, even more important than their academic results.

Are you ready to help them develop the desired social skills?

For example: talking effectively, interacting with strangers, starting a conversation, listening, getting along, being responsible for their behaviour, making friends (and keeping them too), dealing with uncomfortable situations, teasing, bullying, awkwardness or unpopularity, bonding, interacting, accepting and finding acceptance, empathizing, and giving compliments, etc.

Some kids are naturally more socially-adept than others. Nevertheless, socialising is an art one is mastering every single day of growing up.

Teaching your children to pick up social skills and communicate well is a big task for parents. Here’s help:

5 Ways to improve social skills in kids:

1. Encourage eye-contact

When talking to somebody, encourage your children to look into their eyes and talk for effective communication and to build confidence. Your toddlers may need to practice every day to master this art.

Try games like ‘staring contest,’ tell your children to talk to their soft toys, or tell you stories looking into your eyes.

RELATED: Incredible Ways To Tell Great Stories To Your Child

2. Teach them emotions

Let your children imitate a variety of emotions—joy, anger, disappointment, excitement, mischief, weirdness, nervousness, tiredness, terror, danger, etc. Play ‘identify the emotion’ game by making faces or holding placards of different smiley.

This helps them differentiate emotions and express better, and not get confused when mingling with other kids or people. “To teach them emotions, it is important that you also communicate to your kids what makes you happy and sad, so when they misbehave I make a straight face and tell them up front that I am upset,” shares Anita, a proud mother of two boys.

RELATED: 5 Sure-Fire Ways To Help Your Child Handle Disappointments

3. Make them communicate

Verbal or non-verbal, your children should learn to express, interact, and respond to social stimulus. Help your children learn appropriate greetings and responses.

Kids may need help or guidance to interact with others appropriately, to overcome shyness, to manage a response, and express true feelings. Let your children know that they are free to talk, ask, question, and communicate their needs, desires, beliefs and ideas.

As parents and grandparents, talk to them every day and make generous use of words like ‘please,’ ‘let’s,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘common,’ etc.


4. Give them the environment

A lonely child may have difficulty in interacting with the world. Give your children good company, exposure, and chances to interact with different types of people.

Kids with social skill deficits often have trouble reading expressions and interacting socially.

So activities that get them more comfortable with these situations are a great idea. Playschools, hobby classes, playgrounds, sports activities, etc., will give them a chance to socialise.

When kids mingle with other kids or elders, they develop a range of interpersonal skills that become the foundation of their personality.

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5. Prepare them for higher social skills

A child who can communicate and express himself/herself fearlessly is armed to face the challenges when he/she grows up to tackle complex situations.

Let your children maintain good communication channels, and pick up skills like negotiation, conflict resolution, non-verbal communication, assertiveness, bargaining, public-speaking, etc.

“My seven-year-old can write emails to his dad, I am glad they have discovered a new means to interact,” says Neha B, a homemaker.

RELATED: 10 Things Not To Say To Your Child

Share your ideas on how to make your children more socially accepted. How can you improve their social skills?

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Ekta Sharma Bhatnagar is a writer, dreamer, and a neat-freak mom constantly trying to keep pace with her fast-growing, tech-addict kids. A proud mother of two, she is a seasoned media professional and a self-confessed Bollywood buff. Ekta has written extensively on Entertainment, Careers, Lifestyle, Interiors, and Parenting for Indiatimes.com, Education Times, Economic Times, Mumbai Mirror, Times Property, other publications and corporate websites. Follow on Twitter @ektabhatnagar


  • Ananya

    June 24, 2020 - 11:22 am

    My childhood was not the best part of my life, that impact my life a lot, but my grandma took me and raised me. That’s why it means a lot to me. I am thankful for you. I will surely implement it.

  • Zoe Campos

    June 10, 2020 - 1:49 pm

    Thank you for telling me that I should encourage my child to embrace all the kinds of emotions she’s feeling since this will benefit her in the long run and will be able to help her express herself more in the future. My daughter has always been the shy and odd one in the group and my husband and I are really worried since we think she’s old enough to be enrolled in childcare. It might be better if we would try briefing her first on what it is like to be with other people and the effect they’ll have on her before introducing her to the outside world.

  • Ellie Davis

    January 18, 2020 - 2:49 am

    My sister told me that she has been struggling with her son and she is looking for a way to help him go through that. I like how you mentioned that playing with your kid, making faces can get them to learn emotions. I will look for an educational book that she can read to her son so that he can develop those skills.

  • Ekta

    May 23, 2018 - 2:02 pm

    Hi Nandini, thanks, your point is true. Talk of changing times…

  • Nandhini

    May 23, 2018 - 1:55 pm


  • Nandhini

    May 23, 2018 - 1:54 pm

    Hi Ekta….ur article is so good and the points are valuable. This skill is important than studies and like to add one more point. Parents want to interact with their family circle, neighbour and friends socially then only their child will speak to others without hesitation..becoz parents were busy with work and interaction with other is over in online itself..no one interacting with face to face..

  • Balaji Sridharan

    September 29, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Nice article. I wish to add one more point. I feel in the modern age, we should try to turn off TVs Mobiles and Laptops and starting listening to your kids and spend quality time with them. This would make them more awesome.

  • Manzoor

    August 3, 2015 - 10:42 pm

    Good write,today’s nuclear family concept had cut off the social links….now in future the relations like cousin,nephew,niece etc will be read in stories..

    • Sumitra

      August 10, 2015 - 10:26 am

      Hi Manzoor, glad you liked the article.

  • Sudeep

    May 24, 2015 - 9:51 am

    Kids learn by observing, so I think as a parent we ourselves should first master all these techniques, they’ll follow it.

    • Sumitra

      June 25, 2015 - 4:39 pm

      Hi Sudeep, thanks for your feedback!

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