parent goals for their children

Why Social Skills are High on the List to Teach Your Kids

How important are social skills when it comes to teaching your child?

Our primary goal as parents is to ensure our kids become successful adults. Some of the skills to teach your kids are pretty evident, such as how to manage money, cook, clean, manage time wisely and take care of a home. Others, including the importance of good social skills, aren’t quite so obvious. However, social skills for kids are just as important. Skills for kids, such as active listening, asking open ended questions, and displaying appropriate facial expressions and body language are important social skills goals for kids to have.

Good communication skills are vital for successful social interactions. But, learning social skills isn’t always easy. Some children may get help with social skills as part of social emotional iep goals, but kids also learn by observing you. So, if you have any difficulty with listening skills or any other social skills when in a social situation, you might want to consider improving your social skills. You don’t need great social skills, but it helps to be able to set a good example.

Why Should Social Skills Be High on Your List of Skills to Teach?

The answer is simple. Social skills are a crucial component of life. Studies show that good social skills are a major predictor of a child’s future success as an adult. Those with strong social skills generally have greater independence, job success, and overall emotional well-being, as well as a higher probability of obtaining a higher education and holding a full-time job.

20-year survey completed by Duke University and Pennsylvania State University researchers, followed 800 kindergartners from 1991 to 2011. The link between social skills and success in life may surprise you. The children in the study who lacked social skills had a higher chance of being arrested by early adulthood, binge drinking, using marijuana, and being in or on a waiting list for public housing. The ability to listen, share, cooperate with others, follow directions, respect the personal space of others, make eye contact, maintain a positive attitude, greet others properly, and use good manners are all simple social skills that will provide children with a solid foundation for their future.  

Other Skills to Teach Your Kids

A parent is never “off the clock” or “on vacation”. The training a child needs is constant, and the needed skills seem endless. We want our children to be good people so we teach them altruistic qualities like the importance of protecting the environment and caring for animals but do not overlook more practical skills that may seem simple.

For example, skills that help set children up for a lifetime of success include teaching them:

  • How to comparison shop and get the best deal
  • How to study and the importance of learning information instead of memorizing it for the short-term
  • How to write a thank you note and send a professional email
  • How to wrap a gift
  • How to treat a basic wound and when to reach out for medical assistance
  • How to do laundry
  • How to clean up after themselves
  • How to budget, use a credit card, and pay bills
  • How to perform basic car and home maintenance and repair
  • How to use simple tools
  • How to read a map and follow directions
  • How to cook a basic meal
  • How change batteries and light bulbs
  • How to tip and what percentage is the standard for various services
  • How to schedule a doctor’s appointment

It All Goes Back to Social Skills

When you look at the skills listed above, many of them correlate back to social skills. For example, writing emails and thank you notes, setting up a doctor’s appointment, and how to tip involve proper communication, respect, and using manners, just to name a few social skills.

Parenting isn’t an easy job because of the 24/7 commitment and the high stakes. Fortunately, once your kids make it to adulthood, you can reap the reward of watching them successfully navigate the world. Plus, there is the bonus that they will be more likely to pursue their own lives and not return home once they become an adult. Start today teaching your children social skills so that you can know they are ready to go out on their own.  Need help with teaching these skills?  Contact us today!

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