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How to nurture social skills in homebound kids

Michelle McQuade | September 21, 2020

My beloved people. Cheerful nice man smiling while enjoying time with his family

Social skills are one of the most important things kids learn to pick up at play or in school. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, they’re forced to stay inside. In-person contact with friends and other people are limited, if not non-existent, and they have to rely on video conferencing tools to stay in touch with their peers and, in some cases, go to school.

As parents, we’re always worried about how to raise our children well. The pandemic has added another hurdle for us to overcome. Within a confined space, we need to learn how to teach our kids handy social skills. Fortunately, there are ways to do so. These methods are simple and often taken for granted. Most importantly, everyone in the family can take part.

Pay attention to your children (and to other people)

Kids learn by watching us, so we have to set a fine example. You can start by deliberately paying attention to them or whoever you’re spending time with. Do things as a family, such as prepare meals, play games, or watch movies. Then, spend one-on-one time with each child, where they will have your undivided attention.

According to psychology experts, showing kids that you pay attention helps them learn the importance of interaction and putting focus on other people’s needs. In effect, it lessens self-centered behavior and encourages generosity and even altruism.

Help them keep up with their friends

If the COVID-19 pandemic can make life lonely for adults, it certainly has the same effect on children. It might not be possible right now to schedule play dates or sleepovers, but there are other ways your children can get in touch with their friends.

Most times, a simple video call can suffice. You can help your kids set up the laptop and the video conferencing platform. Give them some privacy. For a more productive and fun video call, talk to their parents to set up a special project the kids can do together. Perhaps they can take the same classes? There are also tools where your children and their friends can watch movies together and chat with each other, all online.

This article has plenty of suggestions on how your children can stay connected to their friends and family.

Don’t interrupt anyone when they’re talking

Giving and taking in any conversation is one of the hallmarks of effective communication. It allows you to process what the other person is saying, consider their body language and expressions, and as a result, make a proper response. This ties in with paying attention and listening attentively, avoiding any distractions.

You can teach your children the value of give-and-take by not interrupting them when they’re saying something. It makes them feel like they’re being listened to. Furthermore, it also teaches them not to interrupt the person they’re talking to. It’s a building block to giving and taking in conversations.

As a top Cleveland realtor, it’s part of my mission to look after the community. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been posting other articles that aim to help everyone to adjust to the new normal and keep updated with Cleveland real estate news. If you’d like to get in touch, you can contact me at 624.157.6323 or MichelleMcQuade(at)HowardHanna(dotted)com.

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