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How To Strengthen Social Skills From Home

Teens hanging out

Formal education systems have many benefits that go beyond academic instruction. Just like the workplace for adults, school provides children with a place to go, a purpose, and many opportunities to practice socialization, conflict negotiation, and self-regulation. With most children out of school since Spring Break, and questions being raised of whether they will truly return to brick-and-mortar education in the fall, many parents are calling their expert child behavior psychologist in Littleton with a big question: how can I make sure my child doesn’t fall behind socially? Read on to find out some key social strength  areas you can help your child build from home!

Initiating Play and Friendships

This is one of the hardest tasks for people of all ages. Whether your kindergartener was hesitant to ask another child for a push on the swings, or your high schooler is rejoicing at the fact that they don’t have to find a place to sit at lunch anymore, attending to the very first stage of friendship is so important. With digital technology, these same challenges can present themselves. How do you help your child reach out to friends and make plans? Keep in mind that younger children do not have the same sense of time and urgency that adults do—they may whine all day to see their best friend, but forget a play date the next day. As an adult, help to model good skills like scheduling appointments, setting reminders, and being accountable for social time.

Self-Regulation Promotes Good Socialization

Even the friendliest of children can struggle if they cannot regulate their own bodies, words, or feelings. Even when your child is home alone away from other children, she can build these skills. When you bring your child for play therapy in Highlands Ranch, your play therapist may suggest helping your child to learn and label her feelings, express disagreements in a productive manner, and practice tools to calm down and relax. Practicing these skills at home can be a great opportunity to develop these skills for the future.

Agree to Play!

Unlike play with other children, much play between adults and children is educational or serving a purpose. While instructive play is a great way to practice skills, free play is a vital part of helping your child  build his imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills! If you can carve just five minutes out of your day, invite your child to lead a free-play session. The only rules are that everyone stays safe and respectful, and you have to follow your child’s lead! This isn’t the time to prompt for colors, math, or spelling—but a great time to challenge your child with ethical dilemmas or outright silliness! Worried about being a “good enough” playmate for your younger child? Don’t be intimidated—let them tell you what to do and feel free to make mistakes. Set a timer so you and your child both know when special play time is over for the day.

Today’s children are facing so many challenges as they try to live their lives behind closed doors. As we keep their futures in mind as parents, educators, and healthcare providers, it is our job to help them build a strong foundation to launch from once things calm down. While most kids have some struggles, if you feel that your child has been severely traumatized, regressed in social skills, or is showing emotional concerns, don’t hesitate to speak with a skilled child psychologist in Colorado. Most providers are doing telehealth child psychology by video, with socially distant in-person services for those in need. Dr. Lazarus and Zeke would love to visit with you soon, so call now to find out how to make a positive change.

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