Upbringing - improving children's social behavior

Social skills are a skill that children have to learn first. Nobody comes into the world as a social being, so communicating and demanding positive social behavior is an important part of the socialization and education process.

Pushing, annoying, bullying? How to promote social behavior in children

In our society, however, social and constructive cooperation is desirable. Every person is expected to abide not only by laws, but also by norms and values. If you don't do this, you have problems getting along with other people and quickly become an outsider.

Social behavior in children
Social behavior in children - © AMR Studio / Adobe Stock

Therefore, it should be an important educational goal for you as a parent to teach your child the basic rules of social interaction. Later, you will be assisted in this task by institutions such as kindergartens and schools.

Are children little egoists?

At first, infants and toddlers are only fixated on themselves. They react in a driven way and can not reset their needs. In this context, educators and sociologists speak of childlike egocentrism.

For toddlers, the world is all about themselves. But that has nothing to do with selfishness: a young child has simply not yet learned to recognize the needs of others and to act accordingly. In addition, it cannot yet reflect on its own actions and their consequences.

For example, a two-year-old child is often not aware of any guilt when pulling someone else's hair. It still cannot understand that it is causing pain to its play partner. Nor does it have a conscience in the moral sense at this age.

To make matters worse, the fact that language is not yet sufficiently developed as the most important social medium of interaction. Education, progressive cognitive, emotional and social development as well as individual experiences in dealing with other children and also adults help your child to expand his social skills.

Your child only learns social interaction through contact with others

Experiments and observations in children have shown that social behavior must be learned in early childhood. Children who grow up in social isolation find it difficult to compensate for the lack of social learning experiences and contacts later in their development.

It is therefore important that your child has contact with other children at an early age. Visit a playgroup, for example, or do something with family friends on a regular basis. The learning effect for your child and the effects on their social behavior are great and you also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other parents.

Nurseries and kindergartens also make an important contribution when it comes to promoting social behavior. Your child will meet many different children there and learn to put their needs back and to resolve conflicts constructively. Therefore, bring your child to the care facility on a regular basis and support the educators in strengthening social coexistence by also insisting on compliance with the rules at home.

Good behavior - still an important topic in education?

Courtesy and good manners were among the most important educational goals for previous generations. But are these values ​​still relevant today?
The fact is that courtesy is also an expression of respect for others. In addition, everyone wants to be treated courteously. Therefore, good manners are still a topic when it comes to social skills and social behavior.

If you value good behavior, you should demonstrate this to your child right from the start. With regard to their behavior, children are initially guided by their parents. “Learning on the model” means that in pedagogical jargon. Encourage your child to use courtesy formulas such as "please" and "thank you" and do this yourself as often as possible. Positive social behavior starts on a small scale.

You can later explain why it is important to be polite and friendly. Because if you don't follow the social rules of the game, you'll be offended. In contrast, pleasant social behavior in the form of friendliness can open the door - both professionally and privately.

Strengthening social skills in children - what is important?

Above all, children have to learn how to behave among themselves and towards adults. To do this, they first have to internalize many rules, such as the social norm that physical aggression is not desired.

Young children will initially not understand the meaning and purpose of this rule - until they are able to empathize with their “victim” and realize that they themselves do not want to be beaten.

So if your toddler tries to use force to acquire a toy, for example, as a mother or father you must intervene immediately and defuse the situation. Explain to your child that they need to wait or find another toy.

You should later encourage your child to verbally resolve conflicts, find compromises, or seek help from adults. If you set up rules for social coexistence, you must also ensure that they are observed.

This is exhausting, but necessary so that your child understands its meaning and really internalizes it. If there are violations of the rules, for example when playing with other children, you must take action consistently. One measure in this case could be that your child is no longer allowed to invite friends for a while.

It is important that you repeatedly point out alternative nonviolent behavior and enhance polite, social behavior with praise.

 

Do you have questions, suggestions or criticism? Feel free to contact us. 

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