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  • 5 Social Skills Your Child Needs To Learn By 5 Years Old

    Will the kids lose out on social skills because they are now learning on their own at home?
    by SmartParenting Staff .
5 Social Skills Your Child Needs To Learn By 5 Years Old
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  • Your kids are not likely to go to school physically anytime soon because of COVID-19. But it doesn’t mean a school is out of the question. You will find options on homeschool, blended learning, and distance education on Smart Parenting Classroom.

    As we approach the school opening on August 24, 2020, one of the fears parents have is their kids may be losing out on social skills because they are now learning on their own at home.

    In her report to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Education Secretary Leonor Briones states the advantages of having face-to-face classes are undeniable.

    “When we teach our children, we teach them not only about facts, about knowledge, about philosophies, about history. But we teach them how to deal with fellow human beings,” Briones stressed. “And that can only be attained to a great degree by face to face interaction among children, especially as they are young.”

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    So what happens now with social skills when the kids have an at-home learning setup?

    In his article on Psychology Today, Kyle Pruett, M.D., a clinical professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, reminds us that socialization is “a skill taught from infancy on, long before schools open their doors to students.

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    “Children’s crucial ability to engage with and function effectively and productively in the world around them is what we generally mean by socialization.”

    Experts, including homeschool families, say there is no need to worry about your kids not knowing how to make friends or interact with others as long as you put in the work. What does that look like?

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    5 social skills your child needs to learn by kindergarten

    Before your child gets to kindergarten, she has learned specific social skills from you, her parents, and the people around her. Education Corner identifies the five most important social skills for kindergarten-aged children:

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    • Understands the difference between right and wrong, and understanding that there are consequences for their actions
    • Uses words to express their needs and feelings, and understand that others have feelings too
    • Sharing, taking turns, and using kind words when playing with other children
    • Playing alone or with other children, without needing constant supervision
    • Making decisions independently and taking risks while remaining safe  

    You cannot instill these social skills by lecturing children, Thumby Server-Veloso of Toddlers Unlimited, points out. “They need to experience different situations and be given opportunities to make decisions and see the consequences of their actions.”

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    How to develop your child’s social skills 

    That is why school IS a great place to develop these social skills. As Veloso says, it is a setting where they are given time to play with each other and learn how to negotiate, share, take turns, and lead and follow. How can you now do that at home?

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    Engage your child in conversations always

    Veloso recommends, “Talk about what is right and wrong behavior. How wrong behavior hurts others and why it’s important to be nice to others.”

    Watch what you say 

    Dr. Pruett says your child is learning from you all the time. He watches and listens to the way you talk to family, friends, and neighbors, whether on the phone or in person.

    Let your child join group activities  

    Having classmates over amid a pandemic is obviously out of the questions, but many activities can be done virtually. And we’re not just talking learning groups, but that’s great, too. 

    Let your child join groups whose members have the same interest as him or the same age. Put together a chat group with all his cousins. Then they go on virtual museum tours and even theme park rides!

    As Dr. Pruett says, children are socialized by their parents first. “Schooling can play a role, but not the powerful or always positive one so often assumed.”

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