How can parents help teens in building strong social skills?

A group of people sitting at a table talking about social skills

Teenage years form a crucial part of a person’s life. It is necessary to develop some social skills that go on with you throughout your life. Simple skills like addressing a group of people or acting in a certain manner can make a lot of difference to your personality. As parents who are parenting teenagers,  it becomes your responsibility to make sure that your kid has inculcated strong social skills. These strong social skills will not only help them currently but will go on with them forever. In this blog, we will help you understand how you can help your teens build strong social skills.

1. Encourage open and disciplined expression:

You should inspire your youngsters to deal with their emotions and thoughts respectfully.  When children are able to express themselves freely, they connect deeply with others. You should encourage open discussion if you want to foster self discovery. Your kids should feel safe in theri thoughts, and feelings. One of the ways to achieve this is to create a secure space for them to talk about what they feel. While you offer them with such an environment, emphasise the importance of being open about how they feel.

Creating a safe environment for better communication:

A significant aspect of encouraging self-expression is a safe space at home. Having an atmosphere where your child feels safe to share their thoughts without interruptions is very important. Parents should foster an atmosphere where open communication is valued. Such an atmosphere allows them to grow socially, boost their confidence and make interactions with others feel easy. 

Teach them the power of self-expression:

To let them express how they feel, you need to make them value the power of self-expression. Self-expression is more than just talking to people around. It is about creating bonds that can last a lifetime. When children are free to express themselves, they form genuine connections and develop a unique understanding of themselves and the people around them. This is a long journey and they will learn a lot of things which will stay with them throughout their life.

2. Offer them an active ear:

Good communication means that you actively listen to what your child is saying. When you talk to your kid, pay attention to what they are saying. Listen to them, understand their feelings, and respond thoughtfully to their questions. Active listening acts as the building block of strong connections and understanding between you and your child.

Active listening is important if you want to make your child feel heard. Paying close attention to what they say and giving thoughtful responses makes a huge difference for their confidence. When you are discussing a particular topic, encourage your kid to ask questions and ensure they understand whatever is being said. This will help them to communicate effectively and deepen their connections with others. Teach them that if they also listen carefully to what others are saying, they will be able to understand what they mean.

3. Focus on developing positive social behaviour:

Parents are an important role model for a teenager. Your behaviour is what they look at and follow. You should have a composed and positive enriched behaviour. Children absorb these behaviours and interactions like sponges. They follow the things you do when they are in a public setting. This makes it all the more important for you to act civil around your kids.

A huge part of setting the right example for your kids is to demonstrate positive social behaviour. Your behaviour should focus on shaping the world your child lives in. When you consistently kindness, patience, and empathy, you are creating an atmosphere where understanding connects you with others.

You need to take accountability for your actions because your young one is paying attention to your actions. They will sooner or later mirror your traits, whether good or bad. Kindness, understanding, and effective communication you display will make them better individuals. By witnessing these behaviours in you, they learn how to navigate their relationships positively and constructively.

4. Conflict resolution:

Disagreements are a natural part of relationships and interactions. How your child handles conflicts is a valuable skill that can contribute to their growth and resilience.

Everybody finds it difficult to deal with conflicts. As parents, try to make your child understand that when you are faced with such situations, you should see them as chances to learn. They should use such situations as opportunities to navigate disagreements, find common ground, and be a good listener. Learning to resolve conflicts will enable them to widen their perspective about situations. This will make them open to different thoughts and ideas. Conflict resolution is a valuable skill. It will help them as they grow up and navigate through several social situations.

Empathy will help you understand the perspective of other people during conflict resolution. You should encourage your child to understand how others feel during an argument. They will be better able to understand the rough parts of an argument. By understanding how others feel, they develop empathy and confidence. These qualities prepare them for the complexities of adulthood.

5. Develop empathy in your child:

Empathy is a fundamental skill that all kids need to learn. Being empathetic means understanding and caring about other people’s feelings. The simplest way of doing it is getting involved in activities that showcase empathy. Simple activities like community service provide valuable experiences for your child to learn from. These experiences expose them to different situations and people. This is an effective way of helping them understand how others feel. 

Engage in simple discussions about real-life situations where they need to be empathetic. Let them know that understanding how others feel will make them a better person.

Teach them that empathy isn’t just a skill to be learned, it’s a way of conduct. When children learn to care about others’ feelings, they become better at being kind and thoughtful in various social situations. This helps them build good relationships in the present and sets a strong foundation for positive interactions in the future.

6. Expand social opportunities:

The best way to learn to build strong social skills is to be active in social settings. Let your teenager explore different social activities and have new experiences. Joining clubs, participating in group events, and helping others will help them in learning new skills and gain different perspectives.

When your child joins clubs or engages in group events, they meet new people who share similar likes and interests. Such places are great if you want your child to hang out with like-minded individuals. This way they can make new friends and learn new skills. Being around people who share different opinions and perspectives will help them see things from different points of view. For example, participation in a debate club enhances their communication and idea-sharing skills. Volunteering with an NGO or a group will connect them to the community along with fostering adaptability and effective communication.

When they participate in social activities, they explore the type of people they are comfortable with. Once they have discovered it, they will know the type of conversations they can have with this set of people. As your child continues to grow, he/she will learn more and more about communication.

These are some simple and effective methods you can use to help your child build better communication skills. Having strong social skills is very important, especially now that people are perceived depending on how they interact with others. At DPS Warangal, we make sure that your child gets an atmosphere conducive for social interaction and growth.