Get to Know Your Child’s Interests to Help Them Develop Social Skills
“The point of learning language and interacting socially, then, is…to make connections with other people …” – Gordon Wells
When children have social communication weaknesses, they face challenges in understanding what is expected of them in different social situations when it is not made known to them. They may also encounter difficulty following the rules of conversations and adapting the way they speak to different people in different social contexts.
To support your child’s social communication development:
1. Play games – indoor and outdoor
If your child knows how to play a variety of games, other children are more likely to hang out and play with him, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Cultivate a variety of interests, but go deep with one or two hobbies. Children naturally want to spend time with others who have similar interests to them. If your child has a variety of interests, he may be more adaptable in conversation, but if he develops a deep interest in a hobby or two, he can share his expertise with friends, too.
2. Teach social behaviours for different contexts
Not all children spontaneously observe and notice that there are unspoken “rules” of behaviours for different situations. Teaching children appropriate social behaviours for different situations prevents them from making unnecessary social mistakes and sets them up to have successful social encounters.