"No man is an island."
Interpersonal skills are important tools that need to be honed early on because they dictate how a child will relate with others and succeed in life. How you interact with your child will give him ideas on how to socialize, so lead by example by being mindful of what you say and do around him.
Take note of these five skills that you can help hone from the moment your child is born.
1 Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is all about the words and tone of voice a child uses to express himself. This begins when your baby utters his first word, continues as your toddler excitedly states his favourite toys, and eventually leads to him telling animated stories.
Observe what he is into and speak to him without using “baby talk.” Research showed that it is easier for kids to learn when they are interested in something. If, for example, a toddler shows an interest in his family’s new car, talk about it. Use a picture of the car to name its color, to help him notice that the wheels are round, that it has four doors, etc.
2 Non-Verbal Communication
From birth, children begin to pick up on the subtleties of non-verbal communication. A facial expression, the unspoken tension in a stressful moment, hand gestures: They all can be observed and interpreted. While words can sometimes be misinterpreted, non-verbal communications have an even higher chance of misinterpretation. It’s important therefore to not only teach children to ‘read’ these signals through a filter, but also to be careful with their own non-verbal communications. Help your child to develop this by using flashcards that your child would respond to non-verbally.
3 Listening Skills
This is how your child actively listens and responds to verbal and non-verbal messages. In a world where we can voice our opinions in a comment section without even knowing the full story, listening has become a lost art and one that we sorely need. Teaching children to listen to others and really hear what they’re saying, whether they agree with them or not, is a skill that will serve them well through their entire lives. Catch his or her eye, keep instructions short, and give constructive feedback.
Ask a handful of employers what they’re looking for in employees today and ‘problem solvers’ will be named as one of the most important attributes time and again. Unfortunately, children are given few opportunities to practice this skill, even though it’s more important than ever. Develop your child's logical and creative skills to pinpoint a problem, search for possible options, and select the best solution with 3 simple steps:
A. Identify the problem.
(Pick a quiet space where the child can be comfortable enough to share his problem.)
B. Find solutions and try them out.
(Brainstorm two to three options through encouraging questions.)
C. Check in to see how it went.
(Ask your child if the solution worked. If it didn’t, what can he do instead?)
Giving children opportunities to make decisions in their day-to-day lives can be as easy as offering them two options for lunch, allowing her to pick the dress she wants to wear for school, and deciding the book he wants to read before bedtime. As they become adept at weighing the pros and cons of small choices, they can be presented with opportunities to make bigger decisions. More complex life choices can lead to good or bad consequences that will affect your child. Always ask questions (so he or she can come up with his or her own answers) and let him or her carry out his or her decisions.
With parental guidance and constant stimulation, your child can develop these interpersonal skills and grow into a well-rounded and highly adaptable individual.
Join our academy today to learn how to sharpen your child's life skills, overcome their fear of sharing their opinions, and help them master ways to deliver effectively each and every time. Brush up on their communication, leadership and entrepreneur skills and help them become independent learners here!