child development

21 Important social skills to instill in a child

Best social skills for peaceful living amidst peoples

Man is a social being; in other words we cannot do without interacting with each other. We solely depend and are depended on. We are cared for and show care for others. We communicate and bond and lots more.

In other to do all these things aforementioned in the right and appropriate manner, we need to interact peacefully and to do, we requires social skills. A very vital skills every human being must inculcate starting early in childhood.

Social skills meaning

Can simply be term soft skills or interpersonal skills used to communicate and interact effectively with others. Social skills is act that establish good interaction and communication between human being either through verbal and non verbal, body language, gesture, eye contact and individual appearance in a manner that is acceptable to every human and environment we found ourselves.

Men has developed over time’ many ways to communicate feelings and thoughts to others with mutual understanding. We are social creature and cannot do without interacting, communicating or having relations every day, therefore we need some very important social skills in our daily lives to be able to live a peaceable life with others. The process of learning or inculcating social skills is called socialization.

Social skills examples

Below are important social skills good for children to inculcate in their early childhood. Parents/guardian and educators should endeavor to assist children to inculcate this curated list of social skills in order to build children interpersonal skills.

Children catching fun playing together

Social skills for children


This skill embodies collaboration, empathy, and also the crucial point that cooperating with others is more important than exalting your wants above others. It helps make decisions in situations where you are not the only party concerned.

It is important to teach your child that finding an agreement through communication and mutual acceptance is key. As good as this skill is, it should be done with care. It shouldn’t be at own detriment but a mutual understanding is acceptable.  

Expressing feelings

This is the ability to express one’s feelings, either positive or negative, properly. This also encompasses the ability to regulate the expression of emotion in the environment. An important note is that it is never a good idea to bottle up feelings but rather express them correctly with clarity.

Following directions

Following instructions is a part of daily life; we do it every day. It is the ability of the child to act on requests made by others. It is a worthy skill to teach because it is inevitable, the child will come across it on the bus ride to school, in the classroom, and even in the examination hall.

There are rules’ following the right sequence of doing things helps a lot. Other example is when taking medication’ individual must follow prescription. 


It is the capability to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions in the face of desire, temptation, and urges. It is also a conscious process to condition one’s behavior in order to attain a certain goal.

An example is children’s love for sweets, for a child to be able to control his urge and not take the candy on the table until you say so is a good example of self-control. This is a crucial part of children’s social well-being because it helps them make good decisions even when you’re not there.


Empathy means the capacity to understand and relate to what a person feels at a particular point in time. There is no particular formula to show empathy but acknowledge the person’s pain, tell the person you’re happy that they opened up, and be supportive. Empathy has deep meaning in showing you care about others.

Think before speaking and acting

This is a very important skill. The inability to think before speaking has cost a lot of people to lose great opportunities. When you think before you speak, you say what you mean and take responsibility for your words. Always pause first, think before speaking. Having a second taught over your words before you voice it out also helps you in controlling anger.  

Having a positive attitude

Generally, when you have a positive attitude, it means you are optimistic, and it shows in situations and your interactions with people. When you have a positive attitude, you can be hopeful even in dire situations and see the best in people. Model a positive attitude and encourage your child to remain positive always too.

Using coping strategies

First of all, I would like to point out that this is a choice. You can choose to cope with situations or not. First, you have to make a choice not to overreact to stress, talk to someone if you have to or deal properly with both mistakes and successes.

Dealing with anger and frustrations

In life, it is inevitable to come across situations or people that will trigger anger, but it is important to stay calm, think before speaking, express your anger calmly, don’t hold grudges. Using humor to reduce tension can work too. Anger spoils things’ a child should learn to always be in control of it.

Seeing someone else’s perspective

The ability to see another person’s perspective is very important to successful and productive relationships.

Understanding another perspective, even though you might not agree with it suggests compassion and empathy. We all see things from different perspective and there is reason for that.

Orientate a child to try and safe think through in any situation that makes others think in different direction’ sure ideas can be different it is a normal thing and it helps to build harmony.  

Kids in friendship

Taking responsibility

You have to teach your child to take responsibility for their words, thoughts, feelings, and action. Do not pass blame or complain. Stop taking things personally, try to be happy, and don’t live in the past.

Understanding personal space

Think of personal space as a physical distance between people. Some people get offended when you come too close. You may be unnecessarily close for their comfort, understanding this and maintaining the appropriate distance is paramount. Let a child know it is nothing to be worried about’ there is variation in human being.

Taking turns

This is useful for children most especially when playing games. Some children find it difficult to let other children take turns; they always want to go first and every time. When you play with your child, let them get used to taking turns and understanding that it is good to let others take turns too. This also helps to build patience and equity.

Being a good sport man

This deals with respect. Respect for teammates. For the coach and officials in charge. It also involves playing fair, offering encouragement when needed. When you lose, please don’t get into a bad mood or blame others for losing the game, and when you win, don’t brag or rub it in other people’s faces.

Appreciating differences

Understand that no two persons are the same and that we are different and unique in our special way. It doesn’t matter if they are of a different race or have a different belief. Even their personality traits are different, their interest, abilities, and disabilities. It is imperative to accept these differences. It is natural phenomenal’ let a child grow up with this understanding.

Staying calm

From time to time, we get upset, angry, or worry, but we can’t let it take over. Staying calm is not as easy as said, but what always works is admitting that you are angry and think calm thoughts.


Sharing is important to bonding; in fact, it is critical to the bonding process. You can help children develop this skill through patience and practices. This helps to make and keep friends, it teaches fairness and compromise, and they learn to be considerate too.

Reading social cues

A social cue is a form of communication that helps children read other people and act accordingly. Social cues like tone of voice, body language, facial expressions and the likes are good to understand so that one can know how to address manners appropriately.

Dealing with problems and conflicts

The first step to dealing with conflict is attempting to understand the other person’s point of view. Talk with the other person, listen, do not dwell on past grievances, try to identify the point where you agree, and the points where you do not. Bring up a plan to work on the conflict and follow through with it.


This is important as it can salvage a broken relationship. When we’ve hurt somebody or done something wrong, we need to apologize to the concerned party. We might not be able to retract what we’ve done, but we can try to make things better. An apology can do that. Sorry is a simple word that solve huge misunderstanding.

Accepting the consequences

For whatever thing you’ve done bad, there is always a consequence, and it is the responsible thing to do to own up to your mistakes.

Among others, resilience, calm temperament, maintaining eye contact and active listening are some good social skills to instill in a child starting from childhood

Importance of social skills

A vital skill in human being that form concrete foundation for having positive relationship with other people anywhere we found ourselves. Social skill importances is limitless’ starting from the angle of preparing children for lifetime healthier interactions in every aspect of life.

Social skills form integral functioning part in human relations; connecting with people, establishing effective communication, expressing feelings, considering other people feelings, displaying good manners and lots more are all vital elements of good and effective social skills which we must help children develop while they grow.

Two kids working together to build something

Teaching children social skills

Sure social skills can be teach and as well can be learn’ starting to impart it in early childhood goes a long way in helping kids to build positive relationship at home with parents and also with peer.

It helps when they start interacting with their immediate environs family, friends, worship place, pre-schooling etc. definitely it will help children build self awareness.

Time to start teaching social skills to children

A good time to start imparting social skills is at infants. Babies at this stage communicate but non verbally, paying attention to their action and reaction at this stage matters.

Meaning reading nonverbal cues is a vital tool for parents at this period in child life to know what baby needs and giving it to them on time. This time makings eye contact is also paramount’ baby tends to look direct into Mom eyes to relay information, so please do not always look away, maintain eye contact to give your baby self assurance that everything is in control; in other words you are instilling a social skills termed making eyes contact.

As children develop from stage of infant to toddler, gradually are introduced into play based learning. Fact is children gain lots skills during play. This period is a sensitive time in children life.

They begin to explore the immediate world around them through play. This is a stage children starts to engage in verbal communication. It’s a time they want to speak, ask question and perform other related functions that shows they are developing.

Therefor, it is good for parent to seize this period to reinforce good social skills aforementioned. Discuss feelings, communicate verbally’ calm their tantrum by giving them positive feedback.

Show you cares, act you understand, have listening ears’ help build their confidence. By doing this you are helping them to transit from acting out their feelings to expressing it. And gradually they develop into stage of preschoolers

Social skills attribute to children at different stage

It is appropriate for children to have developed some certain social skills attributed to periods in their life. For example at age 2 years to 3 years old; it is appropriate for children to be able to greet, seek attention of their parent and also initiate certain degree of social contact with people around him.

At 3 years to 5 years a child should have attain a social skill pertaining expressing feelings vividly. His or are verbal communication should sound with clarity. At this stage also should able to read social cue and taking turn while playing game should not be an headache.

At 5 years to 8 years, children of this age should have been accustomed to and know when to use words like sorry ‘a social skill called apologizing’; I beg your pardon, please, thank you ‘a social skills showing appreciation’ and lots more. Being able to get along with peers and share thing with others without argument a social skill of appreciating differences and compromising to avoid misunderstanding.

At 8 years and above, social overtures should not be a problem of children of this age. Relating well with peers, starting conversation, gaining attention and working in a group should be thing they enjoys.

Kids of this age will always found themselves playing computer games together, football team, joining choristers and other activities in school, so taking turn can be the other of the day, understanding personal space during play time and seeing things from other people perspective form parts of the social skills to embrace.

Social skills has been a good drive to living in peace amidst people, therefore it is vital that our children as they grow learn and inculcate it. In other words it will in turn help children to behave well in manners that foster and develop good relationship with other people.

Knowing fully well that as children grow’ there is possibility that they change environment’ migrating from one area to another; making new friends is inevitable. friends play a vital role in social skills relations and development.

Parents having lay a solid foundation in social skill will be what will help them to get along with people of different background or orientation whence their parent are not present.

Kids sharing view on what they are seeing

Children will want to rely on what skills they have learnt from home and school respect to socializing and from thence continue to blend with other acceptable skills they pick up along the way from peers and other pressure group.

So laying a solid foundation in early childhood will help children decipher what is right and can administer the best in every scenario they found themselves.

I admonish parents and educator to do it once and do it right socializing children from early childhood. Use our comment box below to let us hear from you’ views and perspective on children socialization’ share with us. Thanks for reading.

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