Social interaction is an important part of a child’s education. As they age the importance of social interaction does not cease to exist. Even as adults they will have to know how to navigate the social aspects of careers. Often it is not what you know, but who. It is sometimes more about whether or not someone liked you then whether or not you have the highest qualifications. So, helping your child become adept at socializing is as important as helping them learn to read and write. The following is a look at how you can help your child socialize in school:
The first thing you need to do is make sure that they are not getting behind in academics. If a child is struggling to complete their class work, chances are they will either give up on socialization in order to put their focus on academia, or they will give up on academia to focus on socializing. So, they need balance. This is achieved by first, putting them in the proper classes for their level. Second, making sure they stay up with the learning by monitoring homework, and staying in contact with the teacher to ensure they are not falling behind.
Next, you have to get them in an environment where socializing is simple. Some kids are going to be great at being social naturally, but others are not. If your child is shy, or feels awkward socially one of the best things you can do for them is get them involved in something where they are forced to interact with kids outside of the academic boundaries, and thus have almost forced socialization. A great way to do this is through extra curricular activities like sports, music, and theater or dance. They will get to know a group of kids, and even if they are not in the most popular circle of that group, they are still part of the group. They will have plenty of opportunities for socializing outside of school, on the practice field, etc. and that will eventually carry over to social interaction at school, even if it is just to stop and talk about an upcoming production or game.
Another important aspect of helping your child to socialize in school is helping them to socialize outside of school. You can’t be with them at school to force them to be social, but you can give them plenty of practice outside of school so that it comes naturally and is comfortable in school. How do you do that? You set up play dates. It sounds silly, but you do it for small children to help them learn skills like sharing, so why not keep at it. You can get together with one of your friends who has kids the same age, that way they kids end up hanging out while the adults do.