There’s a lot for your child to learn in the time they go from toddler to teenager. But it’s important not to forego the social skills lessons along the way that will get them to a place of well-being!
The tween years may be a gentler time before the advent of the teenage years, and that’s why it’s so important for kids to work on their social abilities. Fortunately, there are a few activities for middle school that can help!
Using Eye Contact
Making eye contact can be one of the most difficult social skills for kids. However, utilizing this simple gesture can be a meaningful IEP goal that helps them communicate without words and display comprehension. If your child is struggling with this, try the 50/70 rule so they utilize eye contact 50 percent of the time when talking and 70 percent when listening. Or have them hold eye contact for five to ten seconds at a time so they can get used to it.
Participating in Conversation
Whether it’s about their favorite activity or a food they love, kids are used to being asked questions. However, questions in one direction don’t make for highly developed social skills. The art of conversation is an important part of developing relationships, and it makes for a mindful kids’ activity! To encourage this, ask your child a question and wait for them to answer. Then, encourage them to ask you a question. Over time, they’ll be able to adapt to many different subjects.
Meeting & Greeting People
A first impression might not seem so important when you’re young. But, as your children get older, knowing how to make a good impression will be important in their interactions. Fortunately, this is among the social skills activities for middle school they can practice at home. Start by showing your children how to introduce themselves. For example, a good start is “Hi, my name is Julie. It’s nice to meet you”. Once they know how to do this, they can focus on using expressions and body language.
Empathy may be a less visible social skill, but it’s one of the most important aspects of good social skills. The average middle schooler may be absorbed in their own life, but it’s never too early to start with these kinds of lessons. Fortunately, helping with this skill can be as simple as explaining how you feel in a situation. Or, telling your child about someone else’s difficulty and seeing how you can both make them feel better. Volunteer work can also be one of the best social skills activities to teach your child about other people’s experiences.
No matter what stage of childhood your kids are at, social skills will always be an important part of their healthy development. And the learning they do in their middle school years will take them through the more emotionally taxing teenage years! If your child is more introverted and they’re having difficulty opening up, Chat Chains can be the perfect game to help them work on their conversational abilities.
VeryWell Family. 7 Most Important Social Skills for Kids. https://www.verywellfamily.com/seven-social-skills-for-kids-4589865
LoveToKnow. Creative Social Skills Activities for Teens and Tweens. https://teens.lovetoknow.com/creative-social-skills-activities-teens-tweens
Raising Teens Today. 10 Important Social Skills You Need to Teach Your Teen Now.