Social IQ is a concept developed around the idea of social skills and how well-developed they are in social settings. So much awareness is involved in developing social skills: Tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and personal space (just to name a few). It is amazing we learn most of them through observation alone! Where is the class that teaches us how to share, compliment, join a group, manage conflict, and express and understand feelings!?
For some kids, social skills develop naturally and without much emphasis, but for others, these can be daunting skills to tackle. With the new school year upon us, the classroom is a breeding ground for social mishaps and social victories.
If you notice your child struggles in social situations, here are some things you can do to help raise his Social IQ:
- Get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses: Is he flexible with his friends or does he tend to be a bit bossy?
- Discuss with them the importance of friendships and what he thinks it means to be a ‘good friend’.
- Set realistic social goals with your child (i.e. Lilly will congratulate two classmates if they win in a game or Johnny will introduce himself to a new classmate and ask to join in on an activity at recess.).
- Involve teachers and counselors to help reinforce and observe goals.
- Help your child talk about and identify feelings, facial expressions, and gestures.
- Practice conflict management: develop a plan that’s easy to remember in ‘heated’ moments.
- Take a deep breath, count to 3, and use “ I feel ______ when _________”.
- Practice skills at home (i.e. sharing, complimenting, asking questions, waiting her turn to talk) and be a good role model!
- Join a social skills group.
- Social skills go far beyond the examples mentioned here, so this can be a great opportunity to not only learn new skills, but practice them with their peers in a structured setting.