Nowadays, it is not so uncommon to see young children avoid social interactions and become alienated from other groups of children. Whether the reason for this occurrence is the development of technology that enables children to become more antisocial and absorbed into the virtual world, or perhaps some other cause of the same severity, the conclusion is always the same: our children need help in order to grow up healthy and develop properly. As a parent, there are several ways you could aid your child in the process of social development:

Positive reinforcement

Before opting for any drastic measures, it is important to be mindful of one simple fact – you are raising a child, after all. Children are fragile, vulnerable and they are trying their best to find their path. The process of development is never simple and easy, which is why it is so crucial to offer your child the right kind of support. Positive reinforcement is one of the most important factors of your child’s social development. It would be wise to take things slowly, to nurture your child’s positive traits, to indulge in healthy conversations with them and to simply encourage them to work more on their social skills.

Learning through play

Play teaches your child how to engage with the world from a very early age, and it can be quite educational, as well as fun. A familiar activity can help with the abstract notion of personal space and non-verbal communication, so encourage your child to play games that require taking turns, sharing and cooperating, in order to promote their social development. For example, role playing is a great way of teaching children how to act in various situations, and an ideal way of boosting their social and emotional development, as it requires both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Encourage social activities

If you have noticed that your child is often by themselves, prefers their alone time over playing with other children and does not participate in social events, it may be time to point your child in the right direction. Lonely children may have difficulty interacting with the world, as well as showing and expressing emotion, which is why you should opt for activities that will get your child to feel more comfortable with social situations. For example, you could find the best playgroup in Hong Kong where, apart from learning through games and play, your child could have the opportunity to get acquainted with other kids and simply gain social and other valuable skills.

Let them make decisions

Making positive choices about their personal and social behavior will be the key to your child’s success in life. You can encourage a healthy sense of self-esteem by giving your child responsibilities at home and allowing them to make age-appropriate decisions on their own. For example, something as simple as asking your child if they want to wear their red shirt or their yellow shirt today could truly go a long way towards building your child’s confidence, thus helping them feel more comfortable in social situations.

Lead by example

Never forget that your child looks to you to learn how to form relationships and cope with the world around them – take every opportunity to model appropriate behavior. Spend time every day talking and cuddling, interact with your child through age-appropriate books and games, teach them good manners by treating other people with courtesy, socialize with friends and encourage your child to foster healthy friendships, and always remember to nurture your own social and emotional wellness, as well. All of these actions will teach your child that they live in a loving and supportive environment where individuals take care of one another.

Providing positive social, as well as emotional opportunities for children helps them feel better about themselves and develops their confidence. As a result, children are able to find ways to cope with conflict, solve social problems and, ultimately, to form healthy relationships with others throughout their lives.