The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Teach Social Skills
By Jamie Gaddy
With all of the festivities, parties, plays, and general hoopla there are plenty of opportunities to teach our kiddos some social skills during the holidays! Interaction with others at various levels is common during this season and provides some real time, real life “teaching moments.” What a perfect opportunity!
- Teach your child to think of others by being an example! There are many people in need during this time, and taking the time to help out a fellow won’t soon be forgotten. Rescue missions, soup kitchens, crisis centers, and even your local church are all great places to get started!
- Teach your child the importance of selflessness. For some reason, the holidays tend to bring out the green-eyed monster of greed in my kids. And, the mentality of “me” is so abundant in our culture – it’s a tough battle to wage. Start by emphasizing the importance of family and friends, and of memory making and happiness instead of wishing and wanting and getting. It doesn’t happen overnight, but don’t despair just keep at it!
- Teach your child the value of gratitude. What better way to thank someone than to offer true gratitude. So, often I’ve heard kids holler, “I don’t like this!” or “That’s not what I wanted.” I know it’s in us all… but encourage them to think of the one giving the gift, and of the time and investment that they made to bring the gift. Even if it’s a pair of underwear, there is always something we can be thankful for!
- Finally, teach your children how to say, “Thank you!” It’s simple, but it’s a life lesson that will go far. A simple “Thank you” can make Grandma’s day! And, let’s give this a homeschool twist…it’s a perfect time to teach the kids how to write “thank you cards!”