I know how worrisome parents can get when their children feel awkward in social gatherings. I faced a similar situation with my daughter a few years ago. She preferred to stay in the room when the guests visited our home or didn’t show any interest when someone invited us to a party or celebration. It took her some time, but she outgrew that phase gradually.
I am sharing a few things that helped me to improve my daughter’s social skills. Hope these tips will give you a breakthrough with your child.
- Meet Teacher
I met my daughter’ school teachers during PTM and asked them about her behaviour in the class. I came to know that she hardly participated or took initiative. I requested teachers to encourage her to participate in different school activities. Fortunately, they did and it helped my daughter to come out of her shell to some extent. You can try this too.
- Help Them Make Friends
Take your child to your society’s club house or common play area. Talk to other children there and encourage your child to join them. This may take a few attempts but your child will slowly start getting comfortable around them.
- Pay Attention to Their Interests
Is there a particular thing that your child loves and enjoys to do? For example, dance or cricket? You can use this opportunity to enrol them in an activity class. When your child mingles with other children in their group, they will open up. My daughter liked to dance on Bollywood songs, so I enrolled her in a dance class. Later, she even gave group performances on various occasions like Ganpati festival in our society.
- Organise Play Dates
You can invite her school or society friends occasionally and throw them a little party. You can arrange for fun games and snacks. This will help your child to come out of her comfort zone. She will also look forward to play dates at her friends’ homes.
- Teach Her Conversation Starters
If your child sits aloof and silent in social gatherings, one of the reasons could be that she doesn’t know how to interact. Tell them that they can talk about weather, music, movies, games or school to start a conversation with others. Teach them to give compliments to people for their attire, hairstyle, personality or anything else.
Remember that social awkwardness is common in children. You just need to be patient and understanding as a parent to help them improve their social skills.