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Are social skills activities important for children?

What are social skills? These are the skills that are used to socialize and communicate with people either verbally or non-verbally. Having an adequate number of social skills is as significant as being educated. Social skills are something that one identifies, learns, and develops as one grows up. Putting forth your opinion, presenting yourself in public, handling and reacting in certain situations, supporting your friends, and working as a team all come under the vast subject of social skills.

Though these skills come naturally to most of us, there are chances that some people might lack a few of them. Not being guided and exposed to opportunities are most likely the reasons. Social skills and character development are more challenging to learn and adapt as one gets older. The right time to establish them is at the early stage of life, as a child.

Developing social skills in children is essential and is a great start to prepare them for the future. Through social activities, children develop their skills, personality, and necessary qualities and values to attain social proficiency. Children need to be able to form meaningful bonds with other people, empathize and interact accordingly. For young children of age two to three, learning begins at home. They enjoy helping the adults with their chores and learn that their contribution has value. Children of older age learn these skills better among peers or classmates. That is why the primary class teachers generally encourage social activities like group activities, games, quizzes, problem-solving, talking about topics of interest, discussion, et cetera during school.

Children who take part in social skills activities and who are provided with interacting, speaking, listening and understanding experiences often have a higher level of confidence and self-esteem. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has researched and shown that students who receive regular social skill instructions show a more positive attitude about school and their future compared to those without such instructions. Social skills activities help children to communicate, cooperate, and help them become concerned, caring, and responsible citizens. It also teaches them to set and achieve goals, to acknowledge their dreams and desires, and shows them a safe and successful path to adulthood and life.

- Vaishnavi Preethi


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