Sehr, a friend’s daughter, recently turned one. This charming little girl smiles at everyone she meets at parties, in the elevator, in the play zone and even on video calls. She waves her hand and tries to greet with a ‘hi’ to everyone, from her nanny to her parents to grandparents to other toddlers in the park, and family friends at gatherings. She sometimes initiates non verbal conversation and delights people by nodding, smiling and waving hand to people she finds safe and friendly.
Why I believe Sehr’s parents are doing a great job in teaching her receptive and expressive communication at this delicate age, and why all the parents must practice this virtue, is what I am writing here about.
“Study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future” – Kristin Schubert, director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
When I say social skills, I am looking at basic communication skills that allow people to effectively interact with each other, express their emotions, thoughts and feelings through words and gestures.
Most psychologists and psychiatrists emphasize on exposing toddlers to safe social places like friends and family, smile to them as often as you can, and make them familiar with basic verbal and nonverbal greetings. Social connections are very important in shaping a person’s over all behaviour and personality.
For example, Sehr is pretty observant and always happy to meet new people. Like most other kids, Sehr takes a little while to adjust in new environment but thanks to her parents’ extreme attention to little things; she never gets cranky or behaves unreasonably around new people. This is an indicator of how she’d behave in her adolescent years or even as an adult. She’d be able to make friends easily and will light up every place she goes with just her smile.
It’s no lie when elders say that happy parents raise happy kids. Happier the couple is with each other, better are the chances of their kid adopting this character from them. A kid whose parents are constantly disturbed will not grow up to be healthy mentally and physically because all she/he hears is harsh conversation that the parents have with each other. Such kids don’t even get appropriate attention from parents because they are perpetually busy in their own difference of opinion. On the other hand, parents who have cordial relations between them and with the family as a whole raise cheerful and joyous kids. Such kids respect their parents, grandparents, neighbours and house help equally. They love interacting, sharing and rejoicing with everyone around. Kids of happy parents are always elated and lively while study shows that kids of unhappy parents have twice the chances of suffering from depression as they grow up. Subconsciously, a child is always learning. It is what you could offer them on your end, for them to learn that brings out his or her own personality in its developing years.
Here’s Sehr making merry with her parents.
The importance of raising a socially friendly and happy child cannot be overlooked, more so in this age where happiness is a rare asset and a lot of teens/adults avoid socialising for various different reasons. In my opinion, developing basic social skills in children from a very young age plays a crucial role in determining their success and happiness. People, who practice social skills and networking better from the beginning, end up cracking better business deals and earning more friends as adults as compared to their shy peers. Greater social connectedness leads to better self esteem and in general higher satisfaction in whatever they choose to do as teens and adults.
Also, happy kids grow up to learn better, memorize better and respond even better. Additionally, socially active and chirpy kids are emotionally more satisfied in all the relations that they build over time as they grow.
So dearest parents just know that good manners and irresistible charm just doesn’t pop up in your child’s journey from out of nowhere. It’s a process and every single day that you spend taking care of your child, teaching those tots tiny little things is going to be worth. Here’s to all of you raising socially complacent and comfortable kids.
Guest blogger : The author of this blog is Priyanka Bhutani. She is Freelance content writer and social media strategist