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3 Parenting Tips ~ Teaching Character with Social Skills

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Do your kids know how to make friends? Are they too shy? Do they talk too loud, too much, and act too bold? Inside you'll find 3 social skills that build character and make friends.

Social Skills Quote:

Proverb - "Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet."

To come on too strong with anyone is uncomfortable for that person. To use mean words, sarcasm, or put-downs turns the receiving kid off. Kids who speak rudely want to be popular. They hope all those who hear them will think they are clever, important, and want their friendship. They don't realize they turn the other kids off too. Rude comments are not clever. Rude comments are the embers that turn relationships to ashes.

Shy kids have trouble too. They don't know what to say, feel self-conscious, and sometimes stutter and blush. Both the bold and the shy kids need something you can teach - social skills.

First Parenting Tip that Builds Character ~ Repeat What Your Friend Says:

Let's say one boy is saying, "I have a new bike. It's red. It goes fast too."

Your child could say, "You have a new red bike? Cool! How fast does it go?"

This repetition works well with kids and adults. It tells the speaker that your child really listened. Being listened to makes kids and adults feel important. Making others feel important is a natural bridge to friendship.

Second Parenting Tip that Builds Character ~ Repeat Your Friend's Last Few Words:

Teach your child to repeat part of her friend's last sentence. Let's say the other girl tells your child,

"I have to take piano lessons once a week."

Your daughter could repeat, "once a week."

The other girl could easily continue. "My mom says I'll learn best if I practice every day between lessons."

Repeating the last few words of her friend's sentence helps the girl continue her flow of thought. It reminds her of what she said. It helps her talk even more about her topic. Repeating a friend's last few words is a natural bridge to keeping the conversation going.

Third Parenting Tip that Builds Character ~ Say Your Friend's Name Often

Repeating a friend's name catches his attention. His ears perk up. Why? Because your child is saying his friend's favorite word - his own name.

Let's say your child is leading the conversation and is talking about his favorite movie. He might say, "You'd love it, Josh. The dinosaurs were so real."

His friend loved hearing his name because "Josh" is his favorite word.

Social Skills that Build Character Conclusion:

Use these parenting tips to teach your child social skills. Practice them on your child and see if your child notices. Ask what he/she experienced when you used them. Encourage your child to use them with friends. If you do, your son or daughter will learn valuable conversation skills for life. No more not knowing what to say. No more shyness. No more sarcasm. No more hatchet throwing either.

Imagine raising a child sincerely interested in others, who knows how to honor them, and make them lifelong friends in return. Use these social skills with your child, your family, and friends. Model them well. Notice the difference they make with your family, friends and acquaintances. What an easy and wonderful way to build character too!



Pick up the Social Skills Kit for Kids with its 50 skills to cut out and practice, a true story to motivate, a calendar to chart progress, and a rewards list with 80 bonding activities.

Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

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Social Skills Kit for Kids

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