Life

Parent Guide To Social Awareness For Elementary Students

. To help your child’s social development, let’s talk about how you, the parent, can ensure your child grows to be someone compassionate and empathetic.

An elementary school is where kids learn more than just writing and math. Social awareness, empathy, and other essential social skills form at this age. To help your child’s social development, let’s talk about how you, the parent, can ensure your child grows to be someone compassionate and empathetic.  

What Is Social Awareness?

Social awareness is an understanding that the people we meet come from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures, and it allows us to look at things from another perspective. In other words, social awareness is the foundation for empathy. 

While empathy isn’t something many places talk about, it’s a core skill to have for life. It helps with communication, understanding other perspectives, and respecting other groups outside of your own. Empathy, through social awareness, is a core piece to being an engaged listener and contributor.  

Tools to Teach Social Awareness

Social awareness can be taught just like any other skill. Some children will need some extra help from their parents to get the concept, though. Here are some tools you can use at home to help your child grow their social awareness. 

Talk About What Your Child Reads

Reading is a great learning tool. If you read with your child, you can ask them questions about what the characters in the story could be thinking or feeling. As you ask these questions, you cause your child to adopt the character’s perspective and think about what’s going on. This tool is not only great for reading comprehension but also as practice for social awareness. 

Explain Your Emotions to Your Kid

Whether you’re feeling happy, angry, or anything in between, explain why you feel that way to your child. If something they do frustrates you, explain why the bad behavior is frustrating. By demonstrating to your child why something is frustrating, you get them thinking about someone other than themselves. That practice can help build their empathy for others. 

Ask Your Child What They Think Others Feel

Guiding your child towards thinking about how others feel can happen with real-life situations, too. If conflicts arise when your child is around, that’s an opportunity to ask them how they think others feel.

For example, if one sibling takes a toy from the other one and causes a fight, you could first stop the argument. Once that’s been done, ask the child, “How would you feel if your sibling took your toy from you?”

Help Your Child Find Ways They Can Help

Children are much more perceptive than we sometimes give them credit for. Their minds are open to their surroundings as they try to learn about the world around them. This openness means your child might be more aware of a problem than you are, and that’s an opportunity to help them learn social awareness. 

If someone in your neighborhood or school district is having problems, you might ask your child what they think would help that troubled person out. Something as small as writing a letter or making a phone call could go a long way in brightening that person’s day and teaching your child empathy. 

Discuss Body Language Cues

For those with children in the higher elementary grades, these tips might be things you’ve already done as they were younger. If that’s the case, you could talk to your child about things like body and figurative language instead. 

Both sarcasm and figurative language tend to be ways others hide their true feelings. Likewise, someone with a closed posture could be politely entertaining conversation when they are actually uncomfortable. Teaching your child to recognize these signs would help them better understand those around them. 

Summing Up

Social awareness is a vital part of managing relationships with others. That means that social awareness is a critical skill to be passing down to your child. 

Schools are a great place for children to learn these skills in real-time, but at-home tools and talks can help your child grow their empathy and interpersonal skills. Passing these skills along gives your child the chance to grow as a person and sets them up for success later on in life. 

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