Are you currently fostering a child in the Glasgow area? Acting as a foster carer is one of the most rewarding things you can do, as this is your chance to have a positive impact on a child’s life. While there are plenty of areas where you can offer support, helping your foster child build strong social skills should be high on the list of priorities. Social skills aren’t just important for friendships, but they will help them to relate to and communicate with people throughout their lives – both in a personal aspect and professionally in the workplace.
With that said, here are some great tips you can use to help your child build strong social skills.
Practise Having Conversations – Talk to Them Often
The simplest way to help your foster child build their social skills is to talk to them. The more conversations you can engage them in, the more opportunities they will have to practise talking and listening. Being part of a conversation is a two-part exercise, so the more kids can practise, the more naturally it will come to them.
Some great conversation starters can include:
- How was your day?
- What did you do in school?
- What is your favourite subject in school?
- What is your favourite food?
- What is your favourite movie? Tell me about it.
- What is your favourite sport and why?
The conversation doesn’t need to be deep and meaningful; it is just a chance for them to practise. Not only do they learn how to answer questions, but you can also encourage them to engage and ask questions of you. These are the building blocks of a conversation.
Encourage Them to Pursue Friendships
Friendships will also be important for social skills, so you want to encourage them to meet people and put themselves out there. This can be easier said than done, especially if your foster child is shy. They may only have a small group of friends, which is fine.
It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality of the friendships. If your foster child is young, you can set up playdates with other parents from the school.
Visit Places That Are Popular with Kids and Families
There are also plenty of family-friendly places throughout Glasgow that you can visit with your foster child which will give them a chance to meet other kids their age. Outdoor play parks are a great example, as these always attract a group of kids. It’s also a relaxed setting, which can make sparking up a conversation a little less scary and intimidating for them.
Attend Foster Events – Socialise with Other Foster Families
Be sure to also check with your fostering agency in Glasgow if they hold any social events and activities. These are great opportunities for foster children to meet others their age, and you can connect with other foster carers.
Social skills aren’t something that usually develops overnight; instead, it takes ongoing effort as you help to fill your foster child with the confidence they need to feel comfortable in social situations.