How to Help Your Child Be Sociable

Despite the importance of healthy social bonds, some children have a hard time relating to others. In this article, discover how to help your child be sociable.
How to Help Your Child Be Sociable
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Sociability is innate and necessary for human beings. In all its facets, life is linked with social interaction with others. Social skills are a precious resource to make sure humans develop properly and have happy lives. Therefore, if you want to help your child be sociable, keep reading!

Socialization in childhood is a key aspect that you must help your children develop. If it’s appropriate, your children will be able to benefit from the many advantages of having a support system, in addition to the ease of adapting and integrating into the many social situations they’ll have to deal with throughout their lives.

Helping your child be sociable is helping them be free

It’s important to clarify that not all people are alike, which is wonderful. Each child has their own personality traits that make them a unique individual with special skills and qualities.

When they’re born, the temperament of some babies is clearly differentiable to others. Some children are more prone to explore their environment and seek to experiment new sensations.

Meanwhile, other children are more introverted and prone to internal stimulation. Although this temperament plays an important role in how their socialization will develop, it isn’t decisive.

You shouldn’t try to change your children’s personality. There’s no problem if a child enjoys individual play or solo activities. The problem arises when a withdrawn, introverted, or shy temperament limits a child and conditions their development.

How to Help Your Child Be Sociable

When a child wants to be more sociable, able to make friends, and participate with their peers but doesn’t do it out of fear, they lost their freedom. If we don’t provide the child the necessary support and tools to overcome their fears, this situation may lead to a bigger problem, such as social phobia.

Keys to help your child be sociable

Don’t criticize your child

If they prefer to spend time alone, respect their wishes. If your child actually wants to spend time with other children but is afraid to do so, your reproaches will only make them feel guilty and inadequate. Similarly, don’t compare your child to more sociable siblings, cousins, or friends. Accept and love your child as they are.

Promote their independence

Let your child take on small responsibilities gradually. Assign them simple tasks and encourage them to make decisions. All these gestures will help them build self-confidence and believe in their abilities. A child with self-confidence and self-esteem will have no trouble relating to others.

Be a positive role model

You’re your child’s biggest role model. They’ll learn how to interpret the world and how to behave from you. If you reflect with your acts and comments that it’s pleasant and fun to meet people and spend time with them, your child will follow suit.

Thus, try to be sociable, confident, and outgoing with your friends and neighbors. Allow your child to see you interact and enjoy socialization so that they also want to do it.

Provide socialization opportunities

Social skills develop and optimize through experience. A child with varied and plenty of opportunities to interact with others will have a much easier time doing so than those without.

How to Help Your Child Be Sociable

Thus, take them to the park, to the pool, to extracurricular activities, workshops, or camps in your city. Also, take the opportunity to organize family gatherings where they can be with their cousins or dinners with friends who have children of similar ages. The more opportunities your child has to practice, the easier it’ll be for them.

Adjust to your child’s personality to help your child be sociable

Introverted children tend to feel more comfortable in their own space and with few people. Thus, it may be a good idea to invite one or two friends for a play date or sleepover. Being able to relate to others in these situations will help them gain confidence to venture into other more complex ones.

Give your child a little push

For children who have a harder time socializing, it may be beneficial to do role-play exercises at home. You can act out everyday situations with them and help them know and practice how to behave in them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fernández Peña, R. (2005). Redes sociales, apoyo social y salud. Perifèria: revista de recerca i formació en antropologia, (3).
  • Buck R. (1991) Temperament, Social Skills, and the Communication of Emotion. In: Gilbert D.G., Connolly J.J. (eds) Personality, Social Skills, and Psychopathology. Perspectives on Individual Differences. Springer, Boston, MA

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.