Teaching “People-Skills” at Different Ages

Two men talking on a farm. Social skills in Austin Tx

Teaching People-Skills by Developmental Stage

How to teach kids People-Skills at different ages

Effective communication and strong people skills are essential life tools that contribute to a person’s success, happiness, and overall well-being. As a parent, you have the opportunity to guide your child in developing these valuable skills from a young age. Teaching them how to engage in meaningful conversations, listen actively, and build positive relationships will serve them throughout their lives. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with insights on how to help your child develop people skills and navigate various social interactions at different stages of their development.

  1. Early Childhood (Ages 3-7):

    Lay the foundation for people skills by teaching your child the importance of using polite words and showing kindness. Encourage them to greet others and share their thoughts and feelings. Play interactive games that involve taking turns and collaborating with peers. Model active listening and emphasize the value of patience in conversations.

  2. Late Childhood and Pre-Adolescence (Ages 8-12):

    Help your child develop more advanced people skills by teaching them how to initiate conversations, ask open-ended questions, and show genuine interest in others. Encourage them to participate in group activities that require teamwork and cooperation. Discuss the concept of empathy and help them understand different perspectives to foster understanding.

  3. Early Teen Years (Ages 13-15):

    As your child enters their teenage years, focus on refining their communication skills. Teach them about body language, eye contact, and the importance of active listening. Discuss the impact of digital communication on interpersonal skills and encourage them to practice face-to-face interactions. Help them navigate conflicts by teaching assertiveness and conflict resolution techniques.

  4. Late Teen Years (Ages 16-18):

    Empower your young adult with advanced people skills that will serve them in various social and professional settings. Discuss effective networking strategies, the art of public speaking, and the importance of adapting communication styles to different audiences. Encourage them to build meaningful connections by showing genuine interest in others’ lives and experiences.

Developing people skills is a lifelong journey that begins in childhood and evolves throughout one’s life. As a parent, you have the opportunity to guide your child through each stage of their development, equipping them with the tools they need to communicate effectively and build positive relationships. Create an open environment where your child feels comfortable discussing their social experiences and asking questions. By emphasizing empathy, active listening, and effective communication, you help your child navigate the complexities of social interactions with confidence and authenticity. Your guidance will empower them to connect with others on a deeper level and thrive in both their personal and professional lives.

*Updated August 28, 2023

Learn more about Parenting and how to communicate effectively with your kids.

Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.

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