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Children's Social Skills 


What are social skills?

Social skills enable us to interact, relate and get along with others.  They help us to build and maintain relationships, manage and resolve conflicts and co-operate with each other.

Social skills can be broadly grouped into the following five categories. 

  • Basic social skills

  • Making conversation

  • Building and sustaining friendships

  • Empathy

  • Conflict resolution skills

Like any other types of skills, social skills can be learned and developed.  While some children may find it easy and natural to learn; some may find social interactions difficult.  These children are required to develop their social skills consciously.


Some of the essential social skills are listed below:
Is your child doing the following?


  • Make frequent eye contact

  • Nod and smile when greeting people and talking

  • Basic politeness: saying please and thank you, saying hello and goodbye etc.

  • Display confident body language

  • Take turns when talking and playing

  • Listen to and show interests in others 

  • Nod and smile to indicate that he/she is following along

  • Understand what is personal space and know how to protect their sensitive body parts

  • Know when to disclose personal information and when it is not appropriate to do so

  • Share decision making e.g. not always insisting on his/her own way

  • Show appropriate appreciation and affection

  • Know how to approach other people

  • Notice other people’s feelings

  • Express concerns when other people are feeling distress or upset

  • Show sensitivity to other people’s feelings when communicating

  • Being able to discuss and resolve a conflict calmly, rationally and sensitively

  • Being assertive yet not being aggressive or critical

Messages for Parents:

Most children develop these skills over time. It is normal for younger children not to have all of the social skills listed above. Parents need not be overly concerned if their child does not have all of these skills. It is vital to take account of the developmental stage of the child when assessing their level of social skills.

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