We all want our children to be smart and intellectual, but sometimes we don't always know how to change our wants into actions. Should we sit them down in front of brain-stimulating tv shows or should we focus on teaching them to read? We want them to have successful futures, but sometimes it's hard to know how to encourage them.

According to Psychology Today, "For every one-point increase in children's social competency scores in kindergarten, they were twice as likely to obtain college degrees. They were also more likely to have full-time jobs by age 25."

Therefore, if our kids have better social skills then they are twice as likely to go to college and have successful careers. So our focus should be to increase their abilities to interact socially more than focusing on teaching them to read and write. The article continued on by saying, "the kids who had trouble cooperating, listening, and resolving conflict were less likely to finish high school, let alone college."

So how does one teach their child to be socially competent? Here are tips on the three categories that will increase your child's social abilities:

1. Cooperating

Cooperating is working together with peers, parents or siblings to accomplish a task. We need children to learn how to work with others.

Teaching cooperation is very important but it also may feel daunting. It's important to teach them to be a leader so they know what it's like to be in charge of a situation and wanting/needing help from others to accomplish the task.

According to lifehack making our children leaders gives them a deeper desire to accomplish the task. "This works especially well with my daughter when I underestimate her abilities and she gets to prove how smart and capable she is."

The best way to teach your children to cooperate is to trust them. Trust that they can finish the task and work with others— more importantly, tell them you trust them to do it.

2. Listening

Children who don't listen can't go very far in school and in their education because they aren't willing to hear what the instructor or parent has to say.

If you want to teach your children to be listeners you need to listen to your kids. If you want them to listen to you and others you have to provide an example. Children learn social skills by watching how their parents interact.

According to Parents.com, "Parents need to listen too. Telling a child to stop crying sends the message that her feelings don't matter. Kids often cry (or whine, yell, or stomp) because they can't communicate why they're upset or don't know how to deal with the emotion." Listening to what they are feeling allows them to learn to communicate and the need to listen to others when they want to communicate.

Take the time to listen to your child, whether they are upset or simply want to tell you what they were playing with in the backyard.

3. Resolving conflict

When you are with your child you need to teach them how to resolve the conflict they are feeling or the problems they are having. You do this through your discipline (resolving conflict of breaking rules) and your example (resolving the conflict they had between you and them).

According to the article, "Make it clear that angry feelings are okay but aggressive behavior isn't. And teach your child that it's okay to feel sad but screaming at the top of her lungs in the grocery store isn't okay."

Teach them their feelings are valid but there are appropriate ways to deal with their feelings. When they are in an argument they should breath deeply to calm down, or when they have broken a rule they should be honest about it instead of lying.

As you work on these social skills you will notice an improvement of your child's learning ability. They will be more successful in their future if they are able to interact with others with ease.

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