Children who are taught people skills at a young age have a greater chance of functioning well in society. People skills are the skills needed to communicate respectfully with others. It teaches individuals to trust and build relationships with others. Individuals that lack people skills in society are often viewed as hostile, spoiled, insensitive, brash, and inflexible. These people find difficulty communicating and building relationships with others. It is important for parents to teach their children people skills at a young age so that they grow up as wholesome beings that can function well in school and in the workplace. Below I have listed some important people skills that parents should teach to their children.
1. Working in a team is important. Teamwork is essential to the function of life. People work in teams everyday to complete tasks of varying complexity. The people in the supermarket work together to run the store and to serve customers. Doctors and nurses work together to save lives in the emergency room. Policemen work together to curb crime in the city. It is important for parents to teach their children the importance of working in teams. Parents can teach their children to work in teams by allowing their children to help them with chores around the house and by making siblings do chores together. When teaching children the importance of teamwork, parents should place emphasis on splitting and completing the tasks so that they complete the job together. In addition to learning to work on teams in the home, children will gain exposure to working on teams in their school.
2. Speaking up is important. People that do not speak up deliberately endure unpleasant situations and let opportunity pass them by. Some children are timid by nature but that does not mean that they lack the ability to speak up. Parents must teach their children to speak up when they feel as though they have been wronged or when they feel as though they want something. Children who hold what they need to say inside will grow up not being able to fully express themselves. This will place a great strain on building relationships with others. Children who do not speak up learn to build up frustration inside of them. This frustration might be released daily in acts of aggression or may be unexpectedly released one day causing the child to break down.
3. Being able to listen and understand (empathize) others is important. Empathy is an important skill to have and not everyone can express it. People who lack empathy have a hard time listening to others and respecting how they feel. Some people who lack empathy go on to defy law later in life and to devalue human and animal life. These people sometimes turn out violent. Teaching children empathy starts off by teaching them to respect property, and life (plants, animals, and people.) Parents can also teach children to express empathy by talking to them in the first and second person form when they have done something that has hurt someone physically or emotionally. For instance, a child breaks their parent’s favorite pen because he is upset and so the parent responds to the child in first person, “I am upset that you broke my pen,” and then says, “You broke my pen, that made me sad and was not a nice thing to do.” The child will be able to relate the parent’s somber feelings to his actions and will feel empathy for hurting the parent. Talking to the child this way will teach him how to listen to and understand other’s feelings.
4. Expressing thoughts and feelings coherently is important. People communicate with one another on a daily basis and for that reason it is important for parents to teach their children to speak clear sentences when talking to others. Sometimes when children became very upset their words blend and they speak very quickly. Parents should teach their children to speak slowly and calmly when they are upset so that they can be helped.
5. Accepting others that look different is very important. This world is full of people who look different. Not all people are the same shade of color, not all people talk the same, walk the same, or are the same height. Parents need to show their children that people are different and that it is okay to be different.
6. Learning to accept criticism is very important. Children that shy away from criticism turn out arrogant, overly defensive and timid. They take it extremely personal when they get criticized. Parents should teach their children that when someone corrects them for an error they have made that it is okay. The person is not being mean to them but just wants to give them advice and show them where they have made the mistake so that they reach their fullest potential.