Treating people with love and respect does not just happen; social skills must be taught. It broke my heart one day when I was with my grandchildren at Chuck E Cheese. My granddaughters came to me to tell me that there was a boy in the climbing area who was calling everyone names. I went over and asked the boy, who was about four-years-old, to please stop calling the children names. He looked at his friend and said, “Isn’t this funny?” I told him it is not funny to call people names and if he did not stop I would have to go tell someone. He started to laugh and pretended to pull out a machine gun and shoot me. Not only was he rude to an adult, if he continues, he will do great harm to someone one day.
In a previous blog, I talked about the fact that toddlers mimic what they see. Where do you think that little boy learned to call others names and think it was funny? Where do you think he got the idea to shoot me down with a machine gun? Remember that children react on emotion. When they are upset or have a conflict, they will recall what they have learned and what they have seen. Please be very careful not to allow your young children to watch violent movies or play violent video games. The TV and video games are actually conditioning your children how to respond in times of trouble.
More and more people are solving their problems with guns. If they get mad at someone, they will shoot them instead of working through the issue. It is imperative that parents walk their children through the essential steps on how to handle a conflict. Get excited when your children have conflict with each other. Conflicts are opportunities to teach your children proper social skills. Please, whatever you do, do not tell your child to quit tattling. It takes time to learn appropriate problem-solving skills. Many adults have never learned these skills and still yell when things do not go their way. Continue to teach them how to handle their differences and they will learn to take care of issues instead of responding negatively to them. Think for a moment how wonderful it would be if husbands and wives, siblings, friends and neighbors, and other relationships all had good social skills. There would be a lot more happy, safe homes and neighborhoods.
When your children are young, try to be within hearing range when they are playing with others so you can hear their interaction. If you hear them fighting, explain to them that fighting is not the way to solve a problem and fighting does not bring honor to the name of Christ. Teach them the proper problem-solving steps. Whenever you hear them say or do something kind, make sure you point it out and compliment them. If you are out and about and see someone else do a kind deed, take the opportunity to share the example with your children.
One of the best ways that your children will learn how to socialize is by watching you socialize with people. The way you treat them and others will teach them more than your words. You have the power to help your children blossom or crush them. Listen to your tone. If your home is filled with violence, tension, and anger, it can do great damage to your children and how they relate to others. Are you forgiving? Do you love your children and others regardless of what they do? When they make a mistake, do you get upset or do you help them learn how to fix their mistakes? Do you help them find what they are good at and encourage them in it? Do you give them lots of love and spend good quality time with them? Pay close attention to how your children interact and start teaching them how to get along with everyone.
In the last blog, Attaching to Others, there are pointers on what to look for in a friend and how to be a good friend. Refer back to the blog if you want. Please take the time to teach your children the necessary social skills involved to live peaceably with all men. People need to see something different in how we, as Christians, handle ourselves so Christ’s name can be glorified.
Romans 12:17-19 “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
By: Linda Svacha 🙂