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17 Feb

Developing Social Skills In Youngsters

May 28, 2018
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Shiv, my neighbor’s son, is a ten-year-old shy kid who I would often see sitting alone on a bench and playing with his red Macqueen car. As a mother of a super enthusiastic toddler, I would always wonder as to why this child is so quiet. He was so reserved that he would never greet back. Even for a small question like “How are you Shiv?” he would look at his parents to answer on his behalf.

Being his neighbor, I always used to talk with his parents. One day out of curiosity I asked his mother, “Has Shiv always been like this?” To my surprise, she said, “No, as he is growing he is becoming quieter and prefers to be alone.” She was very casual with this change but I could sense that there was something amiss. Post this we didn’t meet for some time as the kids were having their exam and all got occupied with it. After the exams, Shiv went to Vellore to spend his holidays with his grandparents.

One morning, after my morning walk, while I was busy opening my door; I heard a kid’s voice, “Good Morning Aunty!” I turned and saw,  it was Shiv! I was astonished. It was for the first time he greeted me upfront. I was happy to see him, greeted him back. I stood there for a minute and noticed him. He was not the old Shiv I knew. He had transformed into a completely different boy. He looked happy and confident. He was holding his trolley on his own and helping his grandparents come out of the lift.

I kept thinking of Shiv for the whole day. In the evening when I went to the park, I was surprised to see Shiv playing football with other kids. He was not only playing but was also leading his team with conviction.

This made me even more curious to know what had happened in a month that changed his life so much. I went and sat beside his grandma who had come with him to the park. She spoke passionately about how happy she was to spend time with Shiv, his daily routine at her place etc. His grandmother seems to be very traditional yet practical lady.

She made Shiv think independently. She started with a small change like giving him leverage to choose his clothes and food. She not only considered his opinion but also praised his choice. He gradually started developing a sense of responsibility and started taking care of his grandparents. They motivated him to attempt new tasks and take pride in accomplishing it.

His grandma was doing these without any realization that these small things will have such a great influence on Shiv. She felt good about Shiv and kept mentioning it to him. She kept on encouraging his pro-activeness and was generous with her praise. She inspired him to develop hobbies of his interest and pursue it independently.

Talking to her I realized that she did not waive any magic wand, but the effect was remarkable. Her love, care, encouragement, and guidance instilled the required confidence and positivity for bringing out social skills in Shiv.

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