How Parents Can Support Social Skills in Their Children

Good social skills will help your child throughout their life. Parents have an important responsibility to help develop positive social skills in their children so they can manage learning, friendships, and challenges in their future.

Here are some ways parents can foster social skills.

Positive Relationships:

Healthy relationships are the groundwork for all other work parents do with their children. This is the positive interaction between parents and children that builds a sense of connection, trust, and interdependency. As your kids grow older, healthy relationships will contribute to emotional resiliency and positive behaviors.

  • Create a warm, loving, safe environment for your child
  • Be affectionate
  • Have reasonable expectations
  • Use descriptive praise
  • Spend time with your child and talk to him/her
  • Keep your child safe and set limits


A confident child can show respect, be considerate, be a problem solver, and become independent. Help your child’s inner dialog include I can figure this out, I can ask for help, I am loved, I have something meaningful to contribute.

  • Encourage politeness and respect (model this behavior)
  • Avoid being critical of others
  • Encourage laughter and learning
  • Let your child make decisions
  • Be problem solvers together; consider options and solutions

Parenting is a balance of positive leadership and guidance as well as connecting in meaningful ways so your children see you as an ally in learning and growing.

United Way of Santa Fe County has the sole mission of providing early childhood education opportunities to all children in Santa Fe County. Through home visiting and high quality PreK, as well as other innovative programs, we strive to give all children a great start in school and life.