As a parent, I notice things about kids and the working world that never used to concern me when I was in the B.C. era (that’s before children era). Now, I’m keenly aware of the importance parent’s role in teaching their kids to interact in social settings.
While your kids may not be attending official “networking meetings” anytime soon, they are hopefully interacting with other people regularly. Here are a few suggestions on how to teach your kids to interact with others:
1. Introductions. Teach them how to enunciate when introducing themselves – clearly staying their name. Pay attention to their body language, eye contact, shaking hands effectively, etc.
2. Conversing. Teach them how to answer and ask questions. One word responses aren’t helpful when engaging with someone. The art of asking good questions will serve them well in all areas of life.
3. Attention. Teach them how to not be a wall flower, yet not comandeering the group. Balanced participation in a coversation shows people that you know how to interact with taking all the attention from everyone else.
4. Practice. Teach them while you’re at home in a safe environment, then practice publically in small comfortable groups (e.g.: family BBQ), and progress from there. Practice makes perfect.
Keep in mind that you know much more about how to have a good conversation than your kids know. So, teach them today so that they’ll be prepared for tomorrow.
I for one would rather have my kids learn from me than their goofball friends!