Social Understanding. It’s a difficult road to navigate with a child. You’re in a grocery store and your child notices a man in a mobile wheelchair. He points to the man and asks you what is wrong with him in a voice that seems loud enough for all of aisle six to hear. You immediately whisper to him not to point and that you will talk about it later.
Children have a knack for asking their parents embarrassing questions about what they see in public. Sometimes, it is about the strangers they notice around them. In this cringe-worthy moment, it is important to teach your child about social skills and being polite to others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when teaching your child social understanding:
Talk to your child about privacy: Encourage him to ask questions but not in private. Unless an instance like this has happened before, your child probably does not know not to ask questions like these about other people in public. Explain to him that asking questions about others could hurt someone’s feelings.
Answer your child’s questions: Be matter of fact and honest with your answers. They are constantly learning new things about the world; give him an answer that he can understand.
Do not punish him: He is not trying to be mean, he truly just does not understand. However, make sure you emphasize how important it is to never make fun of someone.
Encourage curiosity: Make sure he knows he can always ask you questions about what he sees or does not understand.
One day you will be able to look back and laugh at the embarrassing moments your children put you through, but remember that while in the moment to use the opportunities to teach a lesson to your children about being kind and showing social understanding to others.