2nd Grade Relationship Skills

Having good relationship skills is simply the ability to make and keep rewarding relationships with friends, family, and others from a wide range of backgrounds. The art of relationships includes communicating clearly, cooperating and offering help when needed. Most children enhance their social management skills through their interactions and relationships with others, but parents can help them nurture these abilities. With the ever-expanding exposure to different cultures and people in today’s always-connected world, building relationship skills from an early age can set your child up for future success. 

What Do Relationship Skills Look Like at the Age
Children at this age should be able to accurately describe relationships they have with others, and know what the traits of a good friend are.
As your child begins to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships based on cooperation, he is learning how to use polite language to interact effectively with others, to pay attention when others are speaking, and to take turns and share with others. Group projects and team activities help further develop these skills, but remember that this is an ongoing process, and it may take some time before your child is consistently able to share and be polite.

Tips to Support Relationship Skills

  1. Your Child Learns a Lot From You, So Be a Good Example

    Think about how you interact with your family and friends, and how you make and keep friends. Is your behavior setting a good example for your child? Are there certain relationships or areas that you can work on? Evaluating your own relationship skills is a crucial step in teaching your child about social management, and by being reflective, responsive and supportive, you are helping to nurture your child’s sense of social and emotional well-being.

  2. Cook With Your Child

    Ask your child to help make her favorite dish by following your directions, one at a time. Make sure to say “please” and “thank you” and acknowledge all of her efforts. This will not only help her learn about the art of listening, but teach her about the importance of being polite to others, especially while working on group projects.

  3. Always Take Time to Talk With Your Child About Her Day and Interests

    Don’t be satisfied with one-word answers. Often, parents have a lot on their plate and are happy to keep discussions brief, but children need practice in expressing themselves clearly and completely. Make sure to point out when she says something that is thoughtful or when she uses her language skills appropriately. For example, when she says something kind about others, like, “Sally was nice to me today because she shared her snacks with me,” or if she poses a good question during your conversation, “Can I take some snacks to share with Sally tomorrow?” When she asks something that is not related to what you are talking about or not clearly expressed, help her stay within the conversation. 

  4. Work With Your Child to Find Solutions to Any Interpersonal Problems She May Be Experiencing

    A helpful approach is to ask good questions about what she thinks she should do in any situation, and what the consequences of her particular solution will be. For example, if she is having a hard time with a classmate, you can say, “If your friend doesn’t want to play with you, you might want to ask her if you did anything to hurt her feelings. Do you think you should say sorry? If you say sorry, she might feel better. If she did something to you, maybe you can ask her why she did that.” You may not be around to solve any difficulties that occur, and it is better to start helping your child build this essential skill when she is young and problems are less serious.

  5. Talk to Your Child About Friendships

    Ask your child who her friends are, and then ask her about the qualities that she looks for in a friend and how she likes her friends to treat her. For example, ask her, “Why do you like to play with Jamal after school? What makes him a good friend?” Make sure to ask her about qualities that she doesn’t like, and what makes her a good friend to others. For example, “Has Shannon ever said anything that made you feel sad?”

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Featured Topics

Good relationship skills mean the ability to make and keep rewarding relationships with friends, family and others from a wide range of backgrounds. The featured topics in this section - social skills, trust, relationships with parents, relationships with peers and collaboration and group work - can help you nurture your child’s relationship skills from an early age and set him up for future success.

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