Your child only has one chance to make a first impression!

A key social skill that your child needs to learn at a very young age is the ability to make a good first impression. He will only ever have one chance to do this with everyone he meets. So whether it is for an entrance interview to a new school, or a job interview, or meeting a new business contact to seal that important sales contract, first impressions are vital. So how can you help your child to succeed at this?

You can start at a very young age, when he is only a Toddler and encourage him to stop whatever he is doing when someone arrives at your house and go and positively greet them. A firm handshake, whether you have a son or a daughter, will always start the first meeting off in a good way. By stopping what he was doing, shows your visitor that he is important and worth stopping everything to go and say hello to. All your visitors will appreciate this from your child.

When your child greets your guest, encourage him to look the person straight in the eye when he says hello. Many children will look down or away when they first greet someone, so encourage your child to make immediate eye contact. Your child is not inferior to your guest, so being deferential is not needed. Your guest will certainly notice the confidence and warmth of the greeting from your child and will appreciate it. Your child will also feel good about himself and it will help his self confidence.

Not only will this make a good first impression, but it also shows your child has good manners, which will just reinforce the excellent impression that your child has created. This is a very important communication and life skill and will be liked by everyone. It will help make your child a positive and outward going individual, which is a great social skill for him to have as he grows up and moves into adulthood.

First impressions last, and you should make sure your child knows this. He will thank you in later life.

When should you start allowing your child to take risks?

One of the major responsibilities you have as a father is to help your child learn to make choices. Whether it is what trousers to wear today, or when to cross the road, or how much effort he makes with his school work. Life is full of choices, and some of those involve risks. The question is when and if you voluntarily allow your child to take some risks.

Every day you take calculated risks, whether it is driving a car, or coming down the stairs with your hands full, all of which your children are witness to. They then will at some point, take their own decisions in risky situations. By encouraging your child to take responsibility for her actions and her life, it will help her to understand the potential dangers that it can hold. So when and how can you start doing this?

You could start when they are 5 or 6 years old, when you go swimming together. So long as she knows how to swim, you could let her swim a few feet away from you, without armbands. Your child will love the independence it gives her from you and start to understand that she is in control of what happens to her. You can do this even if she is a little unsure of herself. It will make her appreciate the risk she is taking. If you go for a walk, and pass a tree, maybe you can let your child climb it a little, with you underneath of course.

If you encourage your child to try lots of things, through his choices and experience he will learn that some things are more dangerous than others. Let your child take calculated risks, but always make sure he understands the dangers and consequences.