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Teaching children to observe hidden social cues can be very helpful as they learn to negotiate the world around them.
These cues can be as simple as:
Children can benefit from knowing what the expected behaviors are for home, school and social situations. We can help children understand that expected behaviors allow everyone to feel comfortable and safe while unexpected behaviors make people feel uncomfortable. For example, I may say something like this to prepare the children before a presentation from the Lower Elementary children.
“When the Lower Elementary children come into our classroom to talk to us about the food drive, you are expected to sit quietly and listen. If you shout out questions, lie down on the ground or get up and walk around, our guests will feel uncomfortable.”
Children at this age love role playing, so at this point I would ask the children to show me examples of expected and unexpected behavior for being a member of an audience. They absolutely love it when the teachers do the unexpected, like lying down at circle or shouting out questions. Role playing is a great way to teach hidden social cues too.