My child needs to improve their social skills – but which ones do I start with first?
This is quite a common question in my practice and one I am keen to address today for you!
There really is a simple answer to this and it uses a step by step method that I often use with my own son, Jon and clients who I work with and their children. As social skills is really a generic term which covers a multitude of areas, using a simple sheet to mark out which skills your child excels in first is the best way to start the process.
In the following table, I have started off for you how a social skills monitor would look like for your child:
SOCIAL SITUATIONS WHICH THEY ARE GOOD AT SOCIAL SITUATIONS WHICH NEED WORK
|Talking to friends at school||Talking to adults they don’t know so well (shop assistants, waiters, bus drivers etc)|
|Talking to teachers||Listening to others when they talk (conversation)|
|Talking to family members||Eye contact with talking to me (parents)|
|Reading someone’s emotions (happy, sad)||Initiating play|
|Saying hello and goodbye (with or with prompting.)||Sharing toys|
|Saying sorry||Attending birthday parties|
|Following simple instructions at school from a teacher||Asking others to join in with play|
You might want to go a bit further in assessing on what level your child is on each column by using stickers (stars, ticks) to show the level of how well your child is doing for that area.
There is no hard and fast rule about which area takes priority over another. That needs to be down to you. I suggest the best thing to do is look at the barriers that may be holding your child back in an important area – school, for example and classroom situations. It would be more important to work on listening skills are school and more effective play, for example, than working on your child’s interaction at birthday parties.
Please do let me know how you get on and if you have any worries or questions you would like to ask. I would love to hear from you! Just use the form below and let me know what you would like to know!
Consultant CBT Therapist
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