Healthy social skills are normally developed at home. But what if the child has been deprived of attention or may have suffered the hurt of coming from a broken home? More often than not, these children suffer psychologically and may become adolescents who have problems socializing. Developing social skill in this type of adolescent is not impossible. In fact, you may not need to be a professional psychologist to help in developing social skill. All you need is to possess a good heart.
The following are helpful tips by Helene Goldnadel for individuals like teachers who are in the business of developing social skill in adolescents. School is where work and play are combined to educate children. Let us identify the different social categories such children belong to.
- Those who are rejected. These are the students who have low self esteem because they were consistently subject to harassment, ridicule and bullying by classmates.
- Students who are isolated. These are the students who are withdrawn or withdrew from their peer group for the fear of rejection. They are usually not involved in the social activities in school.
- Students who are introverted. Students in this social category seldom or refuse to move to another circle of friends. He is comfortable with the group where he is identified and refuses to mingle.
- The sociable students. These are the students who have established positive social relationships with varied groups. This is the successful social group. They may have been raised and nurtured in a healthy home environment.
Among the 4 social categories, those who are rejected and who are isolated are the people we are concerned with. We could help develop their social skill with the help of the following:
- Discover the talent of the youngster. Communicate with the child constantly and discover his talent. Once discovered, let the talent be used. Try to place that talented person in the limelight. It will develop his self esteem.
- Encourage the person to join in a group. It may not be very easy at first but your support will give him courage. Let the people in the group encourage him by acknowledging his participation.
- Organize a youth activity and assign him as a leader. This would boost his self worth. Sometimes getting started is the hardest thing to do, and so a gentle push could be just what is needed.
- Allow room for mistakes. Never emphasize the errors committed but focus on the possible improvement to be attained.
- Be there for him. At the start of his education, always be there but do not interfere. Let him get the feel of getting around different circles. Introduce him to different people then slowly leave him on his own.
- Recognize the weak point of the child. Once this is recognized, act to address the weakness. For example, if the child finds it hard to start a conversation, then support him in that area.
- Teach the youth to make friends from many types of background. It is good for your teen to be around people who can encourage him. Usually, having sensible adult friends will support his social development.
Although it is best to develop social skills when your children are toddlers, helping adolescents is not hopeless. Love and concern are the main ingredients in developing social skills in young people. Strategy may vary from one person to another, so it is imperative that you get to know your child, his weaknesses and his strengths, before suggesting the type of activities or circle of groups he should get into. Finally, knowing that someone is concerned with him will give him a better outlook on life and help in developing social skill.