To help categorize the areas your child's multifaceted development, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) divides social skills into the following:
● Interpersonal Skills: Sharing, asking for permission, joining in an activity, taking turns
● Problem-Solving Skills: Empathy, apologizing, making decisions, accepting consequences
● Conflict Resolution Skills: Dealing with teasing, being left out, negativity
● Survival Skills: Listening, following directions, successful social interaction and communication.
Each group requires dedicated efforts on both the teacher and the parent to successfully be imparted to the children.
Children often mimic their elders, so always reflect back on your own behavior and habits when children present challenging behavior. Teachers at GIIS, an Abu Dhabi School undergo rigorous selection criteria based on interpersonal skills, past experience and the ability to adapt and improvise.
While all of us would love our kids to always be models of good social behavior, not all kids are adept at mastering every skill. Take baby steps. For instance, when noticing a flair of overconfidence upon repeated victories, it is vital to direct that zeal into striving for more. Developing a drive towards more challenging tasks in a positive way makes them dream bigger.
There is no substitute for hard work. Be it learning the violin or folding one's own laundry, be prepared to repeat yourself, presenting with patience, each opportunity to the child to practice the skill.
Open communication between parents and the school is an essential part of student progress - a practice that GIIS, Abu Dhabi school sustains on a daily basis. Recognise the important role effective parent-teacher-student communication plays in helping students achieve their truest potential and how much it contributes to their overall development. Sometimes, kids need a model for how to practice a particular behavior, and it helps when an example is pointed out to them. Whenever you witness any good social behavior, point it out to each other and use it as an opportunity to learn. The guidance counselor in your school may hold group sessions to help kids deal with peer pressure and other social challenges.
The Internet is a big part of our lives today, increasingly so with the pandemic and its resulting digitization. Hence, it’s important to prepare them for good digital citizenship. I tell my kids they ought to display the same good manners online as they would when talking to someone in person. They need to be familiarized and prepared against potential bullies, scamsters and the relative malleability of truth.
The contemporary world relies not just on cognisance, but also on creativity, entrepreneurship and the ability to explore. Which is why GIIS, an Abu Dhabi school follows the 9GEMS Holistic Approach. This is a truly innovative programme that uses an age-appropriate and adaptive approach to allow students to evolve as they grow. While academic excellence is emphasised at every level, the focus is placed on universal values, ethics, discipline, creativity and personality development in the initial years, before shifting to academic achievement, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and key competencies for vocational and career progression during the secondary school and high school years.
Kids with good social skills remain composed when faced with any environment, leading to a positive outlook, less anxiety in new situations, and the ability to make friends easily. Good things to have on your side in the rough seas of life, it’s certainly worth spending the time and attention to equip your kids with them.