Many parents have given up on teaching social skills because there are so many examples of poor social skills everywhere. I encourage you to persevere in the mindset of teaching skills rather than getting annoyed if your children are not exhibiting them already.
Also, think about what you are showing in your actions. I was on a very full tram in San Diego recently after attending the Giants vs. Padres baseball game with my daughter and son-in-law. (A sad loss for the Giants.) There was one seat for my husband, he’s 13 years older than I am, but all the others were full leaving many of us standing.
One of the social skills to consider teaching is to “offer a seat to older people.” There were many stops and starts as I had both arms up holding onto the bar above for 20 minutes. No younger person offered me their seat. I was thinking, it’s a good thing I lift weights!
How sad that our young people are not being taught to take care of older people. Each one of us can help turn around this downward spiral with what we are showing in our own lives and guiding our kids to do.
Remember to NOT SCOLD or SHAME kids as you are teaching them. Teach with gentle reminders and don’t allow them to avoid doing whatever you are teaching them.
If I was a parent sitting on the tram and my child had a seat, I would say to my child, please give the lady your seat. If my child resisted, I would repeat without getting angry, let the lady have your seat. When your child knows that you don’t give up under their resistance, then giving directions three times, shortening your words each time, is sufficient as long as you don’t use hurtful language. If you do, such as saying, why do I have to repeat myself? Then they will feel hurt and will hurt you back through revenge and rebellion, and the learning is lost.
Later, explain to your child the value behind your direction to allow the lady to sit down. This way, your direction was not against the child, but for the benefit of the other person. A wonderful value to teach your children.
Here are social skills to consider consciously teaching your children. Have the skills you are teaching written down so your kids see them. Then, your instructions won’t be “on a whim”. Rather, an important value you are teaching so they can become responsible and live independently when the time is right.
- Uses good table manners
- Asks appropriate questions
- Says “please” and “thank you”
- Offers seat to older people
- Leaves other people’s things alone
- Recognizes other people’s needs and makes room for them
- Is thoughtful of other people’s feelings
- Able to get needed information from adults by phone or in person
Use any of these values or create your own and have them clearly stated or even posted. That way when you are reminding your child to not touch their sibling’s private things, they will know that this value also applies to them which gives them a sense of fairness and security.
Learn more about important Independent Living Skills to teach teens.
Copyright 2022 – Cynthia Klein, Family Happiness Expert – Coach, speaker, and author of Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. Learn more about Cynthia’s services and contact her at her website, https://bridges2understanding.com. Contact Cynthia for permission to reproduce any information from this article.