Counselor's Corner

November Notes from Your Counselor.......................................Gloria Silverberg

Our Friendship Groups are in full swing now, meeting over lunch to address social skills and friendship needs. I meet with over 250 students so we meet 2-3 times and then move to the next group.  If your child had signed up by the end of September, they will definitely meet with me! For our Banana Splits groups , we address the concerns of living in a changing family through divorce or loss.  The children love these groups and it is an excellent opportunity to practice new skills and share with each other.

A very large part of your children's education involves the acquisition of social and   emotional intelligence skills  which they will hopefully use for the rest of their lives. Friendships can be very fluid throughout the childhood years, so the important thing is for our children to learn how to make and keep friends.  This is a skill that is easier for some than for others, but one that can be acquired through observation and practice.  A great tool for practicing friendship skills is to have children role-play social situations with them.

I have included a wonderful resource book, titled The Unwritten Rules of Friendship, by Elman and Kennedy-Moore about how to help children navigate friendships.  This book addresses every type of personality, giving excellent advice for all children in making and keeping friends. Another great children's book about Friendship is " MakingFriends is an Art "  by Julia Cook.

Social Skills for Children

  1. Give Him the Words and the Praise--Demonstrate and role play social skills with your child.  Include skills such as maintaining eye contact, no interrupting, to using kind language.

  1.  Teach Group Dynamics & Social Cues--Teach children to stand near 2 people they might be interested in meeting who are talking to each other.  Look at them, but just listen to see if you are interested in joining them.  Notice if they look at you, because that invites you to join in their conversation. If they do not make eye contact, they probably want to remain alone.
  1. Be a Play Date Observer--Talk to your child about what makes someone a good friend, and what are friendship breaking behaviors. Coach your child on how to behave during a play date…say hello, don't interrupt, say please and thank you.  Parents who effectively coach their children intervene in the setting where and when the skill is required.
  1. Work Together with your Child's Teacher--Ask your child's teacher if she can pair up students to work together.
  1. Friendships Start at Home--Try inviting 1 or 2 friends to your home to do something your child enjoys.  Plan some special outings with other children and their families.
  1. Create Special Moments--Plan 15 minutes of quality time with your child several times each week.  Do fun things together, without directing or criticizing him/her.  Building a relationship with your child pays off in terms of friendships. Research has shown that when parents work on relationship building at home, they see better behavior in a child's peer relationships immediately.
  1. Find His/Her Passion--Find out what your child prefers, ie: team sports or solo activities.  Team sports/group activities can teach skills that can encourage friendships off the field.
  1. Be a Role Model--When you make friends with other parents, invite family and friends over, and get involved in PTA or group activities, you are teaching your child about social skills.
  1. Deflect Teasing--Good social skills can fend off bullying.  The most effective technique for deflecting teasing is to use humor.  Role play humorous comebacks to peers who tease your child.  Never tease back, but you can use techniques like "Boohoo, So what?, And your point is?, or Whatever."
  1. Enroll in a Social Skills Program--Sign up your child for a social skills program outside of school or talk with your school counselor to seek out friendship Groups and Social Skills Activities.

SGA News

Thank you to our SGA Board , led by our President Evan L., Vice President Mason L, Secretary Alexandria K, and Treasurer Rachel W. . in facilitating a successful Spirit Week and Red Ribbon Day!  In addition, our SGA Class Representatives  Shoshana, Sasha, Sofia C, Lana, Oz, Kira, Asa, Philip, Kevin, Yousif, Tanner, Ila, and Meena collected a lot of canned and boxed food for our Kids Helping Kids Food Drive.  Next up?  We are looking forward to a wonderful Holiday Season, which will revolve around our theme of Kindness!  Please consider giving the gift of Kindness this year!

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