Counselor's Corner

Mrs. Cipes, School Counselor
Kelley School: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Flanders School: Tuesdays and Thursdays

This Month’s Topic: Social Relations

The skill of getting along is a skill that is crucial for success in every area of life – sports, school, and work, to name a few. Social skills can come very easily to some children, while for others, peer relationships can be a difficult area to navigate. Regardless of how socially inclined your child might be, as they get older the relationships they have with their friends are going to become increasingly complicated and intricate. It is important that children have a solid set of social skills they can build from as they encounter these novel social experiences. Here are some tips that might help your younger develop healthy peer relationships:

- At a young age encourage your children to interact with peers of different races, religions, cultures and socio-economic levels.

- Model proper social skills for your children. Teach them, through example, how to resolve conflicts in a positive and respectful manner, assertively express their feelings to others, and initiate and maintain healthy relationships.

- Be a good listener. Most of the time when children are venting, they don’t want advice; they just want us to truly listen.

- Get children away from the television and video games! Send them outdoors to play with other children. Interactive play, whether it takes place inside or outside, is a great way to help children practice “getting along” skills. They can’t learn social skills in front of the television, computer, or smart phone.

- Remind your child to carefully monitor who he/she spends time with. If others are being rude, it is okay to walk away.

- Tell your child the cold, but true, fact: “Not everyone is going to like you,” (and that’s all right).

- Tell your child not to believe everything they hear their classmates say. Children love to gossip, and so much of what they say can be exaggerated.

- Do your best to let your child handle problems on their own. It is important that children learn how to navigate social situations, independent of adult intervention. Only get involved if you think your child needs the additional support or guidance.

- Encourage your child to get involved in sports, clubs, and other activities that bring children together.

- Let your school counselor know if you think your child needs help developing adaptive social skills. Your child may benefit from a counseling group that helps them learn skills for getting along with others.