Building Social Skills at Home

Difficulties with social skills can can often result in rejection by peers, low self-esteem, and can make academic struggles even more challenging.  The good news is that there are many things that can be done to assist children so that they are able to have more satisfying social relationships and feel better about themselves.

1. Use Dinner Time to Work on Conversation Skills

Parents can use dinner time discussions to work with their child on talking about feelings, eye contact, voice modulation, listening, and taking turns.  Feedback should be given “in the moment” as long as it is offered constructively and in a non-critical manner.  If the child discloses positive experiences with peers, offer genuine praise.  If the child discloses negative peer experiences, ask questions (in a non-judgmental manner) about what occurred.  It is important to remember that these children are continuously having to answer for their actions.  It is important to offer possible explanations for what occurred and/or do some problem solving about how to address the situation or similar situations in the further.

2. Watching TV

Watching T.V. with your child provides and opportunity to just be together.  In addition, this activity provides parents with the opportunity to observe how their child is interpreting what is happening on their favorite shows.  Watching sitcoms provide a great opportunity to observe how children interpret what they hear and see.  Sitcoms tend to be fairly predictable and sequential and lend themselves to questions like “What do you thinking is going to happen next?”, “What do you think is going on?”, “What is he feeling right now?”.  Children who have difficulty processing language or non-verbal cues often misinterpret what they are hearing and seeing.

Yours in Health,

New Horizons Wellness Services
13333 SW 68th Pkwy,
Tigard, OR 97223


New Horizons Wellness Services provides a true multidisciplinary approach to mental & physical health treatments for children, adults and families.