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Social Skills for Kids & Teens

Social skills are important for nearly every aspect of our lives. The way we communicate, both with words and body language, tells others a lot about us. Children and adolescents may struggle with social skills for a variety of reasons. Social anxiety can make it difficult for children to initiate conversations, form and maintain friendships, and can result in withdrawal from activities. Autistic children can have difficulty detecting and reading social cues and struggle with the normal back-and-forth of conversation. Children with ADHD may interrupt their peers, have trouble maintaining a comfortable distance from others, and may have difficulty listening in conversations. Even children and teens with no diagnosable mental disorder can struggle with social skills. 


Our counselors and psychologists can help by working with your child to build their self-esteem and confidence as well as address any underlying issues such as depression or anxiety. We will use a warm, didactic approach with your child to teach social skills as well as practice them in role-playing sessions. Parents will be involved to the extent that they will practice the new skills with their child or teen along with providing encouragement and reinforcement. 


Some of the skills we may address with your child or teen include:


  • Introducing oneself to a new person

  • Nonverbal social skills such as eye contact, social smiling, and welcoming body posture

  • Selecting and using the tone of voice that is appropriate to the situation

  • Learning to recognize and respond to sarcasm and gentle teasing 

  • Learning to distinguish between gentle teasing and bullying

  • How to handle interpersonal conflicts

  • Professional social skills such as interviewing for a job and appropriate workplace behavior

  • Communication skills such as paraphrasing, summarizing, clarifying, and empathic statements

  • Reducing anxiety

  • Reducing negative statements

pre-teens in a library
children playing tug of war
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