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  • Kait Towner, LMHC, RPT, CCPT, IMH-E

Tools for Teaching Social Skills to Kids

Social emotional skills are incredibly important (and can be incredibly difficult) for many kids with mental health difficulties, such as trauma histories, ADHD, anxiety, and more. Many children that I have worked with over the years have come to me wanting to develop their social emotional skills in order to be more successful in al areas of their life. This blog post discusses a variety of ways that you can work on social skills with the kids in your life!


BOOKS

I am a HUGE fan of books and using bibliotherapy in my work with children. There are hundreds of books out there that can be used to instill most (okay, almost ALL) social skills through the characters' personal experiences. Some of my favorite books for young children working on social skills are the best behavior books. These include Hands Are Not for Hitting, Words Are Not for Hurting, Tails Are Not for Pulling, and more! One of the things I love about these books are how they provide natural opportunities to practice social skills, such as practicing using "safe hands," discussing feelings with the reader, and identifying appropriate language for children to use.



Best Behavior Books to Help Teach Social  Skills to Young Children


GAMES

Games additionally provide a great opportunity for children to practice social skills. Almost all games can help kids work on social skills such as taking turns and waiting. One of my favorite games to help kids work on social skills is the game I Can Do That! The I Can Do That! game is based on the book Cat in the Hat. The wonderful thing about this game is that it helps children work on a variety of social skills, including taking turns, waiting, sharing, self-esteem, and problem solving!



Game to help kids learn social skills, including problem solving, taking turns, sharing, and waiting


MODELING

The very best way to teach your child social skills is to use them yourself! Children are incredibly receptive to their caregivers and the world around them. If you use appropriate social skills, your child will as well! Tell your child how you are feeling (i.e. "I'm feeling happy right now because_______), show your child how you use coping skills (i.e. take a deep breath, walk away, call a friend), and talk through how you solve day to day problems!



Want to learn more ways to support a child in your life? Contact me for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation at (585) 206-1506 or kaittownerlmhc@gmail.com