There are many young people who face teen social skills issues. These teenagers mainly face peer pressure. Their main concern may be whether they will be accepted by their other teen-friends. Such fear of social rejection may make it difficult for them to study and understand the social signals of these friends and control their behaviors suitably.
The origin of teen social skills issues may be the childhood years. There might have been social issues like rejections, bullying, etc. when these teens were children. Parents might not have noticed these issues and so, they might have worsened during the teenage.
Effects of teen social skills issues
Teen social skills issues may negatively impact the academic performance of these young people. Further, they may have problems with their emotional health also. Being a parent, you may focus only on the poor grades your teens have got but you may fail to find out the root-cause for their below-par academic performance. You may commit the mistake of comparing your teens’ performance with the performances of other children. You may notice the issue only when you see the emotionally immature behaviors of your teens.
Such emotionally immature children may be comfortable when they interact with their juniors or children who are younger to them because these younger children may accept their immature behaviors. But when your teens move with children of their age, they may squirm and show their uneasy feelings.
Parents’ role in helping teens with social skills issues
Do not feel guilty
The foremost point is that if your teens are having social skills issues, you need not feel guilty that you have all along been neglecting your children. If you keep repenting, you may miss out on the actions you should take for helping your children surmount the challenges they face.
You can influence the social development ff your teenage children
It is not necessary that you should be highly capable for influencing your teens and developing their social skills. Teenage is the threshold of adulthood and your teens may understand what you say. At the same time, they are not yet adults. They depend upon you for making many vital decisions. So, you can influence them and enroll them in programs that can train them in social skills. But, you should not try to dominate them. Such autocratic types of dealing may back-fire and so, you should talk to them politely and firmly.
Know the difference between social skills issues and normal personality variations
You should not confuse normal variations in attitude, behavior and personality with social skills issues. If you are not certain of making the distinction, you can seek the help of experts.
Give them time
Since your young ones are capable of understanding things, you must allow them to decide when they want to work on their social skills issues. Though you may want them to decide immediately, you must let things happen according to their wishes.
Your teens should know that you accept them with their shortcomings
Young ones who have teen social skills issues need your support. You should, therefore, accept them with their shortcomings. This will give them a secure feeling. They are already facing insecure due to their social skills issues. If they come to know that they have the support and love of their parents, they will get confident. In general, children may not like the feeling that their parents are not supportive and are not loving them unconditionally.
Allow the friends of your teens to stay at your home for a longer duration
It is not that young ones with teen social skills issues may not have friends. Your teens may also have friends who may make them comfortable and who may not cause any harm to their self-esteem. You can request these friends to stay at your home for longer hours so that a supportive environment is available for your teens.
Teach your teens conflict resolution
Teens who lack social skills may be thinking that conflicts can be resolved only through fights. You should impress upon them that there are many other acceptable ways for resolving conflicts. You must also find out your teens’ anger cues and intervene at the appropriate time. You must also provide positive solutions that can help them in the future conflicts they may face.
You should learn the ways that can help in resolving teen social skills issues. For this, you must make out a list of your teens’ specific behaviors that have to be targeted. You must have a step-by-step plan for addressing these behaviors. You should consistently monitor the results by interacting with their friends, peers and others including their teachers. You can make use of strategies like social role-playing, etc.
To summarize, if you are supportive and make all the positive efforts, you can resolve the teen social skills issues of your young ones.