If you observe that your child has difficulty in making in keeping friends or is unable to conduct himself in an appropriate manner at places like school and parties, which require social interaction, or if he avoids eye contact when conversing, it could mean that your child’s social skills are not up to the mark. You could consider enlisting the help of a children’s social skill group to help your child improve his social skills.
Children’s social skill groups can help a child learn skills and even utilize these skills in other spheres of life. You must consider a few things before deciding about a group.
Avoid instant improvement promises
Remember that it is impossible to pick up social skills for shy person immediately, especially a child. So look for a social skill group which allows your child to take his own time and be comfortable instead of pushing him unreasonably to adapt to unfamiliar persons and situations. It is okay even you see changes in your child only after as long as few months but make sure whatever he picks up should be a lasting skill instead of a fleeting interest.
Don’t opt for a children’s social skill group which focuses only on the children, sidelining the parents. Make sure that the group keeps you at par with the clinicians when it comes to helping children acquire social skills. It would be even better if there is a parents’ skill group as well, where the parents get to learn the same skills as their children so that they can extend their child’s learning to home also. Parents’ participation also helps the child to feel more secure and comfortable.
Check how the groups are formed
It is important that children must be grouped appropriately so that they can gain from the social skill group. Mismatched ages could mean a difference in perception and understanding. Similarly, emotional development of the child and the goal of treatment must also be kelp in mind when forming groups.
Make sure that the clinicians are licensed
Make sure that the therapists and clinicians have the required certificates and licenses to undertake these classes. All children have different needs and only trained therapists can appreciate those needs and treat the child accordingly.
Ask for homework
It is very important that some work be given to the child which requires him to utilize the skills at places beyond his classroom. When a child is able to practice these acquired skills in a social setting, his understanding of the same becomes stronger. Reinforcement of skills learnt at the children’s social skill group will enhance your child’s confidence also. So it is very important to have some homework. Also make sure that you define what you expect clearly like improving your child’s listening skills or coping against bullying or managing stress and anger, so that the therapists will be able to treat your child effectively and equip him with the required skills.