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What to do if your teenager has poor social skills

What to do if your teenager has poor social skills


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Many of us who are parents of teenagers notice that as our children grow, their friends begin to be the most important And if before they were enthusiastic about going out with us, now we don't even see them dust on the weekends since they have many plans and invitations that seem more attractive than any plan we can offer them.

We know that this is the case, that, at this stage of development, social relations occupy a preponderant place in their lives and that they contribute decisively to the development of their identity. But what about those parents who have to live otherwise? We explain what to do if your teenager has social skills.

If your child does not have friends, he spends all his time at home, rarely receives invitations, shows no interest in social events or meeting new people. (Although deep down it may be that I did, but prefer to appear indifferent), we are talking about a problem of social skills. But we should not always worry ...

1. When you do NOT need to worry:

Before we start to worry, it is necessary to be clear that not all young people must have many friends or super popular to be happy or to develop properly. There are those who from childhood show a more introverted personality, enjoy individual activities more than group ones, prefer to listen to actively participate, spend their recess reading in the library rather than playing in the yard ... etc; however, although few, they have some friends with whom they share tastes and preferences, manage to work in a team properly and enjoy some activities with them. In this case it is probably a question of personality; They will surely have the ability to integrate into different social groups as necessary, although they essentially enjoy solitude and are selective in choosing their friends.

2. When you DO have to worry:

Normally when they do NOT have a single friend or close companion, in most cases, it is because they have difficulties in some basic social skills (here only a few) that we all need to develop in harmony with others:

- Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication: Difficulty actively listening to others, expressing their needs and desires adequately and / or interpreting non-verbal language, double meanings or jokes.

- Assertiveness: Difficulty expressing their opinions and defending their points of view appropriately while respecting differences with others.

- Attachment: Difficulty establishing emotional ties with other people,

- Empathy: Inability to recognize the feelings of others and put oneself in their situation. They usually see things only from their perspective.

- Conflict resolution: Inability to resolve difficulties and conflicts with others in a controlled way.

- Self-control: Difficulty regulating your emotions.

On the other hand, social difficulties can also be due to their low self-esteem that makes them feel less than others, generates insecurity and fear of being rejected and leads them to prefer the safe environment of their home.

When the change in the way our child develops socially occurs suddenly, another possible cause is that he is being harassed or attacked by someone popular and consequently for the rest of the group and this situation has led him to withdraw. (If you suspect something like this, it is very important to talk to him and also ask for the support of the school to detect what happens and how to support)

If you observe any of the situations described above, here are some ways you can support your child:

1. Be their example. It is very important that you try to model basic social skills in daily life; And that when possible you share anecdotes or life lessons about the way you learned to be assertive, empathetic, resolve conflicts, etc.

2. Encourage him to develop new activities that he enjoys., where you can feel successful and where you can develop socially in new environments.

3. Encourage him frequently invite friends over. Help him create situations in which he can invite a friend to do some fun activity: rollerblading, going to the movies or a concert, going on a walk, etc.

4. Give positive feedback If you observe any inappropriate behavior that can generate rejection, so that they become aware of the negative impact it can have.

5. Don't burden him. The support has to come indirectly. If you overwhelm him with questions of why he doesn't want to come out or continually pressure him to do so, it can backfire.

6. Seek professional support. The subject is serious and definitive for the integral development of your child. It is true that you can support from your position, but sometimes it is not enough. Approach a specialist, both to assess the size of the problem, and to design an intervention in your case and help you in this essential process.

You can read more articles similar to What to do if your teenager has poor social skills, in the category of Communication and socialization on site.


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