What Are Social Skills Groups for Children?
Social skills groups for children are programs that help kids develop more effective social skills. Children are placed in groups to learn through experience as adults supervise and educate them.
A social skills group program is often catered to the needs of the group, so each group operates differently than another. Common topics that children learn about and practice in social skills groups are:
- Reading the social cues of their peers
- Expressing emotions
- Handling anger in a healthy way
- Dealing with teasing
- Starting and ending conversations
- Improving self-image
- Building confidence
- Decreasing anxiety in social interactions
- Developing more satisfying relationships
How to Know if Your Child Needs a Social Skills Group Program
Children who are shy and avoidant of their peers can benefit from a social skills groups. But it’s not just shy and avoidant children who can be signed up for a social skills group program. Kids can still have social skill problems while being outgoing. Perhaps they say or do inappropriate things in social interactions. If so, then social skills groups will benefit them. Any child that has difficulty with engaging successfully with others can be enrolled in a social skills group program.
What Causes Social Skills Problems in Children
Children who struggle with social situations either have excessive anxiety or a social skills deficit. Both problems are usually easily solved. Anxiety can be eased through various techniques the supervisor will teach children. A social skills deficit merely means that the child hasn’t developed social skills yet. All it takes is the right learning environment for the child to acquire social skills.
However, in some situations, social skills problems are a symptom or result of mental disorders or learning disabilities, including Asperger’s, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disability. Social skills groups can still help these children but they may require additional therapy.