Make New Friends By Improving Social Skills

In honor of Friday, May 25th’s, Tweens & Teens Think It, Move It for Students with Social Challenges program, I’d like to discuss the importance of social skills for children.

Social skills form the foundation of our ability to make lifelong, personal connections.  They are the basis for our home, community and school relationships which tie us to other people.

Now that the school year is ending, let’s focus on summer relationships.  Summer camps are a great venue where children learn cooperation, develop friendships, improve self-esteem and establish positive outlooks while ultimately improving kids’ health.

How can you help your tween or teen – with or without special needs – improve his/her social skills this summer?

  • Smile and initiate conversation. Ask your child to smile and greet one new child each day during summer camp. Just say, “Hi” while making eye contact.  This is often enough to reduce the pressure and begin some conversations that build toward relationships.
  • Listen. Teach your teen that conversations are a 2-way street.  Just as your child would like her opinions heard, her new friend would like to discuss her thoughts and feelings.
  • Question. Asking others polite questions about themselves is a great way for your tween to learn about his new friend and look for common interests for building friendships. Teach your child how having others talk about themselves is a good way for your child to help others feel important and valued. It also removes pressure from your tween because he does not have to carry the conversation. In time, he will begin to feel more comfortable around these students and interacting with others.
  • Empathize. Remind your teen to always remember that she should be sensitive to others’ reactions. She should not only think of herself but also consider the feelings of others.
  • Take risks. Putting yourself out there to meet new people can be scary – for children and adults alike.  Encourage your tween to take small steps and don’t be upset if every interaction isn’t perfect.  The important part is your teen is trying to make new friends.

On behalf of Fitness for Health, I wish you and your child a happy summer filled with new friends!

Does your son have low self-esteem? Does your daughter experience difficulty while trying to make new friends?  Does your child have special needs? Fitness for Health can help your child blossom.

At Fitness for Health, a state-of-the-art, therapeutic fitness facility in the Washington, DC, Area created to improve adult and fitness for kids, you get a complete team—including pediatric fitness specialists, physical therapists and occupational therapists—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way.

Each plan of care combines evidence-based, therapeutic techniques with our innovative exergamingequipment—from a 30-foot trampoline to a 3-D virtual reality gaming system—to help your child improve his/her motor skills, fitness and self-esteem in the most fun way imaginable. Learn how Fitness for Healthcan help your child reach his/her full potential.

Join Fitness for Health and Center for Communication and Learning on Friday, 5/25, from 7pm – 9pm for our Tweens and Teens Think It, Move It for Students with Social Challenges program for ages 11-16. This unique program will combine the introduction of social thinking concepts with motor development. Our tweens and teens will receive didactic teaching followed by practice in a small group led by a speech pathologist and fitness staff. Following that, each student will practice what they have learned in our amazing exergaming facility.

Reimbursement of costs for the program may be available for insurance coverage and/or flexible health spending accounts.

Are you looking for a social skills program this summer? Learn more about our B Social Team Building for Adolescents with Social Challenges (ages 11-16) taking place this August.  Our B Social Team Building Program focuses on developing your adolescent’s social competency and is geared for students with ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s, Social Communication Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Social thinking® is more than just about being social. The skills and strategies we teach will impact their performance at school, in the community, and throughout their lives.

Our dynamic and unique program facilitates the development of:

  • Social Awareness
  • Flexible Thinking
  • Perspective Taking
  • Team Problem Solving
  • Theory of Mind
  • Mindfulness
  • Collaboration
  • Reciprocal Communication
  • Social Problem Solving
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Team Communication

Learn more today!