The Importance of Social Skills

Course excerpt from Improving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents

Improving Social Skills in Children & AdolescentsEveryone wants to be wanted and needed; feelings of belonging are crucial for a person’s self-esteem. Children who are socially competent instinctively understand how relationships work. They can process social data and have a collection of behavioral tools at their disposal to help them in the social arena. These children have good relationships with their peers and the adults in their lives, and they are generally happier, resilient and emotionally healthy.

What are social skills? These are essentially the skills that are needed for successful social communication and interaction across a variety of settings and involve the ability to interact with other individuals in a congenial and harmonious manner. A variety of definitions have been offered. Social skills, as defined by Cillessen and Bellmore (2011), involve being prosocial and cooperative, and being interpersonally successful.

Khadi et al. (2015) included such social activities as showing sympathy for others when they are sad, apologizing if he or she hurts the feelings of others, greeting other children, and responding appropriately when introduced to others.

Social competence, as described by Green & Wood (2014) is characterized by achievement and maintenance of satisfying social relationships.

According to Güven et al. (2015, p. 56), social skills are “closely linked to development and are perhaps the most important set of abilities a person can have.” They include:

  • Showing interest in others
  • Giving and receiving
  • Asserting our needs and rights in appropriate ways
  • Showing consideration and sympathy
  • Communicating effectively

Unfortunately, people are not born with these skills, although some individuals learn them more readily than others. Learning how to get along with others is a process that begins at a very early stage and continues throughout life. The process can be seriously disrupted for children who have other developmental or learning difficulties, which can impair natural social learning processes. It is imperative that professionals working with children know how to help kids develop these life affirming social skills.

Improving Social Skills in Children & AdolescentsImproving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses the social skills children and adolescents will need to develop to be successful in school and beyond. It will demonstrate the challenges and difficulties that arise from a deficit of these crucial skills, as well as the benefits and advantages that can come about with well-developed social skills. This course will also provide practical tools that teachers and therapists can employ to guide children to overcome their difficulties in the social realm and gain social competence. While there are hundreds of important social skills for students to learn, we can organize them into skill areas to make it easier to identify and determine appropriate interventions. This course is divided into 10 chapters, each detailing various aspects of social skills that children, teens, and adults must master to have normative, healthy relationships with the people they encounter every day. This course provides tools and suggestions that, with practice and support, can assist them in managing their social skills deficits to function in society and nurture relationships with the peers and adults in their lives. Course #40-40 | 2016 | 62 pages | 35 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

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