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Social Skills Training

Tammi Jordan's picture

Social Skills


Why should teachers be concerned with social skill training when this is what each parent should be doing daily?


Parents are teaching social skills that are relavant to their household and community.


The problem is that we have not bought into a universal set of social skills as we have common languages. In homes where there are multiple languages are spoken it is understood that there is an accepted language that is used in academic and business settings.


This leads us to:

(indented material excerpted from; see notes below)

What Exactly Is Social Skills Training?
If our kids don't have 'em, we've got to teach 'em. "Social skills training" is a general term for instruction conducted in (behavioral) areas that promotes more productive/positive interaction with others. We teach social skills to students who are (at present) socially unskilled in order to promote acceptance by teachers (and other adults) and peers. A social skills training program might include (among other things):

1. "Manners" & positive interaction with others
-approaching others in social acceptable ways
-how to asking for permission rather than acting impulsively
-how to make and keep friends
-sharing toys/materials

2. Appropriate classroom behavior
-work habits/academic survival skills
-attending to task
-following directions
-seeking attention properly
-accepting the consequences of one's behavior

3. Better ways to handle frustration/anger
-counting to 10 before reacting
-distracting oneself to a pleasurable task
-learning an internal dialog to cool oneself down and reflect upon the best course of action
4. Acceptable ways to resolve conflict with others
-using words instead of physical contact
-seeking the assistance of the teacher or conflict resolution team

Examples of Social Skills for Pre-Schoolers

1. Skills that will help in later instruction (example: listening skills)

2. Skills that enhance success in school/daycare settings (example: asking a question)

3. How to make and keep friends (examples: asking for something, asking others to play)

4. Feelings:
-awareness of own and other's feelings (Called "Theory of mind"...being able to predict how
others might feel in a situation, understanding that others might not feel as you do)
-coping with negative feelings

5. Positive, non-aggressive choices when faced with conflict

6. Dealing with stress:
-what to do when you make mistakes
-handling teasing and taunting


Parents are teaching social skills that are relevant to their household and community.

The problem is as a whole we have not brought into a collective set of social skills as we do a common language. Regardless of the language spoken at home it is understood that there is an accepted language that is spoken in academics and business.


Barron's picture

Social Skills in digital loss

Well, not neccessarily, we have more information access and can learn and know about things which we didn't.

Tom McIntyre's picture

Referencing material borrowed from other sites

I was surprised to be reading my own words on another person's site. The material on the social skills blog is taken verbatim from

Paul Grobstein's picture

Serendip apologies

Thanks for letting us know. Serendip tries very hard to assure that material appearing elsewhere on the web is appropriately acknowledged but mistakes are made. We regret this one, and have added a link that should have been included from the outset.