Social skills require children to be able to do the following:
Understand when someone is teasing them, and how to respond.
Share ideas and activities with someone else.
Compromise when they don’t get their way, and not show their anger.
Say ‘no’ when they feel uncomfortable about something they are asked to do. They need to have an idea of what is right and wrong.
Be able to have and give their viewpoint, and accept that others may have a different viewpoint from theirs.
Be able to say something nice to somebody else.
Be able to accept a compliment from someone else.
Ask for help when they don’t understand something, and be able to say why they don’t understand it.
Say ‘thank you’ – requires eye contact and the right tone of voice.
Keep a secret.
Why do some children get it wrong?
The child may be sensitive, more mature than his peer group or very gifted in one area.
He/she may stand out from others and will be seen as different from others.
His/her responses in a social situation may not conform with his/her peer group, or to the adults he/she is addressing.
He/she may not be able to change his/her style to adapt to different situations. For example, children talk differently to their friends than when they address their parents and other adults. The child with living and learning difficulties may not distinguish between the two and be over-familiar with an adult and not understand why he is being told off. The intent was not to be cheeky.
Appearance – a mismatch of clothing which is not in line with others.
Personality – shy or over-outgoing. He/she may feel unable to interact with others and respond quickly in a group setting. He/she may react too quickly in a situation and go overboard, being over-enthusiastic.
Acting as a know-all when information has been gained and telling everyone else about it.
Passing on secrets that have been told in confidence – not understanding what is being asked of them.
Getting into a fight and not being able to get out of the situation easily.
Being persistent with an issue or demand after others have moved on in the conversation.
Constant interruptions when others are talking.
Becoming angry and upset when failing.
Becoming overly excited when winning.
Talking too much – going on and on and on.
Not being willing to share with others.
Being too direct and blunt – pointing out something about someone’s appearance for example.
Not knowing how to start or stop a conversation or leave a group.