Mindful Thinking for Social Expectations
Confident Solutions, LLC
We empower children, families, and schools through mindful connections.
For some students, obtaining and utilizing good social skills does not come naturally. They move through their environment having a difficult time communicating and understanding more than just direct language-based interactions. For example, good social skills include sharing space with others and learning to regulate one’s behavior to other peoples’ thoughts or expectations. For some students, these skills need to be taught.
We are offering a 4-week session beginning on November 13th. This session will focus on teaching techniques that will help reduce stress around the holidays and will provide tools to use based on the Social Thinking curriculum. Parents and caregivers will learn how to shift their thoughts and vocabulary while helping their child at home.
Your child does not need a diagnosis to attend. This class is designed for any child needing to learn how to “think” about thinking as well as understand more about the complex social world in which we live. While times of movement will be available, students must be able to sit in a room with a small group for one hour.
Parents will meet in a separate room and are required to attend each session so true integration can occur at home. We are also offering a corresponding sibling class during this time. To register, please visit Registration for Holiday Session or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Groups are separated depending on age/grade. Group sizes will be kept small with no more than four to five children in each group.
Dates for the classes:
November 13th, November 20th, December 4th, December 11th
We look forward to seeing you on November 13th!
Christina and Wendy
We will be opening registration for our next social skills groups next week! This next session will be slightly different. We will continue to have separate small groups, however, the focus of this session will be to begin teaching an understanding of social expectations around the holiday seasons as well as tools for coping with stress. There will be more specific details about the sessions with the registration post.
The dates for the next session will be: November 13th, November 20th, December 4th, and December 11th. There will be three groups meeting at a time: A sibling group (optional), a parent group (required), and a group for your child learning specific social skills.
Be sure to check our website next Monday with details about the classes and information on how to register.
Christina and Wendy
Every child, with his/her unique strengths, learns in a different way. Some children excel at math, while others struggle. Some children learn to read with ease, while others find it to be frustrating and difficult. One child may learn the proper way to say /k/ while others need to be specifically taught place, manner, and voicing. Social skills are no different.
Children who have difficulties understanding social situations often do not see the “rules” on the playground. They are typically the children that have to “pull their clip”, “go below the line”, or get a letter or phone call home. Often times, these children need specific instruction to learn what their peers, parents, and teachers expect from them. To those of us who have never had trouble understanding social expectations, this may seem absurd.
What we know is every behavior happens for a reason. For example, one child hits another during recess. He/she may not intend to be mean but really is looking for a way to be part of the group. Hitting has been a way this student has gotten a response in the past to get another child’s attention. When we take the time to teach that child appropriate ways to enter and exit play with another would help prevent him/her from hitting in the future. The child has now learned skills and has a “toolbox” to pull from instead of hitting. Another example is for the child who consistently comes home with a “bad” report (clip pulling, red cards, etc.). Why is this behavior happening and what skills need to be taught instead of “managed”? Usually the behavior happens because the child is receiving some type of feedback before, during, or after. What would happen if we understood the behavior, taught them a new way to receive their feedback, and then offered positive reinforcement every single time we saw them do it? When we help children learn these skills in a non-judgemental way, we begin to see an improvement in their behavior and an increase in self-awareness.
The process of teaching children how to think socially does not change behavior overnight. Instead, it is a slow and deep process that requires time and patience. It also requires a village. When a therapist, teacher, etc. is teaching a child social skills, it’s important to carry those skills into his/her other environments like school and home. Communication is key. Communicating with your child’s teacher and school and letting them know what he/she is learning and how they can help support your child during the school day is important. If you sign your child up for a social skills class, please ask how you can learn the vocabulary. Also ask how they communicate with your child’s teacher. When there is a lack of communication outside of the social skills group room, then you will typically only see improvement within the social skill group but limited progress in other environments. One sentence from the Social Thinking! curriculum really stood out to us. It said “Generalization is not an endpoint; it is simply part of the journey.” We need to make sure the child has adults who support him/her on the journey in learning social skills.
Wendy and Christina