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Edmonton Catholic Schools

September 2017 - Social Skills and Friendships

Emergency Phone Numbers:

  • Children Youth and Families Addiction and Mental Health Intake: 780 342-2701
  • Mobile Response Team: 780 427-4491
  • The Support Network, Edmonton Distress Line: 780 482-HELP (4357)
  • Kids Help Phone: 1 800-668-6868

This month we focus on social skills and friendships.   Through positive interactions and positive, deliberate learning opportunities, children and youth in healthy families develop the self-regulation, social, and coping skills that enable them to develop in healthy ways.  Bullying is a form of abuse at the hands of peers that can take different forms at different ages. It is targeted and repeated. It preys on vulnerability on exposes both children who bully and those who are bullied, to a number of social and mental health problems and lifetime pattern of abuse.  

What is it?

Children are not born with social skills. Some children may learn these skills naturally but others do not. It is important that social skills be taught to all children.  Skills need to be learned, practiced, generalized to new settings, and maintained using reinforcements.

Children learn about relationships through example. Your relationship with your child sets the template for their future relationships.

Peer relationships are important for children’s well-being and development. Peer relationships provide children with developmental and social opportunities that are not available in children’s relationships with adults.

What to do about it?

There is a lot that goes into making and keeping friends. A big part of it is learning and practicing social skills. The benefits of social success in making friends can build self esteem and lead to success in other areas.

Building Friendships  

Making new friends can be difficult for some kids and teenagers. If you find this hard, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Consider the following advice on building your social skills and hopefully creating new healthy friendships:

  • Watch and learn from sociable people.
  • Practice socializing with family or current friends.
  • Listen, and don't always feel like you have to talk.
  • Ask people about themselves. It shows that you care what the other person is saying and that you find them interesting. Make eye contact while they’re speaking and follow up with a couple of questions.
  • Be aware of your body language to make people feel comfortable talking and show that you are listening.
  • Be patient, the process can take time. Friendship is a two-way street. Just because you might want to be friends with someone doesn’t mean they want to be your friend… and that’s ok.
  • Detach yourself from technology. If you are constantly on your devices, this can make it harder to socialize with people you are around.
  • Get out there! Join clubs or groups at your school or in your community that interest you. Go to parties or social events.  The more people you socialize with, the more people you’ll have an opportunity to talk with, and the more likely you are to make new friends!
  • Don’t forget who you are! You shouldn’t feel that you have to give up a part of yourself to make friends with others.

Resources/References for Healthy Relationships