Social Language Skills and Kids
Social Skills are also referred to as Pragmatic Language Skills. The development of these skills, specifically in relating to peers, is an important capacity that provides the foundations for life long success. These skills are critical for things such as making and keeping friends, negotiating conflicts, asking for help or advice, asking appropriate questions to further information and understanding, knowing when to approach or when to back off either physically or with your words, or “reading” a person’s intention through non-verbal cues and gestures.
Poor social skills are frequently the #1 concern of parents, as children with deficits in this area are typically less accepted by their peers and have fewer reciprocal friendships. Often these deficits become even more pronounced as the child gets older.
Social skills proficiency is contingent on understanding and using the context of a situation. In other words, the social appropriateness between two people relies on the ability of the speaker to use the context of any situation to create the meaning intended in their communication and for the listener to understand what the speaker has meant.
Often times, these highly nuanced skills need to be taught to children, as they do not come naturally to them.
There are ages and stages that children progress through in their development of social competence. Very broadly presented, they include:
• Developing a sense of self and of belonging to a family (prior to 2 yrs)
• Developing trust (prior to 2 yrs)
• Learning to separate from parents (by 2 yrs)
• Watching other children play from a distance (by 2 yrs)
• Playing near other children but not with them (2+ yrs)
• Playing with other children (3 yrs)
• Sharing and taking turns (3+ to 4 yrs)
• Stating opinions and desires (5-6 yrs)
• Using words to solve conflicts and developing control of emotions (6-8 yrs)
• Learning that it is okay to make a mistake (8+ to 12 yrs)
• Developing confidence and self-respect (9-12 yrs)
Susan Jindrich, 2005 / Chateau Meddybemps ™ Parents Guide
Resiliency Resource Centre / Embrace the Future
If you have questions about the social competence of your child, please just call me at 310-463-1828 and we can talk about your concerns.
It’s possible that a Social Skills Group could be created from just your phone call.
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Jennifer J. Hunter, M.A., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist #SP 9521