What are social skills trainings?
Social skills constitute socially accepted behaviour, which allow people to interact with others in a way which stimulates positive responses and avoids negative responses. The development of socials skills is one of the most important tasks during childhood. Children who do not have well-developed social skills are at higher risk for socio-emotional difficulties and have a lower performance at school (Parker & Asher, 1987).
Social skills trainings are aimed at developing the abilities to:
✓ Communicate, actively listen, and to receive and give feedback
✓ Play together
✓ Recognize their own feelings and experiences, as well as those of others
✓ Cooperate, resolve conflicts, and make decisions
✓ Accept rules as a condition to feel equal, secure, and free
✓ BUT at the same time to be creative and spontaneous
✓ Recognize their own needs, goals, and abilities, as well as those of others
Social skills trainings include role-play, in which participants play out the every-day situations in which they experience difficulties and attempt to find more constructive strategies to deal with them. These games are fun and pleasant for children and adolescents and allow them to train their communication skills in a safe and informal environment.
Who are social skills trainings suitable for?
For children and adolescents aged 10-18, who:
✓ Experience difficulties communicating with peers and adults
✓ Want to enhance their verbal and non-verbal communication skills by better understanding:
✓ Other's gestures
✓ Body language
✓ Their own emotions and those of others
Format and duration of social skills trainings
In order for the trainings to be effective, they include a minimum of 10 sessions in groups of children and adolescents of similar age. The duration of the sessions is between one and three hours, depending on the age of the participants, and take place once a week.