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Learning social skills & a new service at the RRC

Social skills is a common term that floats around. “We need to teach kids social skills.” “This person has no social skills.” “This student is behind in their social skills.” But, what exactly are "social skills"? Social skills are a group of skills that help us navigate situations, communicate with others, and understand body language, including our own. Social skills help us adapt in different settings and situations. Importantly, social skills are "skills" like any other - meaning they can vary from person to person, and can be improved upon with practice, or get a little rusty without practice.

We learn social skills through interactions with others. Our capacity to learn social skills is based on our personality, experience, environment, and biology. For some it comes easily to pick them up and for others it is more challenging. But no matter who we are, friendships and social groups can present challenges. In fact, research has shown that at least half of first grade friendships do not last, and a quarter of late elementary school and middle school friendships end. Our children are placed in environments where they are consistently navigating friendships and social rules. And those social rules may or may not coincide with what they have learned before. This is why social skills are important skills for children to learn and practice as they develop.

Rochester Resiliency Center is creating a social skills group for elementary school age children from ages 7 to 11. The purpose is to give children concrete tools they can use to help navigate friendships, social groups, and learn adaptability when placed in new situations. Children will work in tandem to understand body language, perspective taking, turn taking, making friends, and coping skills for social anxiety. The group will run for 6 weeks, 75 minutes per session, and each week will be a new topic. There will be hands-on activities and experiential learning to reinforce the skills. If you're interesting in learning more about the group, or are just ready to sign up, please complete a new patient inquiry (even if you're an existing patient)!

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