Learning social skills begins with healthy relationship skills taught at home. These are sometimes referred to as practical intelligence. Practical intelligence is the learned social behavior and established personality of a child over time.
As the digital age continues to grow, your teen may be experiencing more isolation and disconnection with physical interactions. You can help counteract this by providing love and connection at home to equip your teen for relationships now and into adulthood.
Having friends does not necessarily mean your teen is learning healthy social skills. Depending on their interactions with their friends, they may be learning behaviors that could damage their chances of having long-term relationships in the future. As a parent or caregiver, you are the best teacher to support your teen in developing healthy social skills.
What To Avoid
Try to limit your teen’s screen time. The blue light of electronics affects your teen’s circadian rhythms and can cause an imbalance in all levels of your teen’s mind and body. Additionally, put phones away during dinner time or during the intentional time you and your family spend together. This will over time create non-distracted times to connect.
Teaching Social Skills
- Create special time with your teen on a weekly basis
Spending quality time with your teen creates a foundation for your relationship with them. This time could be spent enjoying doing something you both love together or spending time with the entire family for game night.
- Validation and calm correction
With the support of family therapy, you can learn the skills to validate your teen and how they are feeling or perceiving the world. You can learn the skills to use a calm demeanor to better guide your teen to make wise decisions. In this, you teach them to trust and what it is to be heard and seen for who they are. Ultimately, encouraging them to make rational decisions based on their values and identity.
- Support your teen to take on new responsibilities
Your child’s teen years are some of the most important years to begin teaching them skills to prepare them for the real world. During this time, guide them to use their time studying and spending time with family. This encourages them to harmonize their lives to best prepare them for success in adulthood. You can do so by helping them to learn social skills that will equip them to connect with others in a working environment and personal relationships for the rest of their lives.
As your teen continues to take on more responsibilities in academics, sports, hobbies, and work, you are gearing them to have a balanced lifestyle and self-resilience. The social skills you teach them at home will last them a lifetime. In the long run, affecting all of their relationships, including the relationship with their own future family.
Family Therapy in the La Crescenta-Montrose Area
Are you looking for a therapist who can best support you and your teen? Given Guidance provides Family Therapy to families in La Crescenta, CA, and Los Angeles County.
Schedule your first session today. You and your family matter to us!