When kids grow from a child to a teenager they experience a number of social conditions which test their skills to grow in respectful and healthy ways. Teens try to learn skills like sharing, understanding, considering others view and studying body language.
Communication between them can be imperceptive and harmful. This communication problem can also lead to a teen’s ability to make friends, as teens who don’t act immediately can be unnoticed or made fun of by other teens.
Teens who lack social communication skills behave in unhealthy ways in relationships. It’s a matter of expressing emotions in a positive and constructive manner.
Four ways to help teens improve their social communication skills.
#1 – Help teens identify social cues. It can be done by reading body language and gestures and facial expressions. This gets a little difficult for some teens, so help them in pointing out the cues and make them practice to identify possible messages. You can also do this by vocal cues. Inflection, pacing and tone of voice can be also added to the spoken messages.
#2 – Role play and prepare teens for real life. It will give an opportunity to practice in non-threatening situations, like you can practice for asking someone out for a date, to turn down a cigarette. To get the best results allow the teens to have a turn to play both parts.
#3 – Keep questioning teens so that it builds empathy. It gives them the chance to reflect on someone else’s point of view. Give them the time to stop and think how this will help them to build empathy. You can ask questions like, “When she makes that kind of face, what do you think about it” or “What do you think he was upset for what you said.”
#4 – Provide teens with feedback about their communication skills. You should observe what teens do in social situations and then try to share with them, whatever you see. If you give the teens the right feedback either positive or negative, it will help them to identify the areas where they need improvement. It will help them the most if you offer suggestions, and watch if the teens can come up with some alternatives independently.
By improving the social communication skills you can help teens feel them more confident when interacting with anyone in his or her life. It might take some time and effort, but remember it’s worth it.
Originally posted 2009-07-11 14:33:11.