Those accepted early on by friends grow up healthier than those rejected, study says
- Kevin McKeever via MSN Health
WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) - New
research suggests that a child's problems forming relationships and being accepted by friends are more likely to contribute to anxiety and depression than vice versa, particularly during the transition from adolescence into young adulthood.
The study, conducted by researchers
at the universities of Vermont and Minnesota, found that young people who initially had more "internalizing" problems such
as anxiety and depression were more likely to have those problems in adolescence and young adulthood. Those who were socially competent at the start,
though, were socially competent as they grew up.
In addition, the study --
published in the March/April issue of Child Development -- found evidence of spillover effects, where social problems
contributed to increasing internalizing symptoms over time.
"Overall, our research suggests
that social competence, such as acceptance by peers and developing healthy relationships, is a key influence in the development of future internalizing problems such
as anxiety and depressed mood, especially over the transition years from adolescence into young adulthood," study lead author Keith Burt, assistant
professor of psychology at the University of Vermont, said in a prepared statement.
"These results suggest that
although internalizing problems have some stability across time, there is also room for intervention and change. More specifically, youth at risk for internalizing problems might benefit from interventions focused on building healthy relationships with peers." (also see children and friendships)
The study followed 205 individuals
from middle childhood (ages 8 to 12) into young adulthood over 20 years.
The researchers used detailed interviews with participants and reports from their parents, teachers and classmates to create
measures of so-called internalizing problems (anxiety, depressed mood, being withdrawn) and social competence (how well one functions
in relation to other people, particularly with respect to getting along with others and forming close relationships).
They then examined how these measures related to each other over time.
Children who were less socially
competent in childhood were more likely to have symptoms of anxious or depressed mood in adolescence, according to the findings. Similarly, young people who were less socially competent in adolescence were
at greater risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression in young adulthood. The results were generally the same for males and females.
The findings remained the
same when the researchers accounted for some other possible explanations, such as intellectual functioning, the quality of
parenting, social class, and such problems as fighting, lying and stealing.
How to Teach Your Child Social Skills - By Anthony Kane, MD
over 40 years, special education teachers have focused on helping children with learning disabilities improve their academic
skills. However, it's now quite clear that a child's life long success is more dependant upon his social adeptness than it is to his scholastic ability.
Yet, although children
with learning disabilities are often way behind their peers in their social development, these deficits were very rarely addressed.
Children with learning disabilities tend to be less skillful in social interactions
and have difficulty creating and maintaining good peer relationships. They tend to be less accepted by peers, interact inappropriately, awkward in social situations and misread social cues.
There's now a greater
awareness that we must to teach special needs children appropriate social skills.
Factors that Lead to Social Skill Deficits
Social skills involve daily
interactions such as sharing, taking turns and allowing others to talk without interrupting. More advanced social skills involve facets of self-control such as anger management. Most children learn social skills by observing how others in their environment handle social situations.
imitate desirable responses, such as taking turns, and learn to avoid responses that don't work.
For some children, particularly those with learning disabilities, a more direct approach is needed to help them
develop appropriate social skills.
Not all children
with learning disabilities have difficulty with social skills. There are 3 factors that
often lead to social skill deficits. These factors are more common in special needs children.
deficits: Children with language processing disorders or low intelligence tend to have difficulty with social development.
2: Severe or complex learning disorders.
3: Hyperactivity Children with ADHD or poor impulse control
tend to have more pronounced social skill problems.
Also, girls are more likely
to experience social adjustment problems than are boys.
What You Can Do: The Social Autopsy
It's vital that you as a parent takes steps to help your child develop the social skills that he needs to succeed in life. This is not particularly hard to do, but it must be done.
One of the easiest
techniques developed to help children learn to improve their social ability is called the social autopsy. This is a strategy
in which you assist your child to improve his social skills by jointly analyzing social
errors that your child makes and by planning alternative strategies.
This process is
particularly effective in helping your child to see the cause-effect relationship between his social behavior and the
reactions of others.
This is what you do:
your child makes a social error you should discuss with your child what happened.
goal is to teach your child to:
A-Identify the error
who was harmed by the error
C-Decide how to correct the error
D-Develop an alternate plan to prevent the error from occurring again.
a social skills autopsy isn't a punishment. It is a supportive and constructive problem-solving
The Social Autopsy in Action
example, if your child has a friend over and they fight over a toy and the friend goes home upset, then this is what you can
1-Identify the error: fighting over a toy.
2-Determine who was harmed by the error: your child's friend
was hurt because he left upset, but also your child was hurt because now his friend won't want to play with him.
how to correct the error: Your child should contact the other child and try to make friends again. You might suggest giving
the other child a treat to help smooth over hurt feelings.
4-Develop an alternate plan to prevent the error from occurring
again: What should your child do next time? He can choose to share the toy. If he would rather not share, he can choose to
not play with the toy when his friend is there.
When to Use the Social Autopsy
You can use the social autopsy to analyze and improve upon your child's mistakes. However, you
also can use it to emphasis your child's successes.
When your child does particularly well in a social setting, you can assist him
in examining and identifying the behaviors that contributed to his success. This teaches him to repeat those behaviors in other settings.
Why the Social Autopsy
The advantage of using the social autopsy technique is that it focuses
on the 3 things that special needs children require in order to develop and learn:
Some Things to Remember
When you apply the social autopsy approach with your child, it's important to remember a number of things:
1: The social autopsy is meant to be a supportive and constructive strategy to foster social competence.
It isn't meant to be or administered as a punishment.
2: The social autopsy is a
problem-solving technique. It shouldn't be a negative experience for your child.
social autopsy is an opportunity for your child to actively participate in the process of his own social development. It requires
his input and understanding. It should be directed by you but not in a controlling manner.
The social autopsy can be conducted by any significant adult in the child's life. You should try to have other adults
in your child's life participate in this process.
5: The social autopsy is most
effective when conducted immediately after the social error or success. Remember that all children learn best when they have
6: The social autopsy should be done on a one-to-one basis.
This is the most effective way children learn and will help avoid embarrassment for your child.
If you have a child
with, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, learning disabilities, or cognitive or functional problems, you have to take special
care to make sure that he's developing socially as well as academically. The social autopsy is one technique that you can
use to teach you child better social skills.
Anthony Kane, MD
ADD ADHD Advances
5 Simple Etiquette Tips Every Child Needs To Know
by Teresa, The CuteKid™
First impressions are important. As a parent you need to teach your child
how to make a good impression. The key is etiquette for children.
Greetings A proper greeting shows confidence and maturity. Teach your child to address people
they meet by their title and name. Making eye contact is an important etiquette too. You can teach your child how to greet
people by giving yourself a name and pretending to meet your child. Have your child practice saying, "Hello, Mr. Hansen,"
and looking you in the eye. Remind them that they need to use Mr., Mrs., or Ms. and not an adult's first name unless requested
to use it.
In our society handshakes are used unlike the kisses that dominate European society. So it is an important etiquette for children
to learn how to shake hands. Typically a person extends their right hand the one they use most often. For left-handers like
my son, it is harder to remember that people shake with their right. Practice with your child so that they don't grip too
hard (it's not a contest) or too soft (there should be some actual gripping) but right in between.
and Thank You These two phrases are still valuable today and their use shows a person has manners more
than anything else. In order to teach these words as a parent you must use them yourself (and remind your kids about a million
times). Talk to your child about why please and thank you are important. Everyone likes to be appreciated and according to
Emily Post saying, "'Please' can turn a demand into a request and indicates an option "it can turn an unpopular request into
a more palatable one."
Me This is a valuable phrase that is used too little. Besides saying "excuse me" after public bodily
functions there are many other times when "excuse me" should be used. Such as when a person walks through a crowded room,
bumps into someone, walks in front of someone, needs to leave a group, or needs to ask a question. I still remember watching
my two-year-old son force his way through a crowded hall (which wasn't very polite) while saying, "Excuse me. Excuse me,"
over and over (which was very polite). Practice role-playing situations in which your child could use "excuse me."
Interrupting Nothing shows bad manners more than a child who runs up to his parent in mid conversation
and begins speaking. Teach your child that when you or anyone else is talking that they must wait until a break in the conversation
before interrupting. Teach your child the right etiquette using a signal, such as raising one finger, to show that you acknowledge
them and will listen in a moment. Then be sure to stop and listen to your child. Emily Post reminds parents that "the mother
who invariably stops and says, 'What is it, dear?' when her daughter interrupts is helping her to establish a habit that will
do her a disservice all her life."
source site: click here
Cleaning Up Your Child's Speech
Teresa, The CuteKid™ Staff
The words that come out of your mouth can make
you sound intelligent or very illiterate. Even if you are a smart person if you sound dumb people will assume you are. One
of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to teach them to speak properly. It takes effort on the part of the parent
to improve your child's speech, but it is worth it.
The use of slang words while not always bad shows a lack of originality.
It shows your child is following the crowd instead of using correct grammar. I remember in high school the popular word was
"like." I can't even count how many times I heard classmates saying, "It was like this," "Like, I can't believe that," or
"I wonder, like, what he was thinking." My dad hated the word "like" and highly discouraged us from using it in our speech.
Teach your child to not use slang in daily speech, at least while at home. Every time they use slang remind them not to. When
they are older, trying to impress a girlfriend or boss, they will thank you.
Profanity is just that - profane. It
is offensive to many and at the least shows a lack of vocabulary. The child, who continually sprinkles profanity throughout
their conversation, not just when incredibly angry, needs to be taught to broaden their vocabulary. Help them think of words
that they can use in place of profanity. Make it a contest to see who can use the most unique word in place of a profane word.
Growing up I had a cousin just six months younger than I. We did everything together. I was constantly saying "me
and Tawnya" this and "me and Tawnya" that. Every time my grandmother heard me say "me and Tawnya" she would ask, "Mean Tawnya?"
Of course Tawnya wasn't mean and I would immediately correct myself by saying, "Tawnya and I." Now I am grateful for a grandmother
who insisted I learn proper grammar. Every time I hear someone else say, "me and so and so" I automatically think "mean so
and so." If it one of my children I correct them. If it is someone else I think too bad they didn't have a grandmother that
"Can I have something to eat?" is a phrase I hear often. I counter with, "I don't know can you?" My son
then responds, "May I have something to eat?" When someone says, "Can I" they are not actually asking for permission they
are asking if they are able to do something. The proper way to ask for something is "May I." It will take countless reminders
before your child will get this right as a part of daily speech. But it will be worth it, when you are visiting relatives
and your child politely asks, "May I have a cookie?"
Help your child learn to use proper verb tense. I am constantly
correcting my six-year-old when he says, "I done this" (I did this) or "I wented there" (I went there). It is important that
the correct form of the verb is used. If you aren't sure look it up.
source site: click here
Recent Video Clip from ABC News concerning etiquette
classes for kids? Click here !!!
4 Ways to Understand the Social Development of a Child
by Christa Gatewood
Within the first few months of life, your newborn will begin
to develop social skills. At around about 4 to 6 weeks of
age, your baby may begin to smile at you. Shortly after that, she will start to smile at other people and at herself in the
mirror. Gleeful screams and laughter also help her to interact with other people. Children seem to be fearless when born,
but at between 8 and 10 months, they start to demonstrate fear. You'll see this in anxiety around strangers and in your child's
preference for familiar people.
Between the ages of 1 and 2, toddlers become less fearful of
strangers. Your child will generally like to have
an adult nearby and will enjoy adult attention. While children at this age may enjoy the presence of other children, they
will most likely only engage in "parallel play," or playing independently alongside other children.
Between ages 2
and 3, toddlers start to learn that other people have feelings and may become overly affectionate, particularly towards other
children. At the same time, their own emotions can get the better of them and lead to aggressive behavior, bossiness, temper
tantrums and defiance. Don't be surprised if your 2-year old alternates
between hugs and kisses and temper tantrums. While a tendency towards mood swings can last for several more years, your child
should become better able to express his emotions constructively as his verbal skills improve.
Between ages 3 and 5, your preschooler should develop
an understanding of social rules and start developing friendships. Rather than playing alone, she should show signs of cooperation
with other children and initiate or join in play. At this time, you can teach the concept of taking turns with others and
sharing, but don't expect your child to go along with it every time. Possessiveness is still a common trait at this age. A
developing imagination will lead to playing make-believe and making up new games to play. Many preschoolers also talk to themselves
or create imaginary friends. Bad behavior such as lying,
tattling, name-calling and taunting is common.
At about 5 years of age, your child should start to demonstrate
greater control over his emotions. He should be able to cooperate and share effectively with other children and take turns
without being prompted. In kindergarten, children often enjoy playing in groups, though they may focus on one or two special
friendships. During this stage, your child may be more obedient
to your requests and willing to "put on a show" to entertain others.
Christa Gatewood studied psychology and communications at Northwestern University, sparking a life-long fascination with
mental health, personal relationships and family dynamics. Well-versed in conventional and alternative approaches to reproductive
health and pediatric medicine, Gatewood has covered health topics for eHow.com.
source site: click here
Social Manners for Children -
By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
By all reports,
adults are becoming ruder, and children aren't learning manners either. 82% of Americans polled think children's manners are
worse today than when they were children, and they're concerned.
In order to respect
himself or herself, a child needs to learn to respect their parents first. Manners and respect are inseparable. Here's a great
book to introduce your child to the subject of manners "What Do You Say Dear," by Seslye Joslin and some tips on how to get started.
1. Start by modeling.
If you want your child to treat you with respect, then treat your child with respect. Your child
must see you setting a good example.
2. No interrupting adult conversation unless dire emergency
after the age of 3-4.
3. Addressing adults by their titles, not by their first names.
4. No throwing of temper tantrums when things don't go their way.
Teach one skill at a time.
Start with telephone manners, then progress to
table manners, or vice versa.
6. Catch them doing it right and praise them.
Learning skills like these takes constant reinforcement, particularly if they are around other
children who are unmannerly. Praise your child often (and specifically)
even after they seem to have mastered it.
7. Be patient with lapses; it takes a lot of repetition.
Don't reprimand the child in public, however; this would be bad manners on your part.
8. If the child plainly forgets, you can ask a question which will prompt them.
If he forgets to extend his hand when meeting an adult say quietly, "What do we do when we meet someone older?"
This gives the child the chance to be smart and remember and feel good!
5 Things You Need to Know About Developing Social Skills in Young Children
by Andrea Mathews
Until approximately age 3,
children actually play beside rather than with each other. However, even then they can learn appropriate interaction skills
such as sharing and asking for or showing you what they need.
Social skills are skills of
interaction that later in adolescence and adulthood can earn respect and garner success at work, at play and in primary relationships.
Children of preschool age and above will fairly consistently demonstrate appropriate social skills
in the following ways (allowing for the few bad days and the few grumpy moments of every
1. Demonstrate an interest in engaging with others
2. Give and take
4. Ask for or demonstrate
what they need
5. Empathize or understand how others might feel
For example, if
your child wishes to get on the merry-go-round at the park (demonstrating an interest),
he may ask to join in (asking for what he wants). However, since those
already on the merry-go-round will have to stop to let him on, they may initially say no, by simply nodding their heads or
ignoring his plea (grasping non-verbal cues).
But if he understands this
(empathy), he may suggest that he'll push, or that they take turns pushing (give and take).
Of course, his skills do not guarantee that he'll always be liked or get what he wants, but if he is fairly positive he'll
be able to move on to engage with others or find other avenues of play.
One of the best things that
you can do to teach social skills is to play with your child as if you were another child.
In this way you can model and teach appropriate interactive skills. But second to that, you should also engage her in discussions
about problem-solving on the playground. You may even make a game of it by asking her what she would do if a particular situation
arose with her friends.
As most of us know, children
do tend to act out their frustrations and anxieties. If there is unresolved tension at home, such as tension between you and
your spouse, your child may sponge it up, assuming that it has something to do with him. He will then carry it with him as
a kind of unresolved inner conflict and act out that conflict in his social arenas. Therefore, don't assume that he lacks
social skills if he suddenly begins to act out. First, look for areas of unresolved conflict
There are some childhood disorders
that include missing social cues, lack of empathy, disinterest or lack of ability in the social arena and/or aggressive rebellious
behaviors. If your child fairly consistently demonstrates any of those issues you should seek professional help.
Last Updated: April 25, 2008
Author of "Restoring My Soul: A Workbook for Finding and Living the Authentic Self," Andrea Mathews is a Licensed Professional
Counselor, a Supervisor and provider of Continuing Education for other counselors. She has a thriving private practice in
Birmingham, Alabama, where she also spends at least four hours of each day writing.
source site: click here
Social Skills: Collaborative Problem solving
by Karen DeBolt, MA
He made me do it!
There’s a battle going on and
by the time you get to the next room something is broken and two kids are angry. After a bit of detective work you figure
out who did what. The problem is that the usual suspect is blaming bis brother for his own bad behavior. . .again!
made me do it!
He made me mad!
Sigh. . .
So, you worry about whether he is going to end up a hardened criminal
always blaming someone else for his problems and never taking responsibility.
Why does my child do that?
is that often when a child is in an emotionally charged state whether it is a happy, sad or angry his ability to problem solve
will go out the window. You can subtract 3 to 6 years off of his age instantly. (for some children even more!)
your very smart 9 year old is throwing a toy across the room because he is angry that his brother touched his special model.
He will be convinced in the heat of that moment that his brother is the problem so he will react rather than logically realize
that his behavior is going to get him into trouble. If he would have come to you for help first, then his brother would have
been the one in trouble and not him.
So What now?
During the heat of the moment is not the time to work on this
skill. Once the strong emotions are flying around there is very little ability to reason or learn, so save your breath and
separate the two parties to calm down before you intervene or better yet try to intervene before things escalate this far.
The key is to try to intervene before the melt down is in full gear. Obviously, you will not be able
to do this all the time, but when you can it can be a highly effective way to help your chil to learn how to problem solve
before trouble strikes.
Here’s the steps:
1. Stop the action – “Whoa, hold on a minute, let’s
talk about what’s happening right now.”
2. Help the parties to describe their concerns. “Okay, one at
time. Joey tell me your side first and Johnny will get a turn in a minute.”
3. Ask clarifying questions and help
him to restate his position as a concern and not as a solution. “Joey needs to share with me!” is a solution.
The concern might be “I would like to play with the toy too!”
4. Then put both concerns on the table and ask
both parties to come up with a solution that addresses both concerns. “So Joey wants to play with the toy, and Johnny
is worried that Joey will break it and not put it away when he is done playing with it. What can we do here?”
are fairly self focused beings, so don’t expect your children to be able to do this perfectly the first time. But with
some coaching from you, your children will be able to come up with some very creative ideas to address their concerns as well
as your concern that they not beat each other to a pulp or trash the house when they disagree.
Give it a try and let
me know how it went!
Karen DeBolt, MA is a parent coach and family therapist in Hillsboro, oregon.
Karen has a master's degree in counseling psychology and three master teachers--her children. All these ideas have been road
tested on her own family so they will work for you too. Sign up for the twice monthly newsletter for more parenting support
at http://www.counselingformoms.com and receive my free report: Conquering Bad Behavior Without Stress.
Beyond The One-Word Answer
Let dinnertime spark
the conversation you want to have.
Ages: Adults and kids 3 & up
Your son walks in the door after school and you ask him how his day was. His
answer (you guessed it): "Fine."
Hoping for something more, you push further: "What did you do today?"
"Nothing," he responds as he races upstairs to his room for his hockey gear.
You're not alone. Kids as young as 6 can become private about their thoughts. And with soccer practice, meetings and homework on the evening’s agenda, parents often don’t have time to fight
their way back in.
That’s why family psychologist Dr.
Patti Zomber suggests making dinnertime
a priority. "A family sitting down to a meal together is the best predictor of a child’s emotional adjustment," she
says. "It’s a fun and accepting atmosphere, where kids feel a sense of belonging."
To get everyone sharing, set a positive tone. "Don’t make it something that kids have to show up for, or they won’t want to," Zomber says. "Make it a
stress-reducing place for everyone - a place where parents don’t have to be parental and each family member has an equal role
in the conversation."
Here are some ways to get a great exchange started:
wow or quack-quack?
• ages 2 to 5
Children this age like to make decisions
because it helps them feel independent and in control. Allow your young child to be the first family member to choose a dinner-table game. She could pose a question for everyone
to answer, such as, "If you could be an animal, what would it be?"
caught in the act - of kindness
• ages 6 to 8
this age, kids are beginning to practice values such as kindness. A good question for your child to ask the rest of the family is, "Who went out of their way to do something for someone
today?" You might be surprised to learn how one of your children helped her teacher or a friend at school that day.
ages 9 to 12
Typically proud of the new things they're learning, kids in this age group want to teach family members what they know. Because they have
recently developed a more sophisticated sense of humor, they also could teach everyone a new joke.