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There are many ways to describe or define social skills. Simply stated they are the collections of skills and abilities necessary to create and maintain satisfying realtionships and get along with others. This may look different for each individual and can depend on many influences including culture, personality, interests, strengths, previous experiences and values.Social skills support an individual's flexibility and the ability to adjust and respond in a variety of situations, expectations and daily interactions with others.

Why are social skills important?

  • To establish and maintain satisfying relationships with others.

  • Increased communication skills-expressing your thoughts and feelings to others.

  • Setting boundaries and prioritizing your time with others.

  • Career satisfaction-most jobs include working with others and an ability to influence others-through modeling and communication-to get things done.

  • Increased happiness/success-getting praise, reinforcement and acknowledgement from others can open doors and allow for increased positive thoughts about ourselves.

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What are social skills?

5-7 Year Olds

At this age most children have started to attend school. They enjoy playing with others and are starting to show preferences for different types of play and peers. They are independent but will gladly help when asked. Concern for others continues to develop alongside ideas of what is just and fair. Greater independence can result in a slight change in relationships with parents as they can do more things on their own.

5-7 Year Olds
11-12 Year Olds

11-13 Year Olds

Children at this age are beginning to develop leadership skills and are working to express themselves in appropriate ways. They are demonstrating independent, caring actions to others who are upset or in need. This is accomplished by having a greater understanding of the perspectives and intentions of others. At this age, children are able to set goals for themselves and participate in projects that take increased amounts of time.Allowing more discussions and compromise when available can reduce times of conflict and promote greater independence through modeling

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14-15 Year Olds

14-15 Year Olds

Children at this age have a high desire to "fit in" with others which can lead to anxious feelings if there is significant, ongoing conflict. They are starting to seek greater independence from parents/caregivers and they may be more likely to seek advice from peers. There is a desire for information that can be used and that applied to their own life experiences. There may be an increased expression of anger that may make it difficult at times to maintain consistent boundaries as well as keep the communication lines open.

8-10 Year Olds

Children at this age begin to take increased notice of their friendships with others. They are becoming more independent and taking more risks. They are learning to cooperate in groups and problem solve with others to negotiate and to avoid negative outcomes. They can evaluate themselves and can be sensitive to the feedback received from others. Multiple interests may continue to emerge but stable preferences become more pronounced. Changes begin to occur at the end of this stage as children move towards puberty.

8-10 Year Olds
16-17 Year Olds

16-17 Year Olds

Children at this age are making more long-term goals and commitments. They are looking for employment and further academic options that will out them on a path to the adult leadership roles they admire. They have value in the things that they have worked for and in their own accomplishments-while still seeking approval from both their peer groups and trusted adults. They take fewer risks that would out these accomplishments, trust or respect they have earned at risk. They are able to work independently to complete tasks with little direction or supervision necessary

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