Teach Children Effective Social Skills: Using Workbooks for Ages 9-12

Workbooks can provide parents with instant expertise about social skills. The parent can adapt the workbook to the learning style of the child. Children who are independent learners may enjoy doing the workbook on their own; while children who need more structure may benefit by having the parent sit down with them while they do the workbook. All children will benefit from discussing the books with their parents.

Here are four high-quality workbooks that you and your child are sure to find valuable in learning the “how to” of practicing social skills. The books are all part of the Instant Help series. The series presents the skills of making friends in a doable way. The books are visually appealing and utilize the developmental inclination of school-aged children to want to figure out “the rules” of how things work.

Calm and Confident: A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Assertive Skills

“Calm and Confident” helps children learn how communicating “assertively” differs from other styles of communication. Three different children personify the three different communication styles: Aggressive Aggie, who often sounds means; Passive Patsy who often sounds whiny; and Assertive Asser who sounds like he is trying to be fair. The skills taught in “Calm and Confident” include (but are not limited to): How to say no; how to encourage or discourage teasing; how to handle teasing; and how to see things from another’s point of view.

I’m not Bad, I’m Just Mad.

The book takes children through three sets of skills that can help manage anger. The first set of skills are those that help the child understand anger. The first exercise, for example, helps children understand the difference between degrees of anger and has them draw expressions on blank faces to portray different degree of anger, encouraging them to use magazines to help them adjust the expressions. The next set of skills is those that help children manage the behaviors of anger: Talking about it, using relaxation strategies, and problem solving. The final set of skills is strength skills, such as empathy, listening and humor.

Let’s Be Friends. A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Social Skills & Make Great Friends

This workbook engages school-aged children in forty fun activities to find friends, learn give-and-take, and cope with rejection and disappointment. The first section teaches children to think about whom they are and how to let others know what is special about them. One of the activities involves writing a short letter to an imaginary pen pal describing one thing they enjoyed about last summer. Other activities teach children where to meet friends; that kids with friends are friendly; how to understand body language; how to talk on the phone, and many other skills.

Say Goodbye to Being Shy: A Workbook To Help Kids Overcome Shyness

“Say Goodbye to Being Shy” is designed to be used by parents and children together. Parents are given ten tips on how to teach children the skills needed to overcome shyness. They are also given a behavioral management system that will enable them to sit down with their child and agree on rewards the child will reinforce practicing the skills needed to overcome shyness. The skills are taught with illustrative stories, thought questions, and exercises. Some of the skills include assertiveness, bravery, making eye contact, listening, greeting others, apologizing, understanding personal strength, and positive self-talk.

To learn more about the Instant Help Series, visit newharbinger.com.


Author's Bio: 

Katrina Holgate Miller, PhD writes about the strengths and skills people use to face their mental health issues with empowerment (moxie) rather than victimization.

She has turned her 30+ years of clinical experience with thousands of clients into stories and tips about how her clients were able to recover from mental illness and addiction and return to the roles they enjoyed during times of wellness. She is author of the website www.moxiementalhealth.com. Her email is katrina@moxiementalhealth.com