My question is about preparing our student with social skills and manners.
Not to boast, but our son is extremely intelligent. However, he seems to lack certain social skills. As parents, what can we do to help him fit in better?
–PW, Seattle, WA
- Early on help him to identify and discuss his emotions, and to be able to self soothe, wait patiently, problem solve, delay gratification, and maintain control over his emotions.
- Good manners and social skills will take him a long way with his teachers as well as the other students. He should be able to carry on a conversation with a person of any age. And be able to stick up for a friend by speaking up. He should know when to keep a secret and when to refuse to keep a secret.
- Talk about the importance of being a good listener, and when to recognize when he's made a mistake and needs to apologize.
- He should be able to talk over a disappointment or disagreement and be able to say I love you and give a big hug to those who are that special to him.
- Help him to understand that there will be times when he has to be flexible and go to a contingency plan if something doesn't pan out as planned.
- Hold the door open for people.
- When walking never crossover in front of another person, because you could trip them up.
- Let women on elevators and escalators first.
- When talking face-to-face remove earbuds and sunglasses.
- Never touch or push people away, unless the touch was inappropriate.
- Don't ask personal questions, such as how much do your parents make?
- Get comfortable with hand shaking and introducing himself by saying, "Hello, my name is ..." when he meets someone new.
- Make introductions if you're not positive that people know one another. Even if he just says, "Jack this is Oscar."
- Don't whisper in front of another person: it's rude.
- Basic table manners: eating with a knife and fork, not blowing his nose at the table, and not chewing with his mouth open.
- Always, say Please, Thank you, You're Welcome, and "Excuse me, please."