February 2009 - Volume 41

Helping Children and Adolescents Succeed Socially!
The Social Skills Groups  

Social Skills Groups are held at:
The Social Skills Place, Inc.
310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201
Northfield, Illinois 60093

Date and times:

Elementary School
Tuesday's 4:00PM-4:45PM
Thursday's 4:30PM-5:20PM

Middle School/Jr.High
Monday's 5:00PM-6:50PM
Thursday's 5:00PM-5:50PM

High School/College
Tuesday's 6:30PM-7:30PM

Parent Group
Wednesday's 1:00PM-2:30PM
Wednesday's 7:00PM-8:30PM

Susan Stern, MSW, LCSW


Visit us at:

Help your child to develop ways to Self-Regulate = (self-control) and they will attract friendships and success into their lives.

The capacity for Self-Regulation is important core strength and it will help your child in many ways.  The ability to Self-Regulate ourselves and our behaviors is the same thing as self-control.  It develops and matures as we grow as individuals.  Basically speaking, this core strength is the ability to think before we just act.  When a child does not develop the capacity to Self-Regulate they will have problems making and keeping friends, learning in school, and controlling their behavior.       

As young children grow, they gradually learn to shift needing so much support from their parents and teachers in helping them to sooth their own distress and discomforts (e.g. hunger, fatigue, stress and frustrations) to achieving this for themselves.  When children learn to tolerate some distress they will turn to their own internal rules of ideas of appropriate behaviors and choices.  In addition, they will become more thoughtful and much less reactive and impulsive.

According to Dr. Barkley, the critical deficit associated with ADHD is the failure to develop “self-control. “  This is because of biological reasons and not parenting styles.

But other times, parents unknowingly model poor self-control at home.  Some examples of this are when they blurt out thoughtless angry and hurtful remarks to their children, or hit their child.  We need to be in control of our reactions in order to set the best examples of behavior to our children.  We need to respond appropriately.  Some parents may think hitting their child is appropriate, but I assure you it is not.

The ability for the child to Self–Regulate is the core of their behavior choices and it will help to improve their frustration tolerance, anger, aggression and anti-social behaviors.

What can we do to help our children to Self-Regulate?

  • Model self-control (Self-Regulation) using your words and your actions when you are feeling frustrated in a situation.  Talk out loud to the children.  Tell them how you feel.
  • Provide structure and predictable environments for the children.  The more freedom and less structure children have, the more they are likely to present uncontrolled behaviors.
  • Anticipate transitions in the week or daily activities, even vacation time, and talk about them with your child.  Talk about how they feel when they experience a transition.  Remind them that transitions are temporary.
  • Notice your child’s good Self-Regulation = (self-control) ability.  Notice the good stuff and tell them you notice.  Reward them too.  Pay less attention to the negative, for what you think about and fuss about you bring about.  Bring about more good behavior; it works!
  • Try to surround your impulsive child with children who are not impulsive.  Three children with trouble around self-control issues are not going to play together smoothly. Thoughtfully, encourage other friendships too.  We all need balance in our relationships with others.  This includes all of us.
  • Redirect your child’s inappropriate words and actions in a productive and helpful way, not an angry way.  (Where you lose your self-control…)If other children are present, this will help them to feel safer.
  • A child with Self-Regulation issues will benefit from a weekly Social Skills Group (A Friendship Group), where they can slow down, receive support, and work on these very issues with a thoughtful professional.
  • Seek the help and support you need.  Do not be afraid to point out your child’s Self-Regulation issues and problems to the teacher or a professional.
  • According to Dr. Barkely, the most successful treatment for the child with ADHD is the education of the family and school to better understand the nature of the disorder and its management, as well as stimulant medications.

-- Susan Stern, LCSW is the founder of The Social Skills Place, Inc.

Some ideas learned from David Rabiner, Ph.D. Duke University, Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D. International authority on brain development and Dr. Russell Barkley Ph. D., Authority on ADHD.

The Social Skills Place, Inc. :: 310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201 :: Northfield, Illinois 60093
Office 847 446-7430 :: Cell 847 507-8834 :: www.socialskillsplace.com
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