October 2009 - Volume 46
  Helping Children and Adolescents Succeed Socially!
The Social Skills Groups   Build new friendships and rebuild important relationships.

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-4:50PM
Wednesday's 4:30PM-5:20PM

Middle School/Jr.High
Monday's 5:00PM-6:00PM
Wednesday's 5:30PM-6:30PM

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:

The building of relationships requires the building of trust.  What is trust?  Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose.  Relationships and true friendships are built on the premise of trust.

Successful relationships that last attribute their success to three important values: Commitment, communication and friendship.  What is commitment?  Some words that come to mind may be: Hanging in there; devotion, loyalty, teamwork and trust.   If you listen well people will trust you.  You cannot establish trust if you cannot listen well to others.  A conversation is a relationship.  (Communication) It is like throwing the ball back and forth to each other.  Both people, the speaker and the listener, play a part, each influencing the other. We can see how all these values are interrelated and important.  Finally, what is friendship?  Friendship is the cooperative and supportive relationship between two or more people.

Now that we better understand the secret to successful relations with others, how can we achieve this with our spouse? Our child? Or how can we help our child to build this with another child?  (And remember, if we as parents can do this successfully ourselves, our kids will model our ways.)

For the children in our lives:

  • We learn how to get along by watching other kids.
  • We quietly can learn new ways and behaviors in order to be successful just by observing other successful kids.
  • We learn new skills and information from playing with or alongside kids too.
  • We can become better at communicating because we want to play with and be accepted by kids/friends. 
  • So to the parents out there…Let your children make plans and play dates with other children so they have a lot of chances to learn to get along with others.  Have children over to your home so they can play with your children.

Tasks. What are they? 
They are usually assigned piece of work often to be finished within a certain time.

  1. We need to set up a few tasks for ourselves.
  2. The task of doing something pleasant with someone we love, perhaps in our family.
  3. Or the task of doing something pleasant with a kid or friend from school or some other place, perhaps, camp, church, synagogue, the neighborhood, a class outside of school.

Building relationship.

  1. Just like building a new building or building with Lego’s or blocks, we need to build a new relation to the person we have in mind.
  2. We simply make plans with the person and enjoy.  We act appropriately.  We try our best to be a good listener.  We try our best to compromise.  We try our best to be cooperative.
  3. Then just enjoy and have fun.
  4. These good times will build a new relationship.  Sometimes it is a brand new relationship.  Sometimes we are trying to improve a relationship.  This task and experience will replace the old relationship if that is the case.
  5. Remember the importance of commitment, listening, communication, trust, and friendship.

Ask your child to tell you:
Two things you do say or behave that works well with other kids?

Ask your child to tell you:
Two things that do not work well with other kids?

Very often people continue to do things that are not successful for them.  Tell your children to repeat what works well with other kids, and to not repeat the things that do not work well.

To have a friend is simpler than you think…“To have a friend, all you have to do is be a friend.”

Have fun building!

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

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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