Interpersonal Skills Guidance

Adolescence is a time of dramatic change where they discover a sense of self-worth and expanded cognitive abilities. As they grow, relationships with parents and peers may change and take on an added dimension, accompanied with the development of social skills to maintain relationships. Adolescence is the time to develop healthy and balanced relationships which play a significant role in the teenager's overall development, academic performance in school, psychological health and carve a positive path to successful relations when the teens become adults.
 
Adolescents may experience difficulties getting along with peers at some point during their developmental phase. Sometimes these problems and the effects of being left out or teased by classmates are transitory. Adolescents, who have problems making friends, or experience 'neglect' or 'rejection' socially, often show deficits in interpersonal skills. 
 
Undoubtedly, parents are the primary source of social and emotional support for adolescents and also play a major role in an adolescent's healthy identity formation in these developmental years of life. Parents are the primary context for social development and may help the adolescents to develop interpersonal skills by teaching them the following practices: 
 
  1. Make use of appropriate greetings. This is not only a pleasant gesture, but also enhances the chances for a healthy communication.
  2. Encourage to initiate activities or participate in activities involving peers and other people.
  3. Try and focus on beginning and continuing a conversation without too many distractions.
  4. Being assertive while presenting one's views, using politeness and listening carefully to the ideas and opinions of others, giving due respect to them.
  5. Try and develop an understanding of what is fair and what is unfair. This helps in lesser conflicts and better resolution.
  6. Understand social cognition cues, non-verbal signals from others, their body language, their facial expressions, etc.
  7. Appropriate participation in group situations, being neither too passive, nor aggressive.
  8. Facilitate guidance from trained professionals to develop positive interpersonal skills, which gives them the opportunity to explore their feelings, aspirations, and promote development of personal, social and academic domains of an adolescent's life.
 
"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood." - Ralph Nichols