Teenager with mother

Social skills don’t stop at “please” and “thank you”.

We all know that young children need to be taught social skills and usually feel like we’ve succeeded once we get them to say “please” and”thank you” and to remember their table manners.  But the lessons don’t stop there – here are social skills for teens to master:

* Making eye contact.  Yup, I know you’ve probably already spent some time on this lesson when they were young –  but the array of awkward changes adolescents go through often render them a little shy and sulky and you might need to reiterate the importance of making good eye-contact when speaking to others.

* Shaking hands: Also spend some time teaching your children (especially their daughters) how to shake hands properly.  Use a firm grip, but not one that borders on being bone crushingly tight.

* Saying please and thank you without being prompted.

* Making phone calls.  I’m amazed at how few teens know how to make a formal phone call or even how to answer the phone properly.  This is a basic life skill and might be instrumental in landing that dream job one day.

* Treating others with respect when they do not get their way.  Many of the adults I know still haven’t learnt to do this.  You might want to add respecting those from which they do not stand to gain anything.

* Being flexible. Not only will this go a long way in promoting peace and harmony in your home, but it also promotes the development of problem solving skills.

* Standing up for what they believe in without becoming aggressive and disrespectful to those who hold another perspective.

* Standing up for others