As a parent, it is natural to want to ensure that your child is well-equipped to navigate the social world around them. Whether it be making friends at school, engaging in conversations with peers, or simply feeling confident in social situations, the ability to interact effectively with others is an important aspect of a child’s overall development.
Cathi Cohen, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of the Washington D.C. based In Step Social Skills Group, has dedicated her career to helping children and adolescents improve their social skills. In her book, “How to Cultivate Your Child’s Social IQ,” Cohen offers a wealth of information and practical strategies for parents looking to foster social competency in their children.
Cohen begins by emphasizing the importance of understanding that social skills are not innate, but rather something that can be learned and developed over time. She encourages parents to view the process of teaching social skills as a continuous journey, rather than a one-time event.
One key aspect of Cohen’s approach is the emphasis on helping children understand and regulate their emotions. This involves teaching children to recognize and label their emotions, as well as providing strategies for managing and expressing emotions in appropriate ways. Cohen suggests using role-playing and other interactive activities to help children practice and internalize these skills.
Another important aspect of Cohen’s approach is helping children develop the ability to take the perspective of others. This includes understanding and empathizing with the feelings and experiences of others, as well as considering the possible consequences of one’s actions on others. Cohen suggests using storytelling and other imaginative play activities to encourage children to practice taking on different perspectives.
In addition to these core skills, Cohen also covers a wide range of other topics related to social competence, including communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. She provides practical tips and strategies for parents to use at home, as well as suggestions for activities and resources that can help reinforce these skills.
Cathi Cohen’s “How to Cultivate Your Child’s Social IQ” is a valuable resource for parents looking to support their children’s social development. By offering a clear and practical approach, Cohen helps parents understand the importance of teaching social skills and provides a roadmap for doing so effectively. Whether you have a child who is just starting to navigate the social world, or one who is struggling to find their footing, this book is an excellent resource for parents looking to give their children the tools they need to succeed in social situations.