Social Competencies Teens Need (part 1)

More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute

1)  Planning and Decision Making: where teens know how to plan ahead and make choices.
When your teens receive long-term school assignments, help them plan ahead and make decisions in order to finish on time.

Talk kids through planning ahead by asking “what if” questions. This helps them think about what needs to be done and identify possible consequences of their decisions.

Encourage your teen to get involved in a long-term project (one that involves planning and coordination) at school or in the community.

Be intentional about letting kids make plans for a family party or event. Let them help make guest lists, plan the budget, shop for food and decorations. Enlist the whole family to make the event a success.

Provide your children with daily planners to help them organize their homework assignments, tests, and after-school activities.

2) Interpersonal Competence: where teens have empathy, sensitivity and friendship skills.
Remind your children that they need to treat you with respect and good manners such as saying “please” and “thank you”, and acknowledging your presence in a positive way!

Make it a policy to never speak poorly of others in your home.

Use “active listening” with your children: Ask good questions, paraphrase what they say to make sure you understand, and show that you empathize with what they are saying.

Teach your children—through modeling and explanation—how to use “I” statements to express feelings to one another without making accusations (for example: “I feel angry when you say that,” instead of “You make me so mad, or “You are so stupid.”)

Encourage your child to develop friendships of all ages in a number of different settings, such as school, a faith community, your neighborhood, or your extended family.