web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Other Side of the Story — Reflections on the Social Experience in School


Schonfeld-logo1

Share Button

Sara is pulling straight A’s in all of her classes.  She scores high grades on most of her exams and tests.  You would think that she and her parents would be thrilled with her progress.  But Sara is struggling in school despite her academic excellence.  Socially, she is a wreck.  While all the other girls easily group together during recess she has few friends, little social contact, and she is generally reclusive and shy around classmates and teachers.

Aaron is a completely different story.  He’s not much of a student at all.  He barely gets by in his schoolwork and his Rebbeim are disappointed in his grades.  Aaron’s social status is also suffering, but in a completely different way than Sara’s.  He is aggressive with his peers and disruptive in class.  He calls out at all the wrong times and he speaks in a very loud voice.  Aaron’s classmates are uncomfortable around him, and generally avoid him during recess.  Like Sara, he doesn’t have many friends.

Sara and Aaron are two very different children who are dealing with completely different issues.  Yet, they both need help developing their social skills.  Parents of children who are socially inept are frustrated and often feel guilty.  Perhaps if they would have spent more time with the child, if they would have set up play-dates more often, if they would have organized social activities early on, none of this would have happened.  But the truth is that it’s nobody’s fault and nobody should be feeling guilty.  Children are basically born with social skills, or they’re not.  It’s part of their nature.  The same way that Sara was born “gifted” in academics, she was born “inept” in social skills.  She may even have a twin sister who is a social butterfly or a brother who’s the most popular kid in class.  But Sara herself needs help in this area.

What can we do to help children like Sara and Aaron?  First the problem needs to be identified.  This is not easy, because parents are reluctant to admit that a social problem exists and there’s plenty of denial in this area.  Yet those who are honest with themselves and their children will recognize the warning signals.  Here are some of the things parents of children like Sara should look out for:

1.  Weak greeting skills — If a child has trouble responding to a simple “Sholom Aleichem” or “How are you?” this can signify weak social skills.

2.  Social discomfort — Is the child noticeably uncomfortable with peers?  Is he or she nervous or inhibited at parties and social gatherings?

3.  Weak requesting skills — Is the child afraid to ask for something he needs?  Does she avoid asking a question in class or asking the clerk in a store for change?

Children like Aaron may present other socially inept patterns such as:

1. Problematic conflict resolution — Does the child have trouble settling minor social disputes?  Do these disputes often result in aggression?  Will this child pick a fight over something trivial like where to sit on the school bus?

2. Poorly regulated humor — Is the child using the wrong kind of humor in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Will he make an offensive joke in front of a person of authority?  Does he try to be a clown during serious moments in class?

3. Poor social memory — Does the child have trouble learning from past social experiences?  Is he repeating negative behaviors even though they have offended people in the past?

Share Button

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “The Other Side of the Story — Reflections on the Social Experience in School”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Schonfeld-logo1

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

The key to kindness and acceptance is empathy. A lot of people argue that you cannot teach empathy. While I agree that it is difficult to teach empathy, I believe it is possible.

By multiple intelligences, we mean that people have different intelligences in different areas.

Explosiveness is not confined to a type or a gender. It comes in male and female children, and in all ages, shapes and sizes. Some blow up dozens of times a day, others just a few times a week. Some “lose it” only at home, others only in school, and still others in any conceivable location.

The truth is that you never know what’s going on in a house until you live in it.

Q: What does twice exceptional or 2e mean?

Shimon quickly shoveled a forkful of rice into his mouth, while attempting to scribble the right math equations into his workbook. “(2 x 34 -11)2” he said between mouthfuls. “Mommy, I got some rice on my paper, but I have to finish this before it is time to go in the shower,” Shimon choked out.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-other-side-of-the-story-reflections-on-the-social-experience-in-school/2011/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: