web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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


Schonfeld-logo1

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?

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Sections Stories
Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

Twenties-092614-Abrams

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

Twenties-092614-OU-Mission

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Miami businessman and philanthropist Eli Nash had many in tears as he shared his story of the horrific abuse he suffered from age 8 to 11.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

Because the children suffering from this disorder generally have wonderful verbal skills, the disability can go unrecognized for many years.

People definitely had stress one hundred and fifty years ago, but it was a different kind of stress.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

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: