web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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


Schonfeld-logo1

Parents of children who are dealing with these issues need not despair.  There is plenty of help available for these youngsters and with the proper intervention and training they can change dramatically.  The first step is to bring the child to a professional who specializes in social skills training in order to be evaluated.  Discuss the issues candidly and be very specific.  Give examples of how the child acts and reacts in class.  It would be helpful to get some feedback from teachers and administrators in school as well.

It is very important to realize that not every child who is unpopular has social skills issues.  Not every child should or could conform to the rigid social expectations of their peers.  In some cases, children are just different and are expressing their individuality.  They should be admired for this and it should be recognized that individuality is one thing and social incompetence is something else entirely.  It’s best to discuss these issues with a professional counselor so that a proper evaluation can be made.

Once it’s determined that there is a problem what can a social worker do?  Role-playing is an important factor in learning to develop proper social skills.  Amazing as it may seem, many of these children are clueless that they are dong something wrong.  A professional can gently but firmly guide the child in the proper direction and offer advice on how to deal with real-life situations.

Parents can do some of these things as well.  For example, Sara’s mother can say, “Next time Mrs. Horowitz calls me, it would be nice for you to say, ‘Hello, how are you?’ before you hand me the phone.”  Or alternatively, she could say, “I was really impressed with the way you said mazel tov so nicely to the kallah at the vort we went to last night.”

Aaron’s parents can encourage him as well.  His father can tell him, “I’ll bet that the Rebbe would be very happy if you spoke to him quietly after class about the fight you had with Yankie instead of speaking loudly during the shiur.” He could also say, “It’s a good thing you didn’t make any jokes when the Rebbe was telling a story today.  Now he knows that you are mature enough to be in the sixth grade.”

What if the social ineptitude is so great that the child is being ridiculed and harassed by his or her peers?  Unfortunately, this does happen and at times like this the school administration should get involved.   It may be necessary for a teacher or administrator to lecture the class on proper midos and to discuss the cruelty of rejection and of bullying others.  It should be made clear that such behavior is unacceptable and that disciplinary action may be taken to punish children who are involved in these activities.

A caring and wise teacher can make all the difference in the world.  There are countless opportunities to guide and encourage children like these and the positive benefits can last for years.  If Sara’s morah would praise her in public, if she would say what a fine job she did on a school project, it would bring her one step closer to acquiring the self confidence that she so desperately needs.  Similarly, if Aaron’s rebbe would allow him to mentor a younger student, it would give him the sense of responsibility that could make a big difference in his behavior.  In short, it will tell these kids that we believe in them, that we have high expectations of them, and that we are confident that they will perform well. 

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.

Current Top Story
Amb. Thomas Pickering testified before the  House Armed Services Committee,  about Iran's nuclear program on June 19, 2014.
Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Twenties-041715-Hat

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

Teens-Twenties-logo

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

A lot of people have heard about dyslexia, a learning disability that concerns reading.

Because birth order can affect most children in similar fashion, there are things you can do to help your children overcome weaknesses that birth order has thrown their way.

Occasionally, a teacher will encounter a student who simply cannot be motivated to do his homework, finish his worksheet or study for a test.

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

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: