August 2014

Aidan is quietly sitting in the corner of his new classroom looking at his classmates. He wants to go over to one or two of the children, but doesn’t know what to say to them. He’s usually shy and has trouble engaging with his peers.

Nolan walks into the cafeteria, gets his lunch and walks over to a table with kids from his 5th grade class. He is excited to be back in school after summer vacation. Nolan places his tray down and then notices the other kids turn away from him so as to exclude him from their conversation.

Tracy is in 7th grade and is taking Earth Science. The teacher has just given the class a lab to work on. Each lab is to be completed by a team of 4 students selected by the teacher. It is a group project and therefore a group grade. Tracy is ready to get to work with her fellow classmates, but they will not include her in what they are deciding to do. She feels she is too old to complain to the teacher, but has no clue how to handle this situation. Tracy resigns herself to sitting on her stool and keeping her mouth shut.

These are only a handful of instances where kids are experiencing social situations that are overwhelming, frustrating and downright sad. These kids do not know how to reverse the negative social situations they are in. They want to have a positive experience with their peers, be accepted and make friends, but do not have the knowledge or social skills.

As a parent, you may or may not know what your child is experiencing. Hopefully, most of us will be able to tell that our children are becoming socially isolated and do something about it. When our children are having difficulty with a subject in school, we seek help in either hiring a tutor or putting them in an extra help class.

Friendzonekids was created to teach those kids who have difficulty in social situations to learn the skills needed to have positive experiences with peers. More importantly, once the skills are taught they are practiced with a group of their peers so that these skills become internalized and stronger.
Children who can socially engage and participate with their peers strengthen their skills everyday. Children who have difficulty engaging become more and more socially isolated. As they get older it becomes increasingly difficult to connect and before you know it you have left elementary school, middle school, high school and college. Now you find yourself in the workplace without the knowledge of how to communicate socially with your colleagues.

Friendzonekids offers workshops throughout the year that teach social skills in a safe, nurturing environment. Children are learning how to engage with their peers and then practice those skills for reinforcement. Social scenarios are staged that encompass what these children are experiencing at home or in school on a daily basis. They are brainstorming, role playing and acting out what they should be doing in order to have positive social experiences and ultimately friends. Parents are meeting other parents and realizing they are not alone when their child is socially isolated and without a friend. Aidan, Nolan and Tracy all experienced some of the social situations that we address at Friendzonekids. We changed their names, but the social skills they learned gave them the ability to socially interact and have positive social experiences.

Please use this space to write and let us know how we can help with a particular social scenario that you would like to improve. Email me with your comments.

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