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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Licate

Have You or Your Children Already Given Up Their New Year’s Resolution? Instead of Resolutions…

As a Family, Help Your Children Create Intentions Toward Improving Social Skills

This time of year, everyone asks, “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” This is a well-intentioned question. And most people think seriously about their New Year’s Resolution. It’s a goal they want to achieve for themselves, to better themselves. However, a resolution feels so absolute, you either achieve it or don’t. This perception means very few people achieve success with their New Year’s Resolution…most failing as early as the beginning of January. It’s simply written off as another failed New Year’s Resolution.

What if instead of resolutions, you and your children focus on setting an intention for the New Year? An intention is defined as a determination to act a certain way. An intention is more of a long-term goal focused on how you want to act or the type of person you want to be. I would like to be friendly to everyone. Or, I’d like to see the best in all situations. An intention isn’t abandoned with a small setback or failure because it’s a process toward achieving a goal.

Based on the social isolation all of us have experienced in 2020, an intention focused on improving social skills is perfect for children. Children have been socially isolated like never before because of the pandemic and necessary quarantining. A lot of parents worry about the negative effects of social isolation. This is especially true if you’ve kept your family isolated while you see other children socializing in pods or centers that function like small schools. Is your child falling behind socially? Are these children learning valuable social lessons through their interactions while your child doesn’t have this chance? We all know that children navigate so many social situations and we want them to have the necessary skills. But, often parents don’t know where to start?

Books provide an easy way to teach children social skills and start these important conversations. There are many books that address social emotional development in children. My two books coming out January 2021 address social skills that almost every preteen and teen encounter. Am I Weird? teaches the importance in valuing your uniqueness, being true to yourself and finding friends who respect and value you. I Lost my BFF teaches children about jealousy and rejection within friendships and the qualities of a good friend.

Adults can learn alongside their children, as they read together. This was evidenced through a book review from Julie Doran via Boys Town Press website, “As a parent I almost cried reading the story because I could relate to those feelings and have children of my own who have experienced the loneliness of not fitting in. Jennifer has woven a story that will help kids and parents deal with these feelings and feel better about themselves.” Another review from Heather Dannewitz via NetGalley further illustrates this point. “Friendship can be a tight rope walk we are all still learning how to balance. If you are searching for an age appropriate book for your preteen on the topic of friendship, then I recommend the upcoming I Lost my BFF…Even being an adult I gleaned a lot from this little book for kids. I think we always crave to have that one best friend that stands by our side unconditionally. That’s a nice dream, but we can’t hog others from also making best friends.”

Please share additional books that have helped your children with social emotional development issues.

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