Social Skills Training for Parents and Educators: 10 Tips To Work with Your Own Emotions

Your success in working with people, and especially with your challenging loved ones, is tied to how emotionally intelligent you operate. Keep these tips in mind as you interact with others, in particular if there is a diagnosis, such as Asperger Syndrome or ADHD, where behavior change is a primary goal. By first understanding and working with your own feelings, you can set the stage for magical results with the very challenging people in your life!

1. Know your feelings – and how strong they may be – before you get into action with your challenging people.

2. Make behavior decisions that you will feel proud of. Your style will be their style. “They” learn by watching you and listening to you.

3. Know what others are feeling. Understand that you may not agree.

4. Find the words to convey your feelings without denying someone else theirs.

5. Seek out the good things in a situation, even if they are microscopic or a real stretch.

6. Be persistent – appropriately! Stay on track. Back off the track when you know you will get nowhere right now.

7. Monitor your impulses. Reflect on your own thinking that won’t help in the bigger picture.

8. You may need to withdraw your approval. But in the process don’t withdraw the love.

9. Have tools to manage your emotions before you are swept away by them.

10. Think about how you deliver your message. What would you be feeling if you were on the receiving end? Care about the feelings of the other person. It’s just the good old golden rule.

Refer to and live by these ‘process’ steps as you work with your challenging people and you will begin to see and feel how much easier it all can be.

Parents of Aspergers Children, Don’t Be Intimidated by Medical and Educational Professionals

After raising children for sixteen years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts. In fact, one psychologist told me that I have a PhD in my children. In this particular case he was referring to my autistic son, who was five years old at the time.

He said, “You’ve been studying him for five years now. That’s how long it takes some psychologists to earn their PhD. You are an expert on your son. Don’t let anyone tell you different.”

Medical Personnel:

I wish I had this much confidence in myself when my middle son was an infant. I kept taking him in for his well baby check ups and complained about developmental delays. He was months behind his brother for smiling, babbling, crawling, walking, talking, etc.

I was intimidated into not looking for answers for three years by one simple comment from his doctor. “Oh, you had the perfect child first.” When my son was three and a half years old, I ventured to ask my own physician in the same family practice. She administered some developmental tests on the spot. Then she immediately handed me a referral to a children’s developmental clinic.

It turned out I was correct in my concern. My son received the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome from this clinic. Fortunately, my son was not adversely affected by the delay in a diagnosis and early interventions.

Educational Professionals:

When I took my son into preschool, the vice principal told me that my son was too young to receive a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. When I requested my son be tested for speech and language disabilities, I was told that he had none. The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) my son had at the beginning of preschool was withdrawn.

In kindergarten my son came home thirty-eight days in a row having had a wetting accident during class. I thought I had complained to everyone that something was wrong. Maybe I did and maybe I didn’t. All I know is after a meeting between my attorney and specialists and the school board’s vice superintendent, attorney and the school’s principal, my son was immediately moved to a different classroom and teacher. The wetting accidents stopped.

There was a discrepancy between the quality of work he was bringing home and what he was doing at home. I felt my son had a learning disability. The school did not. I went to the local learning disability advocates who confirmed that the school did not have to do anything more for my child. I hired an attorney and educational consultant who affirmed my position.