Faye de Muyshondt

Founder and Author
socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS

Expert: Faye de Muyshondt

Faye de Muyshondt is the founder of socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS, an internationally acclaimed program featuring modern-day social and communication skills workshops for kids and young adults.

She is the author of the award-winning book socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS (Running Press, 2013) that Parents Magazine calls a “must-read book for parents raising children in the digital world” and she is a Today Show contributor.

De Muyshondt and socialsklz:-) have been featured on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Daily Mail, to name just a few. She was previously an Adjunct Professor at New York University in the department of Media, Culture, and Communications and at the Fordham Graduate School of Business. She holds a BA in Communications from Boston College. Faye resides in New York with her husband, daughter, son and polite pooch.

Related Work
Visit the socialsklz website
Purchase Faye's book on Amazon.com

More From This Expert

Interview

6 Skills Needed for All Jobs Regardless of Field

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BODY <p>You have likely heard about “soft skills” before. But what are they? Sometimes referred to as “21<sup>st</sup>-century skills,” “interpersonal skills,” or “applied skills,” they are the skills that are non-technical or specific to a certain job. They are the skills that help you think, communicate with people, and reflect on your experiences. Basically, your young adult needs them to thrive in the workforce. Career coach Jane Horowitz says the basis of her coaching practice is “hire for attitude, train for skills,” and she sees will and drive as being the greatest determinants of young adults getting hired.</p> <p>“We hear it time and time again, it’s the soft skills,” says Terri Tchorzynski, 2017 National School Counselor of the Year. “That’s what allows you to keep the job. Employers can hire our students and train them, but if they don't have the soft skills, it's really hard for them to stay employed."</p> <p>According to the Harvard University “<a href="http://www.gse.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011-1.pdf">Pathways to Prosperity Project</a>” study in 2011, U.S. employers are increasingly seeing students graduate from college unequipped to survive in the 21st century workforce. Specifically, they are “deficient” in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and communication. Bruce Tulgan, founder and CEO of <a href="http://rainmakerthinking.com/">Rainmaker Thinking</a> and expert and author on young people in the workplace, has been tracking the generational change in the workplace since 1993. According to Tulgan (and many other experts and employers), there is a <a href="http://rainmakerthinking.com/assets/uploads/2016/06/Gen-Shift-White-Paper-2016_June.2016.pdf">gap</a> in soft skills from previous generations to the generation entering the workforce today. <a href="https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/class-2015-skills-qualities-employers-want.aspx">Employers want</a> certain skills in their employees, regardless of the field. And not only do employers want these skills, but employment and wages have increased in most occupations that require higher social or analytical skills (<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/13/jobs-requiring-preparation-social-skills-or-both-expected-to-grow-most/">like communication, management, or leaderships skills</a>), according to <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/06/key-findings-about-the-american-workforce-and-the-changing-job-market/">Pew Research</a>. Most workers understand this too; according to <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/the-state-of-american-jobs/st_2016-10-06_jobs-55/">Pew Research</a>, workers say softs skills are more important than technical skills in order to do their jobs.</p> <p>The value of these soft skills can be considered good news! No matter what students study in school or what path they take after high school, they can work to learn these skills to help them be successful in the workplace. These are the six skills your young adult will need no matter what their career path:</p>
BODYES <p>Seguramente has escuchado hablar sobre las “habilidades sociales” pero ¿qué son? A veces se las llama “habilidades para el siglo 21”, “habilidades interpersonales” o “habilidades aplicadas”. Se trata de aquellas habilidades que no son de índole técnica o que son específicas para un trabajo en particular. Son las habilidades que te ayudan a pensar, a comunicarte con la gente y a reflexionar sobre tus experiencias. Básicamente, tu hijo las necesita para desarrollarse en el mundo laboral. La orientadora Jane Horowitz explica que el lema que transmite a sus consultantes es “contratar según la actitud, capacitar para dar habilidades”, y considera que la voluntad y la motivación son los factores determinantes al momento de contratar jóvenes adultos.</p> <p>“Escuchamos constantemente que todo se reduce a las habilidades sociales”, dice Terri Tchorzynski, Consejera Escolar Nacional del Año 2017. “Eso es lo que te permite conservar el trabajo. Los empleadores pueden contratar y capacitar a nuestros hijos, pero si ellos no cuentan con habilidades sociales será muy difícil para ellos mantener su puesto de trabajo”.</p> <p>Según un estudio realizado en 2011 por la Universidad de Harvard, “<a href="http://www.gse.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011-1.pdf">Pathways to Prosperity Project (Proyecto Caminos hacia la Prosperidad)</a>“, los empleadores estadounidenses ven con cada vez más frecuencia que los estudiantes se gradúan de la universidad pero no cuentan con las herramientas necesarias para sobrevivir en el mundo laboral del siglo 21. Más específicamente, carecen de habilidades tales como pensamiento crítico, solución de problemas, creatividad y comunicación. Bruce Tulgan, fundador y Director ejecutivo de <a href="http://rainmakerthinking.com/">Rainmaker Thinking</a>, y autor de publicaciones sobre los jóvenes en el lugar de trabajo ha estado llevando un registro de los cambios generacionales en el mundo laboral desde 1993. Según Tulgan (y muchos otros expertos y empleadores), existe una <a href="http://rainmakerthinking.com/assets/uploads/2016/06/Gen-Shift-White-Paper-2016_June.2016.pdf">brecha</a> de habilidades sociales entre las generaciones anteriores y la generación que ingresa al mundo laboral actual. <a href="https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/class-2015-skills-qualities-employers-want.aspx">Los empleadores buscan</a> que sus empleados cuenten con ciertas habilidades, independientemente del área de trabajo. Y según <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/06/key-findings-about-the-american-workforce-and-the-changing-job-market/">Pew Research</a>, no solo los empleadores buscan estas habilidades, sino que también ha aumentado la demanda y los salarios en la mayoría de los trabajos que requieren de habilidades sociales o analíticas más elevadas (<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/13/jobs-requiring-preparation-social-skills-or-both-expected-to-grow-most/">como por ejemplo habilidades de comunicación, gestión o liderazgo</a>). La mayoría de los trabajadores también comprende esto, y según <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/the-state-of-american-jobs/st_2016-10-06_jobs-55/">Pew Research</a>, los trabajadores dicen que para hacer su trabajo las habilidades sociales son más importantes que las habilidades técnicas.</p> <p>Podemos decir entonces que es una buena noticia que se de tanta importancia a las habilidades sociales. No importa lo que los niños estudien en la escuela o qué decidan hacer al terminar la escuela secundaria, pueden aprender a desarrollar estas habilidades que les serán útiles en su futuro lugar de trabajo. Estas son las seis habilidades que un joven adulto necesitará, no importa la profesión que elija.</p>
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interview handshake

Interviewing 101

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BODY <p>Most of us have to interview at some point, and it’s likely that we will interview many times over the course of our lifetimes. As your teen enters the workforce and/or heads off to college, having interviewing skills is essential. For those who have never had a formal interview, it can be nerve-racking and difficult to know what to expect. While you cannot be there during their interview (you really can’t), you can be a good sounding board to help them prepare and practice for it. Start by reading this guide, then pass it off to your young adult so they know what to expect during an interview. </p>
BODYES <p>La mayoría de nosotros en algún momento hemos tenido una entrevista, y es muy posible que tengamos que entrevistar muchas veces a lo largo de nuestras vidas. A medida que tu hijo comienza a insertarse en el mundo laboral o se prepara para ir a la universidad, es fundamental que cuente con las herramientas necesarias para enfrentar una entrevista. Para quienes nunca antes han tenido una entrevista formal, esta situación puede ser muy estresante y es muy difícil saber qué esperar. Si bien no puedes estar presente durante la entrevista (en serio, no puedes), puedes ayudar a tu hijo a practicar y prepararse. Lee esta guía y luego compártela con tu hijo para saber qué esperar durante una entrevista. </p>
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Moving Out

8 Life Skills Your Teen Needs Before Moving Out

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BODY <p>When high school graduates move out of the house, many parents wonder “Are they ready?” or “Will they be ok?” Ideally, you have been slowly giving your child more and more responsibility over the years, and they are ready to be fully independent before moving out. But in reality, sometimes schedules and other life demands can get in the way of teaching important – if basic—life skills. Here are eight things our experts say every kid should be able to do in order to be a responsible, independent young adult.</p> <p>Can your teen...</p>
BODYES <p>Cuando los hijos se mudan para ir a la universidad muchos padres se preguntan “¿Está preparado?”, “¿Estará bien?”. Lo ideal es que poco a poco, y a medida que tus hijos crecen, les asignes cada vez más responsabilidades y tareas. De esta manera, estarán preparados para ser totalmente independientes antes de irse. Pero la realidad es que las actividades cotidianas y otras exigencias de la vida suelen interponerse en el camino de la enseñanza de estas habilidades clave, si no básicas. Estas son las ocho cosas que, según nuestros expertos, todo adolescente debe ser capaz de hacer para ser un adulto joven responsable e independiente. </p> <p>¿Tu hijo sabe... </p>
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Shaking Hands

Encouraging Manners in High School

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BODY <p>Good social skills involve polite behaviors like greeting others, shaking hands, maintaining eye contact, taking turns, listening, and saying “please” and “thank you.” They also involve helping others, knowing how to behave in a variety of settings and applying proper etiquette in different situations. Manners and politeness can be linked to social success and to a person’s sense of respect for themselves and others. During the high school years, your teen may not fully understand the importance of good social skills, but if you talk to them regularly about the benefits of being polite, they will be better-able to see how their social graces contribute to their interactions and relationships.</p> <p>Talk to your teen about their personal “brand.” People’s social behavior has a major impact on how they relate to others, and it’s important to remind your teen that when they are out in the world, they are representing himself or herself and their own brand. Personal branding involves considering your values and how you want to be perceived by others, and ways that you can live your life by those standards. Tom Hoerr, Head of St. Louis-based New City School, suggests that you ask your teen to offer three words that describe their brand. If your teen is receptive to this, ask how those words are different today than they would have been ten years ago. This reflection helps your teen think about maturity and growth. What does this have to do with your teen’s social skills? The way a person interacts and treats others is a direct reflection of their brand, and if your teen is courteous, kind and polite, they are positively influencing how others see them. Explain to them that by simple gestures like saying “thank you,” acknowledging a person’s ideas or holding the door open for them can create a positive impression. Discussing these matters with your teen will help them realize how important good manners are to their personal growth and success.</p> <p>Work on the art of sincere compliments. Compliments are a perfect example of how a polite and kind gesture can make a difference. Try to find frequent opportunities to compliment your teen, as this allows them to see kindness and praise in action. For example, if your teen passes their driving test or if they do well at school, point out how their hard work and determination made these things possible. It can something as simple as, “I’m proud of you for passing your driving test. You did so much to prepare for it, and you even missed your friend’s birthday party to attend driving lessons. Great job!” Talk to your teen about the impact that compliments have on others, and ask them about times they have received compliments and how it felt. Explain to them that many other teens are going through challenging times in high school, and that by finding ways to praise them, they can help them realize their own strengths and possibly contribute to their self-esteem. Discuss ways they can pay compliments without seeming artificial, and ask them to try to give at least one person a compliment each week. Neurologist and teacher Judy Willis says that praise should be specific and include recognition of effort. Author Faye de Muyshondt suggests that you also talk to your teen about the difference between an inappropriate compliment, like commenting on a person’s body, as some words of praise can cross the line and make others uncomfortable.</p>
BODYES <p>Las buenas habilidades sociales involucran comportamientos amables como saludar a las demás personas, darse la mano, mantener el contacto visual, turnarse, escuchar y decir “por favor” y “gracias.” También incluye ayudar a las demás personas, saber cómo comportarse en diversos contextos y aplicar el protocolo adecuado en diferentes situaciones. Los modales y la amabilidad pueden estar vinculados al éxito social y al sentido de respeto de sí mismo y de las demás personas. Durante la escuela secundaria, su hijo adolescente quizás todavía no comprende plenamente la importancia de las buenas habilidades sociales, pero si habla con él de manera frecuente sobre los beneficios de ser amable, él podrá ver mejor cómo estas habilidades contribuyen a sus interacciones y a las relaciones. </p> <p>Hable con su adolescente sobre su “marca” personal. El comportamiento social de las personas tiene un fuerte impacto en cómo se relacionan con las demás personas, y es importante recordarle a su hijo que cuando sale al mundo, se representa a sí mismo y a su marca. La marca personal involucra la consideración de sus valores y cómo quiere que lo perciban las demás personas, y las maneras en las cuales usted puede vivir su vida basado en esas normas. Tom Hoerr, director de la escuela New City School en St. Louis, sugiere que le pida a su hijo que le dé tres palabras que describan su marca. Pregúntele cómo esas palabras son diferentes hoy de lo que hubiesen sido hace diez años atrás. Esta reflexión ayuda a que su hijo adolescente piense sobre la madurez y el crecimiento, agrega. ¿Qué tiene que ver esto con las habilidades sociales de su hijo adolescente? La manera en la cual una persona interactúa y trata a las demás personas es un reflejo directo de su marca, y si su hijo adolescente es cortés, atento y amable, influenciará positivamente la manera en que los demás lo ven. Expliquele a su hijo que gestos simples como decir “gracias,” o reconocer las ideas de una persona pueden crear una impresión positiva. Analizar estos asuntos con su hijo adolescente lo ayudará a darse cuenta de la importancia de las buenas habilidades sociales para su crecimiento y éxito personal.</p> <p>Enséñele a su hijo la importancia de los elogios sinceros. Los elogios son un perfecto ejemplo de cómo un gesto amable y bondadoso puede hacer una diferencia en las vidas de otros. Trate de buscar oportunidades frecuentes para elogiar a su adolescente, ya que esto le permite a su hijo ver la bondad y el elogio puestos en práctica. Por ejemplo, si su hijo aprueba el examen de conducción o si le va bien en la escuela, indique cómo su trabajo arduo y su determinación hizo que esto fuera posible. Puede decir algo tan sencillo como “Estoy orgulloso de ti por haber aprobado tu examen de conducción. Hiciste tanto para prepararte para esto, e incluso no fuiste a la fiesta de cumpleaños de tu amigo para asistir a las clases de conducción. ¡Muy buen trabajo!” Hable con su hijo sobre el impacto que los elogios tienen en los demás, y pregúntele sobre las veces que ha recibido elogios y cómo se sintió. Explíquele que muchos adolescentes experimentan momentos desafiantes en la escuela secundaria, y que si encuentra maneras de elogiarlos, les puede ayudar a darse cuenta de sus propias fortalezas y, posiblemente, contribuir a su autoestima. Hable sobre las maneras en las que puede elogiar sin parecer artificial, y pídale que intente dar un elogio a, al menos, una persona por semana. La neuróloga y maestra Judy Willis dice que el elogio debe ser específico e incluir el reconocimiento del esfuerzo. La autora Faye de Muyshondt sugiere que también hable con su hijo adolescente sobre la diferencia entre un elogio inapropiado como, por ejemplo, hacer un comentario sobre el cuerpo de una persona, ya que algunas palabras de elogio pueden excederse y hacer que otras personas se sientan incómodas.</p>
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kids jumping silhouette

Participation Trophies Keep Us from Finding Our True Strengths

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BODY <p>One of the main tenets in parenting, beyond academics, is to set our children up with the tools to function independently as productive members of society. As such, we work arduously at equipping them with the vital and vast skills to do so. And, part of life is knowing that we don’t win at everything. We’re not all the “best” at everything we set out to do, and we don’t all receive rewards, ribbons, and trophies merely for showing up. </p> <p>I vividly remember as a child taking on my first musical instrument. The excitement abounded when my brand new oboe arrived in a school-wide delivery of hundreds of instruments. I proudly walked home with it, put it all together, and began practicing. But, practice after practice, I quickly realized that I had very little skill when it came to playing the oboe.</p> <p>It became painfully apparent when I “fake” played through our very first concert because I couldn’t keep up (and worse, I was the only oboe player in the band). The reality was that I couldn’t string together the notes to carry a tune and it became painstaking for me to attend band practice and no matter how hard I worked at it at home, it didn’t help. Everyone knew it: Mr. Marrapodi, my peers, and more importantly I knew it.<br /> <br /> After that first concert, I requested to quit the oboe and to stop playing with the band.  Much to my chagrin, my parents insisted that I fulfill my commitment and then, I could drop it (thankfully the oboe had been rented). That day couldn’t come soon enough and once it did, it paved the way for me to spend more time on extracurricular activities that I was far more gifted at and that felt far more enjoyable: sports. </p> <p>In that story, there are so many lessons that I learned as a child. I was humbled to find out that I wasn’t great at everything I set out to do. I learned that failure is part of life (a subject I spend an entire chapter on in my book), and I also learned to express myself in a situation that I wanted so badly to change. And finally, I learned that I wasn’t going to feel good even if I was rewarded with playing in a concert or worse, receiving a trophy. </p> <p>Participation, hard work and persistence, as was the case for my sticking through a year of oboe, can easily be recognized through words, but not with a trophy. I knew I wasn’t good at the oboe and receiving a trophy wouldn’t have done anything for me. If anything, it would have made me embarrassed. And the reality is, we don’t receive trophies for everything we do in life. What better lesson to impart to our children.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Follow the Parent Toolkit on <a href="http://bit.ly/2bQX6cp" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/educationnation" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/theparenttoolkit/" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</strong></p>
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Family Dinner

Social Skills for the Holidays

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BODY <p>With the holiday season upon us, kids are likely to find themselves in many social situations. From family gatherings to holiday parties, the ability for your child to have a conversation will go a long way. Not only is the art of conversation important for kids, it’s a skill parents value as well. In fact, <a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=B32DD6D0-ACA3-11E4-B6B70050569A5318">54% of parents</a> say that having good social and communication skills is the most important skill for their child’s success. However, just like so many other social skills, conversing with others is rarely taught, and yet the ability to do so is a vital skill set for life.</p> <p>I love teaching kids conversational skills. It’s like introducing them to a whole new world that’s not only empowering, but self-esteem boosting.  Think about it for a second. Have you ever had a lesson on conversational skills? Did anyone ever teach you how to initiate, maintain or close a conversation?  Have you ever been taught how to listen effectively? At <a href="http://socialsklz.com/" target="_blank">socialsklz:-)</a> we start teaching these skills as early as age 4 and when I ask students how to start a conversation most respond, “ugh…well, I’m not really sure” or a 4-year-old will chime in, “I like your shirt!” </p> <p>Instead of simply assuming that kids will just pick up the ability to converse along the way, parents need to be intentional and teach children this vital skill.  Based on the fact that we encounter and communicate with others all day, every day, and we will continue to do so for the rest of our lives, why not spend a little bit of time explaining to kids how to communicate?  I can assure you that the time you invest in teaching these skills now will pay off in spades in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=79E35060-481D-11E5-8F900050569A5318" target="_blank">READ: Right Foot Forward</a></p> <p>Start with these 5 simple, at-home tips to set your child up for conversational success during the holidays and in the future:</p> <h4><strong>Equip with Questions</strong></h4> <p>Always have 3 questions at hand that you can ask anyone and memorize them!  For example, “How are you?”, “Are you enjoying the winter?”, or “What are your plans for the holidays?”</p> <h4><strong>Avoid One-Word Answers</strong></h4> <p>When responding to questions, never answer with just one-word. For example, saying “fine” when asked “How are you?” is a conversation stopper!  Instead of halting the conversation in its tracks, give some information about how your day is actually going so that the person has something that they can respond to.  After all, the purpose of a conversation is to get to know someone or to hear how they are doing. </p> <h4><strong>Ask a Question</strong></h4> <p>After you’ve responded to a question, you must ask a question back to the person in order to keep the conversation going.  For example, “My holiday break is going well. I got to hang out with my best friend today! We made a snowman! How is your break going?”</p> <h4><strong>Be an Active Listener</strong></h4> <p>Use your eyes, facial gestures and body to show that you’re paying attention to what the other person is saying.  Make direct eye contact and nod along as they are speaking. By active listening you can ensure that you are truly engaged in what the other person is saying and aren’t distracted by anything outside the conversation.  A great way to ensure that you are in the moment is to ask a follow up question about what the other person was just discussing.</p> <h4><strong>Play the Conversational Skills Game</strong></h4> <p>Have a ball, a timer and questions at hand.  Whoever is initiating the conversation is holding the ball.  The ball gets passed once a question is asked.  For example, you’re holding the ball and you ask, “Brian, how’s your day going?” You then pass the ball. Brian responds with more than one-word, sharing information, and then asks a question of you and passes the ball back. </p> <p>For more social skills lessons take a look at<a href="http://socialsklz.com/" target="_blank"> socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS: How to Give Children the Tools to Thrive in the Modern World</a> (Running Press) available anywhere books are sold.</p>
BODYES <p>Se acercan las fiestas y es muy probable que los niños participen en varias actividades sociales, desde fiestas navideñas hasta reuniones familiares, y la capacidad de tus hijos para mantener una conversación será muy útil. El arte de la conversación no solo es importante para los niños, es una habilidad que los padres también valoran. De hecho, el 54% de los padres considera que poseer buenas habilidades sociales y de comunicación es lo más importante para que sus hijos sean exitosos. Sin embargo, al igual que muchas otras habilidades necesarias para sociabilizar, rara vez se enseña a mantener una conversación con los demás, aunque ser capaz de hacerlo forme parte del kit de habilidades básicas para la supervivencia social.</p> <p>Me encanta enseñarle a los niños a desarrollar sus habilidades de conversación. Es como mostrarles un mundo nuevo que no solo los fortalece, sino que también refuerza su autoestima. Pensemos por un momento: ¿alguna vez en tu vida te explicaron o te enseñaron qué son las habilidades de conversación? ¿Alguien te enseñó a iniciar, mantener o terminar una conversación? ¿Te han enseñado a ser un buen escuchador? En socialsklz:-) comenzamos a enseñar y desarrollar estas habilidades a partir de los 4 años, y cuando le pregunto a los estudiantes cómo se inicia una conversación la mayoría responde: “eh... bueno, no estoy seguro” o algún otro dice “¡Me gusta tu camiseta!”.</p> <p>En vez de suponer que los niños adquieren la habilidad para conversar a medida que crecen, los padres deben hacerlo de manera deliberada y enseñar a sus hijos esta habilidad fundamental. Si tomamos en cuenta el hecho de que nos comunicamos con los demás todo el día, todos los días, y lo haremos durante el resto de nuestras vidas, ¿por qué no dedicar un poco de tiempo a explicarle a los niños cómo comunicarse? Te aseguro que el tiempo que inviertas ahora se pagará con creces en el futuro.</p> <p>Comienza con estos 5 consejos caseros para que tu hijo sea un éxito en cualquier conversación, durante las fiestas y en el futuro:</p> <p><strong>Equiparse de preguntas</strong></p> <p>Siempre debes tener a mano tres preguntas que puedas hacer a cualquier persona, ¡y memorízalas! Por ejemplo: “¿Cómo estás?”, “¿Disfrutas del invierno?” o “¿Qué planes tienes para las fiestas?”</p> <p><strong>Evitar responder con monosílabos</strong></p> <p>Cuando respondas a una pregunta, nunca lo hagas con monosílabos. Por ejemplo, responder “Bien” cuando te preguntan “¿Cómo estás?” anulará todo intento de conversación. En vez de frenar la conversación, puedes contar qué has hecho durante el día para que la otra persona tenga algo a lo que pueda responder. Después de todo, el objetivo de una conversación es conocer a la otra persona o escuchar como está.</p> <p><strong>Hacer una pregunta</strong></p> <p>Después de responder a una pregunta, debes hacer una pregunta para que la conversación continúe. Por ejemplo: “Las vacaciones por las fiestas son geniales. Hoy me junté con mi mejor amigo e hicimos un muñeco de nieve. ¿Tú como lo estás pasando?”</p> <p><strong>Ser un oyente activo</strong></p> <p>Usa tu mirada, gestos faciales y corporales para mostrar que estás prestando atención a lo que dice la otra persona. Mantén el contacto visual y asiente mientras habla. Al escuchar en forma activa te involucras con lo que dice la otra persona y no te distraes con otras cosas ajenas a la conversación. Una excelente forma de reforzar esto es hacer una pregunta relacionada con lo que estaba contando la otra persona.</p> <p><strong>Jugar al juego de las habilidades de conversación</strong></p> <p>Toma un balón, un cronómetro y varias preguntas. La persona que inicia la conversación sostiene el balón y cuando se hace una pregunta se pasa el balón. Por ejemplo, tú tienes el balón y preguntas: “Brian, ¿qué tal tu día?” y luego pasas el balón. Brian debe responder usando más de una palabra y compartiendo información. Luego, es su turno de hacer una pregunta y te regresa el balón. Y así continúan.</p> <p>Para ver más lecciones sobre habilidades sociales, visita socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS: How to Give Children the Tools to Thrive in the Modern World (Running Press) disponible en todas las librerías y sitios de venta de libros.</p>
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TEASER Instead of simply assuming that kids will just pick up the ability to converse along the way, parents need to be intentional and teach children this vital skill.
TEASERES Se acercan las fiestas y es muy probable que los niños participen en varias actividades sociales, desde fiestas navideñas hasta reuniones familiares, y la capacidad de tus hijos para mantener una conversación será muy útil.
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Right Foot Forward: Equipping Kids with Social Confidence This School Year

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BODY <p>It’s back-to-school time and you’re likely in full swing ensuring your child’s reading list has been completed, a new outfit or uniform is laid out and the first day book bag is packed.  But, are your children prepared with the vital social skills to kick the year off on the right foot?  <br /> <br /> Social skills have been called the <a href="http://static.squarespace.com/static/513f79f9e4b05ce7b70e9673/t/526a2589e4b01768fee91a6a/1382688137983/the-missing-piece.pdf">“missing piece”</a> in American education, yet they are a critical component to school success. After all, school is a very social experience. From interacting with teachers to peers, kids are in social settings all day.  Social skills have been proven to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as decrease aggression.  I see that firsthand in the classroom.  But, even more so, they have been scientifically proven to increase academic performance.<br /> <br /> Why not spend a little bit of time prepping your child for back-to-school success beyond the first day outfit?  Here are <strong>five vital tips</strong> to help equip your kids with social confidence for success this school year:</p> <p>First Impressions</p> <p>We’ve all heard that we have one chance to make a first impression.  Prepare your child(ren) for a great first impression with teachers and peers alike. At home, show your child(ren) the key components to a non-verbal first impressions- eye contact, a smile and good body language.  And how to execute a proper handshake, particularly for teachers (see chapter 1 in <em>socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS</em>).</p> <p>Know The Teacher</p> <p>Is the English teacher a Mr. / Ms. / Mrs.? Be sure your child is armed with the understanding of how to make an introduction with his/her teachers properly. Explain the difference between Mrs. and Ms. (with a zzzzz sound). A teacher should never be addressed by his/her first name or a nickname; it’s always Mr./Ms./ Mrs., unless told otherwise.  Practice and role play how to make an introduction at home.</p> <p>Review The Do’s And Don’ts</p> <p>Lunchroom behavior can leave a lasting impression. Go over dining basics including how to sit, eat and behave gracefully.  Even though it’s a more casual dining experience, it still matters! Review how to eat gracefully, have a fun “school lunch” at home and prepare lunch in brown paper bags for kids. </p> <p>Social Games</p> <p>The playground is the perfect place to make friends and socialize with old friends. Before your kids go to school they should have at least three questions prepared to ask classmates they know as well as questions for new classmates.  Have fun with the exercise and role play as if you were his/her classmate. Ask your child what he/she did over the summer and point out that one word answers don’t make for a great conversation!</p> <p><a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=55D3BD70-8CEB-11E3-B4B60050569A5318">RELATED: Parents and the Explicit Instruction of Compassion</a></p> <p>Lasting Friendships</p> <p>Kids have heard the word “bullying” countless times and often tend to tune out if it’s brought up. Instead try talking about thoughtfulness and empathy with kids.  All children want to have friends and an important part of making friends and keeping friends is being thoughtful and empathetic. Share a few examples of how to be that type of friend and ask kids how they can be thoughtful.  At the same time talk about how to handle sticky situations, which are inevitably part of relationships.  Have a strategy set up for your children on what to do if faced with a difficult encounter.</p> <p>Just like learning any other skill set, it’s imperative to proactively teach social skills and then practice and repeat them with our children in order to master them.  Teaching and practicing can happen in the comfort of your home, and then application of the skills can happen in any public setting.  Keep in mind that it will take time to master these social skills and, by all means, don’t correct your child in public!  </p>
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TEASER It’s back-to-school time and you’re likely in full swing ensuring your child’s reading list has been completed, a new outfit or uniform is laid out and the first day book bag is packed. But, are your children prepared with the vital social skills to kick the year off on the right foot?
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mom daughter high five

Branding: It's Not Just for Adults!

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BODY <p>Manners and etiquette are important for getting along with others and more than likely, you’ve already got these lessons covered---the pleases, thank yous, and thank you notes and apologies. But, beyond that, there is one skill set that can have an even greater impact on your child’s life. Those are a child’s social and emotional skills. As parents, we tend to overlook, or simply assume that children will  “pick up” these skills along the way.</p> <p><img src="/images/main/post_arms.jpg" border="0" width="100%" /></p> <p>I began teaching at New York University 10 years ago and was quickly impressed by the academic prowess of my students.  While that remained a constant, there was something else that really began to concern me as the years went by, particularly with the onset of modern technology. I saw that some of my students were quickly losing the vital social skills for managing the business of life, like conversational skills, self-awareness, motivation, empathy, resilience and understanding of the impact of a first impression and how body language, eye contact and facial gestures play a role in our lives. Since many of my students were heading off to their first job interviews, it made me realize that this was probably one of the most important lessons I could give them--- a lesson about first impressions and about their personal brands, or the way that they represent themselves every day.</p> <p>I was teaching Public Relations at the time; how to garner media coverage, manage images and build brands. Then it dawned on me, why not use my professional background in media training to teach my students about these skills with their own brands in mind? After all, with the right lessons and tools and a good sense of self-awareness, we can affect not only our brands, but our lives. With my students complaining that they couldn’t get past those initial job interviews, I knew that this was the PR lesson that would leave the greatest impact. </p> <p>The class, aptly named “The Brand Called You” began with a lesson on our “First Impressions.” I would ask my students questions like, “How long does it take to make a first impression? and “How do you want to come across when you walk into a room?” and “Are you aware of the most vital aspects of the non-verbal first impression you make?” I would then point out that because it takes only seconds to make a first impression, why not spend a little bit of time managing that impression? After all, we make millions of first impressions throughout our lives and they have a tremendous impact on everything we do, EVERYTHING. My students began to realize just how important first impressions were to their personal brands, and gaining these skills led them to be more confident, positive and prepared for that next job interview. I heard back years later from students, saying how that one class was a game-changer for them.</p> <p><img src="/images/main/post_handshake.jpg" border="0" width="100%" /></p> <p>These lessons don’t have to happen at the college level, either, as these are skills that parents can help teach kids. All it requires is to invest a little time on teaching these skills. Here’s how:   </p> <h4>Start with a lesson on first impressions.</h4> <p>The earlier that your child is taught about this, the better. Ask your child how he or she wants to come across. Then help them come across that way by teaching them the non-verbal aspects of a first impression-eye contact, facial gestures and body language. Then teach what to say-how to introduce oneself, how to address an adult versus a peer, and finally what to ask to start a conversation. </p> <h4>Work on the digital first impression.</h4> <p>It’s important that parents teach children to be good digital citizens, as now more than ever, a great deal of our interactions and communication with others happens on social media. You can do this by working on a set of guidelines together that your child should follow when using digital devices and on social media, also called a digital contract. After you come to an agreement about the terms of the contract, make sure you both sign it and follow it as much as possible. Remind your child that everything that gets posted online is out there for the world to see, and that if she wants to represent herself in best way possible, she must be careful about what she reveals online. This may also be a good time to talk about the need to be safe online and not to post any information that could put your child in danger. <strong> </strong></p> <h4>Discuss the art of conversation.</h4> <p>There are many elements to a good conversation---initiating, asking and responding to questions, showing enthusiasm, active listening and closing a conversation. If you want to teach your child about ways to start, carry on and end conversations with others, hands-on learning can help you achieve this goal. Start by practicing what to say, how to introduce one’s self, how to address an adult versus a peer, and finally what to ask to begin a dialogue with another person. Most importantly, though, is to remind your child that he just need to be himself, even if he is a bit shy, and that being able to express himself naturally and with confidence can help him in whatever conversation he is taking part in. If you’d like to get more specific tips on this topic, take a look at Chapter 3 in my book, where I cover this subject further.<strong> </strong></p> <h4>Try the “sandwich technique.”</h4> <p>You can use this technique to teach your child how to approach certain conversations, especially when providing feedback or addressing an issue. In basic terms, this method involves “sandwiching” the feedback or problem in between a compliment and a positive conclusion. For example, if your child feels that a friend treated her unkindly, she could start with a positive comment like, “I value your friendship, and you’re always so great to me,” then continuing with, “The other day when we were at lunch, you yelled at me and that made me mad.” This can be followed with, “I really want to keep being friends, so next time, just tell me if I’m doing something that bothers you and we can fix it before we start yelling at each other.”</p> <h4>Strengthen your child’s relationship skills.</h4> <p>A strong personal brand is also reflected in one’s ability to establish and maintain positive and fulfilling relationships. While the Parent Toolkit has great <a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=50A8EC10-32D8-11E4-B03B0050569A5318">resources</a> to help you build your child’s relationship skills, my best piece of advice is to work on nurturing his empathy, kindness and capacity to be a good friend to others. Remind your child that putting himself is someone else’s shoes is key to being a good friend, as is being kind, being there for others and taking ownership for mistakes. Active listening is another essential part of a good relationship, and you can help your child be a better listener by setting a good example and stressing the need for him to be present when talking with others and listening intently to what they have to say.</p> <p>I urge you to take the time to teach your kids these vital social and emotional skills, starting with a lesson on the first impression. If you make this investment in your time, it will go a long way in your child’s life success.</p> <p>For more information on how to teach these skills, please take a look at my book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/socialsklz-Social-Skills-Success-Children/dp/0762449322"><em>socialsklz:-) for</em> <em>SUCCESS:  How to Give Your Children the Tools to Thrive in the Modern World</em></a></p>
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TEASER Manners and etiquette are important for getting along with others and more than likely, you’ve already got these lessons covered---the pleases, thank yous, and thank you notes and apologies. But, beyond that, there is one skill set that can have an even greater impact on your child’s life. Those are a child’s social and emotional skills.
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Girl Writing Christmas Card

Five Ways to Tame Bratty Behavior for the Holidays

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BODY <p>The holidays are a special time of the year. Families get together to celebrate and share in the joy of the season and social events abound, but this can also be a source of stress for parents whose parenting skills are suddenly put in the spotlight as children interact with adults and children. Parents already have enough on their plate, with buying gifts, cooking, cleaning, making lists and checking everything twice, and it can be a challenge to get children to behave appropriately when they are surrounded by festivities, family members and presents to be opened.</p> <p>However, the holidays can also be a great opportunity to help improve your child’s social skills and teach the importance of being gracious. The key to success is to teach a few simple lessons in advance of events rather than to be “teaching” by correcting behaviors in a public setting when your child may feel humiliated and embarrassed. Just like anything else, preparation is key and it’s unfair to have expectations of kids without having ever communicated them.</p> <p>In advance of each dinner, event or gift exchange, take five to ten minutes to teach the following simple lessons.  It’s a small commitment (which during the holidays can seem like an impossible task), but I can assure you that the time investment will pay off in spades:</p> <p>With any particular family gathering approaching (One to two days in advance or even in transit to an event), discuss the nature of the gathering, what will happen and the three things that you’d like to see from your child. It’s good to teach your child how to properly introduce himself, how to greet an adult and the value of saying “thank you for having me,” which are important pieces of advice that I’ve featured in the first chapter of my book, <em><a href="http://www.socialsklz.com">socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS</a></em>. You can also talk about what types of greetings are appropriate for various events:  a hug, a kiss or a handshake. Discuss how those simple steps will help make for an even more wonderful event.</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Teach mealtime expectations.</strong> Rather than assume kids will “do it right,” have a mock holiday dinner party at your home and point out what you’d like (and would not like) to see while dining with family and friends. And if you have a moment, go through <a href="http://blog.socialsklz.com">table settings</a>, which is a really fun exercise for kids.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Help your child get out of the mindset of “me, me, me,” and receiving gifts by teaching them about the art of giving.</strong> Take the time to involve your child in the gift-giving process by working together on a list of gifts that he wants to give to his family, friends and teachers and going out to get them together. It’s easier for us as parents to go and do all of this for children, but some of the greatest joys of the holidays come from giving (crafting or purchasing, wrapping, and being thoughtful), not just receiving.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Role-play the exercise of opening gifts and what you’re expecting of your child while she’s opening a gift from someone. </strong>What if she loves it, already has one or doesn’t like it? What should she say in each instance? While you’re on the topic of gratitude, urge your child to express thanks for something that she was not necessarily expecting, or for something that isn’t a material object, like time spent with friends and family.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>GIVE BACK…take some time to donate something, somewhere.</strong> The United States Postal Service offers <a href="http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2014/pr14_066.htm">Operation Santa</a> where you can fulfill the wish of a needy child. One of the most valuable lessons we can teach is a lesson in empathy and thinking outside of ourselves. Help your child put himself in the shoes of the “giver” and let him experience the art and joy of giving.</p> </li> </ul> <p>For more information see the Today Show and Faye de Muyshondt on <a href="http://www.today.com/parents/5-tips-brat-proof-your-kids-holiday-season-2D11762050">“How to Brat-Proof Your Child for the Holidays”</a></p>
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TEASER Parents have a lot on their plate, with buying gifts, cooking, cleaning, making lists and checking everything twice, and it can be a challenge to get children to behave appropriately during the festivities. However, the holidays can also be a great opportunity to help improve your child’s social skills and teach the importance of being gracious.
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Halloween trick-or-treat

Build Your Child’s Social Skills this Halloween

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BODY <p>Halloween is right around the corner and pretty soon, your child will be out in her best superhero or princess costume, knocking on doors and getting lots of tasty treats. This festive occasion is not all about dressing up, trick or treating or the sugar rushes that will follow, however. The spookiest night of the season can be a good time to build your child’s social graces, as she will be able to practice her skills through several interactions with others. Stellar social skills are just as important on this holiday as they are on any other day, but Halloween can be the perfect opportunity to teach your child about being gracious and about the rewards (candy!) that come from being respectful.</p> <p><span class="white"><span class="white"><span class="white"><a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=50A8EC10-32D8-11E4-B03B0050569A5318">Learn more about how you can enhance your child's social and emotional skills</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p>There are many ways that you can make sure that this Halloween is full of treats and no tricks this year. Here are some helpful tips for you and your little ghosts and goblins:</p> <p>-Choose a trick-or-treat bag with your child, and let her know that she will need to be prepared and ready to accept treats quickly and graciously. The bag should be easy to carry and open and close and it should be strong enough to hold a few pounds of treats. After you get the right bag, show her how to say trick or treat politely and then quickly open her bag, so as to not hold up the rest of the trick-or-treaters. Trick-or-treating can also be a good lesson in waiting and patience. Patience may not be a virtue that your child grasps fully yet, so make sure to remind her about the need to wait while the other children before her get their treats instead of storming to the front of the line.</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Talk to your child about being polite to others and minding his manners while trick-or-treating.</strong> While some children are naturals at interacting with others, some may still need guidance, and this may be a great time to remind your child about the importance of good manners. The combination of lots of sugar and funny costumes to hide behind can also affect his behavior, but there are ways to avoid this recipe for disaster. Express to him that although he may be dressed like Shrek, he’s still a real kid inside, not an ogre! Remind him that he should have fun, but should still exhibit good social skills, and be kind and courteous to others.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Practice trick-or-treating with your child.</strong> Have your child ring your doorbell in costume and go through the whole trick-or-treat process. Encourage her to make eye contact with those handing out candy and with friends or neighbors she may run into on Halloween night. Express that it is important to always say, “thank you,” regardless of whether or not she likes the treat. Explain that even if she doesn’t like what she has received, she should be grateful that the person gave her a treat at all. You can separate the “good” from the “bad” candy later at home.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Map out a trick-or-treat route and discuss Halloween safety with your child.</strong> If you are not accompanying your child, remind him to stay in a group and stick to the approved route so you know he is in a safe area. You may also want to provide him with a flashlight with fresh batteries and remind him to call 911 if he gets lost or needs help. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that you make sure that your child’s costume is bright and reflective, flame resistant, and that any mask that he wears doesn’t limit his eyesight.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Ask your child to be respectful of others.</strong> If a house has no lights on, it’s probably not a good idea to ring that doorbell. The family probably ran out of candy, isn’t home, or simply might not be participating in the festivities. Remind your child that it is <em>always</em> important to be respectful of others, even on Halloween.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Halloween night can also offer a lesson in kindness.</strong> If your child is going out trick-or-treating, be sure your household is also participating in handing out treats. Spread kindness (and treats) this Halloween, and most of all, enjoy!</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you follow these helpful tips, your child’s good behavior may just end up being the best treat that you receive this year.<strong> </strong>Happy Halloween!</p> <p><em>Faye de Muyshondt is the</em><em> founder and author </em><a href="http://www.socialsklz.com"><em>socialsklz:-) for SUCCESS</em></a><em>. She is on the expert panel of the <a href="http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=50A8EC10-32D8-11E4-B03B0050569A5318">Social &amp; Emotional Development</a> section that was recently launched on the Parent Toolkit. </em></p>
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TEASER Halloween is right around the corner and pretty soon, your child will be out in her best superhero or princess costume, knocking on doors and getting lots of tasty treats. This festive occasion is not all about dressing up, trick or treating or the sugar rushes that will follow, however. The spookiest night of the season can be a good time to build your child’s social graces, as she will be able to practice her skills through several interactions with others. Stellar social skills are just as important on this holiday as they are on any other day, but Halloween can be the perfect opportunity to teach your child about being gracious and about the rewards (candy!) that come from being respectful.
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