Scott Schimmel 0:21
Will your kid, or your students have the social skills that they need to thrive. One of the most fundamental social skills that a kid needs to have is the ability to have a conversation. Welcome back to another episode of The YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel. And just recently this has come up to me and a couple times. One, I hung out with a kid, he's senior in high school. We were playing pickleball together, and was kind of fundraising your fundraiser golf pickleball tournament. Anyways, we got paired up, and we had a few minutes to chit chat. And I was blown away by his maturity, his ability to have a conversation, I had to remind myself a few times that he's just a teenager. Yeah, just teenager. I've worked for 24 years with teenagers. And so I, I've been around a few. And it is very rare to be able to have a thoughtful discussion back and forth. I think one of the biggest
one, the ability to put me at ease, or the adult at ease. Number two, a kid who asks an adult questions, I mean, those two things, just being comfortable, being confident. Having the wherewithal to ask questions, this kid was chatting me up about my career, he was super impressive. So Tyler Luke, shout out to you. Big shout out to his parents, God and Steven. And the other side of it was, I was around a couple of kids, teenagers who were a little bit younger. And I was just asking them some questions and their parents were there. And they both have kids look like they, you know, the deer in the headlights look. And they both turned to their parents. And the parents, in turn, answered the question for them. Now these kids were like, older, but not not seniors, but you know, freshmen, sophomores. I was trying to have a conversation with the kid and the parents carried on the conversation, which I don't think that's normal, or good. It is maybe if they're in preschool. But if your kid is 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 25 and can't have a conversation with an adult, like a back and forth conversation, not where the adult asks a question and the kid answers with one word or one sentence, but actual two way conversation, you should be concerned.
It is what we're talking about here is building conversational skills. It is super rare. I worked for 10 years, 12, 13 years with college students spent the last 10 or 12 years working with high school middle school students. It is very, very rare for me to see and interact with a kid that can conversationally, be confident and adept, to have a conversation and yet
Jean Twinkie, who wrote iGen I've got the book, right here in my bookshelf. iGen. She's done a lot ton of research on today's generation previously was Millennials now it's Gen Z.
She This is a research from just a few years ago, today's 10th graders go to about 17 fewer parties a year than 10th graders, the 1980s did. 17 fewer parties a year. Overall 12th graders now spent an hour less on in-person social interaction, on an average day than their parents. They work less they date less they spend less time face to face, there's a virtual world is not the world that our kids need to grow the social skills that they will need. Regardless of how virtual things are. Every single kid is going to need to learn how to have conversational skills, super important.
It's important for them professionally. Sometimes people ask me what do I do for a living. I kinda joke around sometimes and say I have coffee with people and have conversations. That's what I do for a living. I have meetings. How about you? I mean, I have meetings. All day long with people. We're learning, I've had to learn how to listen, how to ask questions, how to share, how to present, how to build relationships with people that are very different from me. I need to remember things about them. I need to take initiative. Like all of these things are relationship skills that are vital to my professional success, which I think every single parent, every single teacher cares about. Their academic and career success is of utmost concern. Also, who they become from a personal standpoint. Conversational skills- try to remove those and think about somebody thriving in a, in a community or in a relationship or in a family. It doesn't work. You have to know how to have conversational skills to thrive, both professionally and personally. Period full stop.
Three thoughts I wanna leave with you. Number one, choose intentional awkwardness.
It's awkward when your kids are preschoolers, and an adult comes around, a teacher, an adult, a coach, you drop them off for practice. And the coach comes up and says, Hey, what school do you go to, and the kid looks straight up at the parents and just freezes and the parent. It's awkward. It's awkward.
But in order to help your kid grow, you need to choose awkwardness for them. So invite adults over to the house, invite aunts and uncles, and grandparents and neighbors, and family, friends and old college friends. And make your kids sit there. And the older people will engage with them. On some level, to some degree, they'll say- how's school? What are you doing these days? How's football? How's volleyball? Whatever.
And your kid, if they're in that place where they just kind of freeze, don't know what to say? Don't be the parents when your kids are teenagers who step in and answer the questions for them. Just don't do it.
Allow it to be awkward. Now, you might have a kid with unique anxiety. I'm not saying that,
you know, asterisk this if you need to. But for the kid, the typical kid who needs to grow up, put them in intentionally awkward situations, and then just own it. And I get it. It's about you. It's about me when my kids don't answer. They're awkward socially. I know it's a reflection of me.
Speaker 1 7:09
But it's also what they need. Your kid will never grow without this challenge of intentional awkwardness. Number two, given them support, and support doesn't mean jump in and rescue them. Support might mean-`
Speaker 1 7:22
Hey, remember you were, remember that camp that you have coming up? Why don't you tell him about that? You can do that. That's awkward. Yeah. But you could do that your kid if they freeze in a social setting and you're around them. They might literally just forget. They might blank. So support them. Give him give him a little like line. Like improv... "Line. I need a line."
Unknown Speaker 7:44
Give them something. Give them a little material.
Speaker 1 7:48
It might mean also support looking like debriefing with them afterwards. What happened for you? I know that you kind of froze. I've I freeze sometimes too. It's kind of intimidating to talk to adults, isn't it? It, at least it was for me when I was your age. It's still, it's still kind of awkward for me. I can't think clearly. Has that ever happened to you? So validating them, being empathetic, helping them get ready for the next time. Hey, so and so is going to come over. I know they're going to ask you about school, they're gonna ask you about your sports. Why don't you think of something to say? That's support. That's empowerment.
Speaker 1 8:22
So number one, choose intentional awkwardness. Number two support them. Number three, model it. Let them hear you talk. Call your friends and your family members when they're in the car. Let them listen to you and learn from you. That's the primary way our kids are going to grow and learn social skills is with you. And if you don't have them, get them. Again back to your kids- professional, personal, life success contingent upon social skills. If you don't have them yet, now's a good time to learn social skills. It's learnable. Everybody can learn them. So can you. So model it for them.
Speaker 1 9:01
That's it. Quick episode. Am I a little fired up? I feel a little fired up.
Speaker 1 9:07
Good luck as you teach your kids the necessary skills for them to grow up well.
Speaker 1 9:12
Hey, thanks for joining in on The YouSchool podcast we'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com. Not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcast episodes. But specifically you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it will guide you to get clear about who you are in a great store you could tell with your life. So go register for a free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com. That's the you school dot com.
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