Social Skills, Adolescence, and a Pandemic
To say that 2020 was a year to remember is an understatement! We weathered more change, emotional stress, and social isolation than we have likely endured in a lifetime. And, while 2020 is behind us, we continue to work toward understanding and embracing the “new normal” that is continually changing and evolving.
While adults may be better equipped to adjust to this ever changing landscape, the children and adolescents in our lives are struggling to understand what is going on in the world around them and what it means for their lives, activities, and friendships. And, although we view children and adolescents as being more resilient through change—or a pandemic—we also know that being unable to engage with others in a fluid context over the last year has resulted in mounting stress, anxiety, depression, and despair.
Adolescence is the period in development when our relationships with peers become stronger and more influential, taking precedence over the influence of our parents and caregivers. It’s a time when we look forward to special events and milestones that we share with our peers—and that our parents support, but don’t facilitate. This is the period of time when socially engaging with others outside our own family becomes vital to our transition into adulthood. It is the period of time when our skills to navigate the social world around us develop beyond playground play skills and into valuable employment and relationship skills.
To ensure that adolescents can continue to develop these vital skills, Harbor has begun a daily, in-person Skill Builder Session that provides them with an opportunity to engage with their peers while learning valuable skills to grow their future. Our Skill Builder Sessions: Teen Talk occurs Monday through Thursday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and is for 7th through 12th graders who would benefit from additional and purposeful support in developing their social skills (additional details below). Topics covered within the group include emotional coping and behavioral regulation as it relates to a social context, as well as more specific skills necessary for success into adulthood (e.g., greeting others, hygiene, etiquette). While we encourage participants to attend each day of group, we understand that other events and scheduling challenges may interfere—so, we welcome each attendee whenever it works for them to attend! The goal is to provide support in an area of difficulty—one that has been even more challenged during the course of the pandemic.
After a year of uncertainty, isolation, and stress, we have never been more aware of the need to provide adolescents with social skills training and time to develop relationships with one another. We look forward to working with the adolescents in your lives, investing in their skill set in the present, to ensure that they have a fulfilling future.
Skill Builder Sessions: Teen Talk
For 7th to 12th Grade Students
Monday through Thursday
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
February 15th through April 30th
Join any time! Attend any days!
In-Person at 7140 Port Sylvania Drive, Toledo, OH 43617
*Contact Harbor at 567-408-7242 for more information or to sign up*
Danielle R. DeLong, Psy.D., HSP, BCBA-D, COBA