How to Use Stories to Help Children with Social Skills
Children love to listen to stories. Not only are stories used to entertain children, they can also be used as tools to teach new skills and expectations. Many parents read books to teach their children the alphabet or numbers, but stories can also be used to: Teach social skills, such as how to take turns; Teach clear behavior expectations, reinforce routines, such as getting ready for bed; Prepare for new experiences, such as the first day of school; Address a challenging behavior, such as hitting.
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[00:00:00.659]Fit and Healthy Kids -
An Early Childhood Podcast. (with music)
[00:00:04.579](LaDonna Werth) Hello from
[00:00:07.339]This is LaDonna Werth
and Lisa Poppe,
[00:00:09.889]Extension Educators in the
field of Early Childhood.
[00:00:13.299]We bring the research from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln to you.
[00:00:19.951]As a parent, we enjoy
reading to our children.
[00:00:23.131]Children love to listen and
ask questions as we read.
[00:00:26.866]Lisa, how can we use stories
to teach about emotions?
[00:00:31.855](Lisa Poppe) Children love
to listen to stories.
[00:00:34.871]Not only are stories used
to entertain children,
[00:00:37.341]they can also be used as tools
to teach new skills and expectations.
[00:00:41.973]Many parents read books to teach their
children the alphabet or numbers,
[00:00:46.274]but stories can also be used to: Teach
social skills, such as how to take turns,
[00:00:51.468]And to teach clear
[00:00:55.118]they are used to reinforce routines,
such as getting ready for bed.
[00:00:59.118]Prepare for new experiences,
such as the first day of school,
[00:01:02.778]or address a challenging
behavior, such as hitting.
[00:01:06.518](LaDonna Werth) What are social
stories and how can we use them?
[00:01:10.198](Lisa Poppe) Social stories are brief, simple
stories that are created to show your child
[00:01:14.973]what to expect, and what is expected
of him, during a certain activity.
[00:01:19.942]Social stories can include
pictures of your child and
[00:01:23.947]they are written in a way
that he can understand.
[00:01:26.837]They also use positive language
to show your child what he can do
[00:01:30.837]and provide healthy ways to
deal with really strong emotions.
a social story
[00:01:36.927]that teaches a new skill
to replace hitting might say,
[00:01:39.917]“If my friend tries
to take my toy,
[00:01:42.767]I can say ‘Stop.
This toy is busy.’”
[00:01:46.767]Social stories validate how
your child actually feels,
[00:01:50.767]but also can show him
how others are feeling.
[00:01:54.017]When used for specific situations,
social stories help children
[00:01:58.266]to make wise choices and give them
the confidence to try new experiences.
[00:02:03.060](LaDonna Werth) Lisa, can you give
me an example of a social story?
[00:02:07.500](Lisa Poppe) Sure,
you must first….
[00:02:10.410]Choose a situation that has
been challenging for your child.
if your child and her friend Ben
[00:02:15.940]have been having problems
with sharing when they play,
[00:02:18.960]you can write a simple social story
to teach her how to share with him.
[00:02:23.330]It might go like this - I feel excited
when I go to Ben’s house!
[00:02:27.986]We play with trains,
do puzzles and build towers.
[00:02:30.821]Sometimes, we both want
to play with the same train.
[00:02:33.903]If we both want the same toy,
I have choices!
[00:02:37.045]I can find another train
and ask Ben to trade.
[00:02:40.545]I can get a timer and
we can take turns.
[00:02:43.545]I can ask my mom
for help. OR
[00:02:46.625]I can choose to play
with something else.
[00:02:48.795]I feel proud when
I make wise choices!
[00:02:51.868]As you can see,
this type of social story
[00:02:54.349]helps your child to see
that her problem is normal,
[00:02:57.483]teaches her words to help
her express her feelings and
[00:03:00.378]gives her choices by
telling her what she can do.
[00:03:04.061]Social stories are very helpful to children
when they go into a new situation.
[00:03:09.854]Like, if your child is going on an airplane
for the first time, you can create a
[00:03:14.844]social story to provide him with clear
expectations of what is going to happen.
[00:03:19.923](LaDonna Werth) I love reading story books
to children and
[00:03:23.633]watching how the book
comes to life for them.
[00:03:26.883]Is social stories a good way
to teach children expectations?
[00:03:30.883](Lisa Poppe) Yes they are,
reading stories to your
[00:03:34.513]child provides a time
for everyone to relax.
[00:03:37.508]These moments are a perfect time to teach
your child or talk to her about feelings.
[00:03:42.238]Social stories are a great tool you can
use to teach your child expectations or
[00:03:47.098]new skills before she is
expected to use them.
[00:03:51.119]When you read a book with your
child again and again,
[00:03:54.369]she feels confident about making choices
that help her to have a positive experience.
[00:03:59.583](LaDonna Werth) As parents, it is fun to
set in a chair and snuggle with your child.
[00:04:05.964]Take this time to read
and help your child
[00:04:08.615]figure out new skills and guide
them through challenging behaviors.
[00:04:13.575]This has been LaDonna and Lisa
with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:04:17.815]Until next time,
enjoy your family time together.
[00:04:21.756]Fit and Healthy Kids is a co-production of
[00:04:26.776]Kansas State Extension,
South Dakota State Extension,
[00:04:30.383]and the Iowa Childcare
Resource and Referral.
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