Parent's Guide: How to Teach with 52 Essential Social Skills Series

Making the most out of each card:

  1. Draw a card and read the scenario.  Bonus for 3rd graders and above: ask your child to read it out loud to practice reading and comprehension.
  1. Read the first question and ask your child to respond. Repeat if there are more questions.
  • Build on your child’s response by saying: Yes, and _________.
  • If your child is stuck, then role model by responding first.
  • Share relatable experiences that you encountered as a child.
  1. Ask: has something like this ever happened to you before? If yes, then ask your child to elaborate by asking questions such as:
    • When did this happen?
    • How did it happen?
    • What did you say and/or do?
    • What did the other person(s) say or do? Be sure to ask about nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures.
    • What surprised you?
    • What did you learn?
    • Would you do anything differently?
  2. Ask: has something like this ever happened to your friend or your classmate? If yes, then ask your child to provide more details, such as:
    • Who was it?
    • When did this happen?
    • What happened?
    • What did they do?
    • What did you think?
    • What was the outcome?
  3. Ask your child to come to you if this happens to them, so you can talk about it some more.
Repeat the above 5 steps with another card if time or attention allows.

Suggestions on when and where to use the cards:

In the car
Pull out a few cards and discuss in the car to/from school to get ready or debrief the day.  Pick a card while waiting in traffic to spark conversations.
Special 1-on-1 Date
Set aside 1:1 time with your child to talk through some of the cards.  Make this a special event and something that they look forward to each week.  Do this in a private space in your home where both of you cannot be bothered or make it an outing at your favorite place to visit.
Weekly Family Social
Dedicate one night (or day) a week to use the cards at or after dinner.  If your children fall into different age groups, multiple decks can be used at the same time.
Family Playdate
Pair up with a friend and their child to use the cards with both children.  This is a helpful opportunity for your child to see different viewpoints and understand how someone outside of your immediate family may respond to different situations differently.
Get Your Relative, Babysitter or Older Sibling Involved
Invite another adult or older child to facilitate these conversations with your younger child.