Kids Under Construction: Social skills for big kids

Kids Under Construction: Social skills for big kids

As we roll past the half way mark for this school quarter, many parents are still wondering how to help their kids be successful this year.   While tutors and excellent teaching are certainly helpful, for many kids it’s not the academic challenges that get in the way.


Healthy social support, from parents and friends, can mean the difference between good grades and appropriate behavior or a negative downward spiral for many kids and teens.  Despite the many influences in their lives, strong family connections and a fully engaged parent are still at the top of list when it comes to helping children reach their full potential.


But keeping up with kids emotional and social needs can be hard work and a little overwhelming sometimes.  Below you’ll see a checklist of small steps you can take daily, weekly, and monthly to stay connected no matter how busy your schedules.


While we love this checklist, we also know that some kids need a little more support than others.  It might be because of changing or stressful family dynamics like illness or divorce {or this crazy government shutdown!} or your child may just move a little slower than their peers- either way we have some solutions.


Our new Kids Under Construction class offers a 6-week class series to help kids in 2nd -5th grade build their social skills, manage their emotions, and grow more confident in their abilities.  And we include lots of support and resources for parents along the way.  Tomorrow is the last day of our Early Bird Registration deal {you can save $70!} so sign up now.


For more information on Kids Under Construction and to register… Click Here!

{you can also scroll all the way down to register right from this page}

And if you’ve got a teen, check out our ongoing monthly Teen Talk class.  It’s the next level of social skills, giving teenagers a forum to talk about their stress and feelings in a safe environment.  And we work on building better communication skills to help them succeed at home and school.


If you’re looking for something to put into action today, check out our Busy Parent’s Checklist below.


Although originally designed with teenagers in mind, the checklist below is a great way for parents with children of all ages to stay connected and continue to foster a strong relationship.  Check it out and then tell us in the comments about the special tricks you’ve learned to stay connected and keep the communication open with your kids & teens.


The Busy Parent’s Checklist

{This list is adapted from Navigating the Teen Years a publication by SAMHSA}


  • Know your teen’s main activities and plans for the day.
  • Know where your teens are when you are at work or not otherwise with them, and who they are likely to be with.
  • If appropriate for that day, remind your teen about relevant rules.
  • At the end of the day, ask about your teen’s activities.
  • Praise and thank your teen for good behavior.
  • Check that homework and other responsibilities have been completed.
  • Try to have family meals together or engage in a family activity on a regular basis.


  • Take some time to check in with each child. Set 20 minutes aside to find out how friendships are going, what’s happening at school and what other events are important in your teen’s life.
  • Ask your teen mid-week if there are any special plans for the weekend that require your input. Do this early to avoid last-minute conflict.
  • Every once in a while, check that your teens are where they say they are going to be.
  • Encourage your teen to have a friend over or engage in fun activities together.
  • Remind your teen about weekday/weekend rules when appropriate.


  • Make sure you’ve had at least a couple of individual activities or outings with your teen.
  • Check the temperature of your relationship. How are things going?
  • Check in with your teen to see what has taken up his or her time and interest this month, and discuss it.  Ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
  • Make sure you’ve followed through on any recent promises to your teen.
  • Plan one special family event or activity. Try to do things that your teen enjoy.
  • Get a report from teachers on your teen’s school progress; most schools allow you to do this online now. Check in with coaches or a guidance counselor about extracurricular activities.
  • Take a monitoring inventory. Who has your teen been spending time with? What has he been doing?  What have they been spending their money on?  Follow up on any red flags or concerns.
  • Stay up-to-date on news and trends among teens in the area. Talk with other parents and discuss concerns with your kids. Check with local youth organizations to find out about problems in your community.
  • Check in with your teens about rules. If they’ve been doing well, then be flexible and reward them in meaningful ways. When your teens are ready, allow them more freedoms.


Don’t forget to sign up for Kids Under Construction or Teen Talk today!  You and your child will be glad that you did.

Kids Under Construction for 4th & 5th Graders (scroll down for other age groups)

Kids Under Construction for 2nd & 3rd Graders

Teen Talk Monthly Classes