TPP 293: Catherine Newman on How Kids Can Learn Social Skills and Ways to be a Good Human
Today’s episode is all about social skills, but from an updated lens that really speaks to the lived experiences of today’s kids. My guest is writer and journalist Catherine Newman, and we’re going to dive into her new book, What Can I Say? A Kids Guide to Super Useful Social Skills to Help You Get Along and Express Yourself.
What Can I Say is aimed at kids ages 10 and up, and it includes practical and accessible advice to help kids and teens learn social skills, including everything from introduce themselves, express empathy, be persuasive, and apologize to compromise, ask for help, be grateful, and comfort a friend.
In this conversation, Catherine and talk about why learning social and interpersonal skills are more important than ever for our kids, despite the fact that their lives are evolving to include more time spent online. We also talk about the climate for social emotional learning and ways parents and educators can to reinforce the social skills our kids are learning.
Catherine Newman is the author of the memoirs Catastrophic Happiness and Waiting for Birdy, the middle-grade novel One Mixed-Up Night, the kids’ craft book Stitch Camp, the how-to books for kids How to Be a Person and What Can I Say? and the novel We All Want Impossible Things (forthcoming, Harper, November 2022). She edits the non-profit kids’ cooking magazine ChopChop, writes the etiquette column for Real Simple magazine, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents magazine, Cup of Jo, and many other publications. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.
Things you’ll learn from this episode
- Why it’s still important to learn social skills and interpersonal skills even though our kids’ lives are evolving to include more time spent online
- Why it’s important to spend time learning social skills just as we would learn any other type of skill like algebra or singing
- The importance of learning interpersonal skills that focus on empathy, setting boundaries, being curious, and being supportive and inclusive of people with different identities
- How OT can help neurodivergent kids grow up with advanced social emotional skills
- What parents and educators can do to support and reinforce the social skills they are learning
Resources mentioned for how kids can learn social skills
- Catherine Newman’s website
- Catherine on Instagram
- What Can I Say? A Kids’ Guide to Super Useful Social Skills to Help You Get Along and Express Yourself by Catherine Newman
- How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn before You’re Grown Up by Catherine Newman