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Basic Social Skills for Youth: A Handbook from Boys Town Paperback – April, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rev. Val J. Peter is executive director emeritus and pastoral minister of Boys Town, Nebraska. Having worked on the floor during the third and fourth sessions of the Second Vatican Council in 1964-65 along with being a professor of moral theology at Creighton University for thirteen years, Fr. Peter's academic background and pastoral experience of working with troubled youth offers a unique combination to address contemporary societal concerns and issues.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Paperback: 38 pages
  • Publisher: Boys Town Press (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938510398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938510390
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

During my first year teaching 6th grade, I had no idea what to do with my students. My classroom management was a disaster and I didn't have a positive culture of respect and understanding. I purchased this book from advice from a good friend and it completely turned my classroom around. It took a while to teach each social skill, but it paid off. I HIGHLY recommend this book for any parent or teacher struggling to manage a child's behavior. It's all about TEACHING those basic skills that we sometimes take for granted.
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If you grew up in a healthy family where appropriate behaviors were naturally reinforced, and need to teach others who have been too, this book is not for you. But if your childhood family did not reinforce appropriate behavior and you are trying to figure out how to teach it to others, this book gets the essentials very plainly. It seems to me that 90% of all misbehavior can be dealt with calmly with just the first skill, Following Instructions: 1. look at the person, 2. say okay, 3. do what you've been asked, and 4. check back.
This specific instruction has been very useful for me so that when I am trying to get my children to behave, we all have the same definition of what it means to be behaving.
The list I have for following instructions also includes "keep calm in face, voice, and body." I had a great discussion with my children on keeping a calm voice; that it doesn't include yelling, laughing, or crying, or any sound like them. I don't see that item here, but nevertheless there is a good task analysis of each behavior.
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Attempted to apply on my kids, but didn't really seem to work. Requires extreme discipline, commitment, and patience. Very strict program and concept. Probably best with troubled youth and not just typical struggles of growing young children. I'll attempt and consider anything. Possibly some concepts are useful or at least could be in the future. Moderate recommendation.
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We are incorporating the boys town model into our school in order to teach social skills. 95% of our students are classified as poverty and they come to us with little social skills in order to succeed at school and in the work place. We just started, but are having tremendous success with the model as outlined in the book. I found the book easy to read, a great resource to compliment "Teaching Social Skill to Youth" the Step by Step Guide.
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I bought this small reference after reading Boys Town's larger foster parent guide, as that book mentions this one. In both books, the material about "Social Skills" is presented in a very concrete, teachable manner: here's the behavior you want to see; here's why it matters; here's what it looks like when you do it right. Looking at these behaviors as social skills -- important to the child's relationships in the world, and his way of moving through society -- is intuitively the right approach. To a damaged child, some of the more "anti-social" behaviors he has internalized have been very useful to his survival, so why should he stop them? Lying protected him from consequences, stealing got him food or other things he needed. By looking at the behaviors as damaging to his relationships, and not condeming the child for learning the "wrong" skills in the past, we have a good tool for seeing positive change. I remind myself (almost daily!) that our foster kids ARE capable of learning: look at the skills (for better or worse) that they have learned already! A quick read overall, and a good reference to have on hand for those "what do I do now?" moments.
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Just what I wanted ... basic social skills broken down into clear steps that I can go through many times with my students who need instruction in this area.
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