What happens to you when you don’t know or understand the social rules? Thousands of kids with Attention Deficit Disorder could tell you exactly what happens. People don’t have conversations with you. Friends are something that other people have. School is a painful and difficult place. Bullies love to pick on you. Others don’t realize that you have feelings. Your body language is off, so you are left out of social situations. Manners are a mystery. What can a kid with ADD do to get around these social obstacles?
Social Rules for Kids-The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed by the author, Sue Diamond, gives the answers to that question clearly and concisely. This book came into being as a response to a student’s needs. Ms. Diamond, a licensed speech pathologist, has taken the time to develop practical rules to help children communicate socially with others.
This book is kid-friendly. The language is positive, simple, and directive. Its format is easy to follow. There is one rule on each page. The rule is in bold print at the top of the page. Then, there is a simple justification for the rule. After that, there are concrete steps listed to implement the rule. At the end of the rule is a bold print “remember” statement. This restates why it is good for the child to apply the rule.
Using this kid-friendly format, each chapter addresses different groups of social rules:
Chapter 1-“Talking and Listening” discusses the proper way to greet people. Beginning a conversation and sustaining it has several rules devoted to it. Attention is paid to taking turns in conversation. One rule tells kids how to tailor their topics to their audience.
Chapter 2- “Friends” tells a kid how to make a friend and to keep that friend. People who make friends easily, as a part of their daily lives, might not know that there are many components to making friends. You need to choose an appropriate friend and learn how to nurture the friendship. Eighteen rules help kids learn to make and keep friends.
Chapter 3-“School” lets kids know what to do to be more socially successful in school. Three of the rules, numbers 39 thru 41 tell how to accomplish academic tasks. These rules do have useful information about writing, math, and reading. While doing a good job on your class work can be helpful socially, I don’t feel like these academic cues are actually social rules. Clearly, the rules telling students not to be a “tattle-tale” and that middle school students don’t play tag are social rules, and very useful ones, too!
Chapter 4-“Bullying” lets kids in on the secrets about not becoming a victim of a bully. It is worth the price of the book! Rules in this chapter address reactions to teasing and ignoring the annoying behaviors of others. It explicitly talks about behaviors that bring kids attention from bullies and how to avoid those behaviors.
Chapter 5-“Feelings” explores this sensitive subject in a variety of contexts. Dealing with change, new situations, and the feelings that come with these life experiences is handled in a practical manner. Making choices, accepting consequences, and working through anger have their rules to help a kid live a happier and more productive life.
Chapter 6-“Body Language” is an important chapter for kids who don’t have a good handle on using body language to understand others. Some children with ADD, have difficulty with this aspect of communication. Many of them would be well-advised not to be a “space invader.” Again, this chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
Chapter 7-“Manners” are not emphasized in today’s society, but good manners should always be in style. Manners are the oil that can smooth positive interactions among people. Some kids develop manners through observation and imitation. Kids with ADD are usually too distracted to do this. It’s not that they want to be less than mannerly. They didn’t learn manners the same way that their peers did, and they need to have them taught directly. This chapter does that. Topics that range from phone manners and making a good first impression to apologizing and responding to grief are covered. It’s an important chapter for success at school, a job, or life in general
There is also a complete list of the rules. Following that inclusive list are lined pages where kids can write their own rules. These can cover novel situations that they encounter. What a great idea! This lets children think about rules in their daily lives. As they pay attention, they become more able to formulate and follow rules.
This book was designed for children between the ages of about 7 to 14. As we say in academia, “It has wiggle room.” The book could be effective for children who are younger or older than the target ages. Cartoons at the beginning of each chapter are quirky. I liked the clean format. It is not cluttered and distracting. The language is simple and direct. This book doesn’t just tell why a kid should do something about a social skill. It offers a method for improving their social skills.
I would like to see this book in every home and school where there is a child struggling with social skills. Explore the book to see why I say this. A link is provided below.
* Social Rules for Kids-The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed
A copy of the book for review was provided to me by the publisher, AAPC Publishing. I thank them for the opportunity.