Hesperian Health Guides

The ‘social skills’ of the community

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Chapter 10: Social skills > The ‘social skills’ of the community

While teaching social skills to children is very important, that alone is not enough. Children learn social skills not only from how we teach them and treat them, but also from how they see people treating each other in their community.

A group of boys and girls playing together while 3 adults look on.
When we teach children to play together in a group, we are helping them understand that we value solidarity and cooperation.

When we teach children to be friends with children who are deaf, and to respect those who are different, we are helping them understand that we value compassion. We are teaching them that helping others is everyone's responsibility.

But we must take our own advice, and set an example by our own actions! If our children see us ignoring or rejecting those who have different abilities from ourselves, or those who look different, or who are poor, they will learn a very different lesson from what we mean to teach them.

A man signing.
When we are kind and respectful to others, children learn that this is how people should treat each other.

If we want our children to learn to respect themselves and others, they must see us putting these values into practice. We ourselves must show respect for people who are different. All of us must also work to create a community that welcomes and supports all people, and acts on the values that are important to us.