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Following social rules

At a Glance: How to Help Your Middle-Schooler Follow Social Rules

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Kids with learning and attention issues might have trouble following social rules. Explore how this can play out in middle school and ways to help your child adjust.

64Found this helpful
At a Glance: How to Help Your Middle-Schooler Follow Social Rules
When middle-schoolers don’t follow social rules, they can struggle to fit in. Here’s how you can help them learn to use social rules to get along with others.
Social rule not followed:
Meet and greet politely.
Example: Your child is at his locker. The girl next to him says, “I like your jacket.” Your child doesn’t respond.
How to help: Model giving and receiving compliments at home. Prompt your child to offer ones of his own.
Social rule not followed:
Takes turn talking.
Example: Your child does all the talking and doesn’t let his friend get a word in.
How to help: Try making a “baton” rule at home: Everyone gets a chance to speak for a certain amount of time when holding the baton.
Social rule not followed:
Think about others before acting.
Example: Your child starts practicing his trumpet where his brothers are trying to do homework. He doesn’t notice them scowling.
How to help: Say, “Did you ask your brothers if it’s OK to play here?” Encourage him to pay attention to expressions.
Social rule not followed:
Pay attention to others.
Example: At the computer lab, your child is supposed to be researching his part of a group project. Instead he plays video games. The group’s total grade goes down as a result.
How to help: Remind your child to look around at what the rest of group is doing to get a sense of what’s expected.
Social rule not followed:
Cooperate with others.
Example: In science, the class is working in pairs to look at slides. Your child tries to stick his finger under the microscope. His lab partner is irritated.
How to help: Talk to your child about the situation. Ask, “How would you feel if your partner did that to you?”
Graphic of At a Glance How to Help Your Middle-Schooler Follow Social Rules
Graphic of At a Glance How to Help Your Middle-Schooler Follow Social Rules

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About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright

A veteran writer and editor for parenting magazines and websites, Lexi Walters Wright has a master’s degree in library and information science and is proud to serve families at Understood.org.

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Reviewed by Bob Cunningham, M.A., Ed.M. Mar 02, 2014 Mar 02, 2014

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