Social Skills Around the Clock

Rif­ka Schon­feld; Yoel Judowitz, illus.

  • Review
By – February 7, 2018

Rif­ka Schon­feld, an edu­ca­tor and expert in help­ing chil­dren nav­i­gate the chal­lenges of social skills, designed this book for par­ents and chil­dren to use togeth­er. The book is meant to help sim­pli­fy the com­plex­i­ties of dai­ly life, and help chil­dren devel­op the mas­tery and self-con­fi­dence to effec­tive­ly func­tion in social situations.

The book has two sec­tions. The first breaks the day down hour by hour and illus­trates, through a series of com­ic-style vignettes, how to han­dle var­i­ous chal­lenges that come along with each part of the day, such as ear­ly morn­ing rou­tines or approach­ing a group of peers. Half of each dou­ble-page spread shows a child wor­ried about how to han­dle the chal­lenge. The oth­er half shows the same child using the basic tech­niques and prin­ci­ples being taught in order to sur­mount the dif­fi­cul­ties, and there­by feel in control.

The next part of the book is a guide designed for par­ents, teenagers, ther­a­pists, and edu­ca­tors who are deal­ing with issues under­ly­ing the chal­lenges men­tioned above. A short sum­ma­ry of each chal­lenge is pre­sent­ed, as well as a num­ber of sug­ges­tions as to how par­ents can help, and how chil­dren or young adults can min­i­mize the issues asso­ci­at­ed with these difficulties.

The com­ic-style illus­tra­tions are col­or­ful and appeal­ing, and the lan­guage is non-threat­en­ing and easy for lay read­ers to under­stand. Togeth­er with pro­fes­sion­al help, and occa­sion­al­ly on its own, this book can be a use­ful tool to ease fam­i­ly stress dur­ing dif­fi­cult years in child development.

While the illus­tra­tions are clear­ly geared toward an Ortho­dox read­er­ship, the advice giv­en is help­ful to those of any background.

Rec­om­mend­ed for par­ents and chil­dren to use together.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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