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Intentional Catholic Parenting: Social Development

"Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it." - Luke 2:41-43

International Catholic Parenting Book

Social Skills for Kids

This passage showing Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem and engaging with the teachers in the temple, indicates his growing social awareness and intellectual development where he asks questions and listens to the religious scholars, demonstrating an early interest in matters of faith and learning. This episode is often seen as a glimpse into Jesus' early social and spiritual development, showcasing his curiosity, engagement with religious traditions, and emerging understanding of relationships and mission.


Parents are in the unique position of being able to influence their child’s social development from the very first day of their child’s life by smiling, cooing, touching, holding, etc. Parents can provide children with opportunities to engage in trial and error in a variety of social experiences, such as breaking into a group, sharing, and responding to feedback from others. Parents are also able to influence changes in children’s negative interactions by modeling and instructing them on how to succeed in positive interactions. Additionally, adults can set up situations for critical thinking and problem solving. They can do this by creating "what-if" situations to stimulate children’s thinking about behaviors that build friendships and extend relationships (Kostelnik, Soderman, & Whiren, 1993; Kostelnik, Stein, Whiren, & Soderman, 1993).



Impact of Catholic Values on Enhancing Social Skills for Kids

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The unique aspect of "Intentional Catholic Parenting: Social Development" lies in its emphasis on the impact of Catholic values in shaping and enhancing social skills for kids. The book articulately discusses how core Catholic principles like empathy, kindness, and respect are fundamental to developing strong social competencies in children. It connects these values to real-world social skills, illustrating how they can be applied in various social situations children encounter.

Central to this discussion is the concept of community and how being part of a faith-based community can provide children with diverse opportunities to practice and refine their social skills. The book encourages parents to involve their children in community activities, such as church groups or service projects, as a way of exposing them to different social dynamics and teaching them the value of service and cooperation.

Moreover, the book addresses the role of forgiveness and understanding in social interactions. It teaches parents how to guide their children in navigating social challenges with grace and compassion, drawing upon Catholic teachings. This approach not only enhances children's social skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of human dignity and the importance of treating others with respect and love.

Why 'Intentional Catholic Parenting' is Essential for Social Skills for kids

"Intentional Catholic Parenting: Social Development" is more than just a book; it's an essential tool for any parent looking to holistically enhance their child's social skills from a Catholic perspective. This book stands out due to its comprehensive approach to social development, covering a wide range of topics and stages from birth to adulthood. Here's why this book is a must-have for parents:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage of Social Development Stages: The book provides detailed insights into various stages of social development, from birth to adulthood. This allows parents to understand and support their child's social growth at every stage, ensuring a well-rounded development.

  2. In-Depth Exploration of Relationship Skills: Chapters like 'Relationship Initiation' and 'Relationship Maintenance' delve into the core of building and sustaining healthy relationships. This is crucial for children to learn as they navigate their social world.

  3. Guidance on Responding to Emotional Needs: The section on 'Responding to Another’s Comfort, Love, Approval' is particularly insightful, teaching children how to be empathetic and responsive to the emotional needs of others, a key component of social competence.

  4. Focus on Leisure and Play Competence: Understanding the role of leisure and play in social development is essential. This book offers strategies to help children develop social skills in more relaxed and playful environments, making the learning process enjoyable and natural.

  5. Social Domain Target Objectives and Planner: The inclusion of specific social domain target objectives and a social domain planner makes this book a practical tool for parents. It helps in setting clear goals and planning activities that align with the child's developmental stage and social learning needs.

Overall, "Intentional Catholic Parenting: Social Development" is an invaluable resource for any parent. Its detailed and faith-based approach to social skills development offers a unique and effective way of guiding children through the complex world of social interactions, rooted in Catholic values

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