There is a saying in real estate that it is all about location, location, location. Though this is very true, it does not only apply to real estate. Many other items are dependent upon the location in which they take place. One of those was recently pointed out to me when it came to my own son, Austin. Austin, like many other kids, spent more time during the pandemic doing online gaming. He has carried that on coming out the pandemic, like many other kids. Over that time as we heard him on his games, his mom or I have had to pull him aside and give him lessons on social skills. He usually, after a few simple prompts, changes his behavior. This has been true also with his dealings with conflicts on-line.
I recently had a conversation with some in education around this very topic. They are seeing kids who can do very well online with the way they socially interact. However, many seem to be struggling with how to do this face to face. It shows to me the importance of teaching, not only face to face social skills, but also conflict resolution in schools. It would appear by emerging research that though some kids are able to do well in the world of online gaming at making friends and dealing with conflict, they struggle when they leave the virtual location and are asked to use social skills and conflict resolution skills in other locations when it is face to face interactions.
I witnessed this with Austin just recently. I took him to his doctor for a sore side. When the doctor was questioning him, my twelve-year-old who has no problem speaking up when gaming, would barely talk. He at times looked to me to help answer questions the doctor was asking even though earlier he answered the same questions clear and with no issues when his mother and I had asked. It seemed like the social skills he possessed online were lacking in the doctor’s office.
Though at times The Mandt System is referred to as one of those restraint training companies, in truth that is a misrepresentation. Mandt is a relationship building and conflict resolution training program much more than it is about teaching the physical skills. We encourage our trainers to teach some of the same skills they are teaching to their staff to the end users of the program. This would seem especially important in today’s school climate as students navigate knowing how to have appropriate social skills and conflict resolution skills in various locations.
Tim Geels – Director of Implementation and Governance