The Value of Developing Social Skills in Children

As adults, it is easy to forget how we developed our social skills and how well we got along with others to influence outcomes and build healthy, positive relationships. Developing social skills is actually not very far from developing cognitive skills or physical capabilities. Improving mental and physical strength can be achieved with constant practice, familiarity, and experience. With regular rehearsal in shifting scenarios, social skills can also be improved dramatically, with lifelong benefits.

Managing Social Interaction

Many parents think that setting up as many interactions with other kids, as possible will naturally allow them to develop their social skills. However, such social gatherings have limits on the growth children can experience from them.

In order to build well-rounded social skills, parents need to strike a balance between social interaction and guidance. If a child is constantly around his or her peers, receiving little guidance regarding the things he sees, hears, does, and says, then self-image, self-respect, and strong values are difficult to achieve. Children often do not fully understand complex concepts like empathy, compassion, and even self-control. It is therefore the parents’ responsibility to educate their children on proper social etiquette, courtesy, and behavior. In order to achieve this, parents should ‘casually’ monitor their children when interacting with peers of the same age and give advice, praise, or mild correction when needed.


Guiding a child is very different from reprimanding them. While it may be necessary to reprimand a child on certain occasions, what is most important for the parent is to put themselves in the place of the child. Seeing things through the eyes of a child can be quite difficult, but treating a child with care and compassion is extremely important in relation to social skill building. Moreover, as a child grows, his or her thoughts become increasingly complex. Unless they are encouraged to verbalize them, they will never truly be able to articulate them properly. Parents should practice putting thoughts and feelings into words with their children from time to time.

Risks of Low Social Interaction

At the other extreme, there is always the risk of too little exposure to peers. If a child or adolescent does not get enough chances to meet and play with kids his or her own age, he or she can easily lose or even fail to develop social perspective. He or she will not recognize cues on how to behave in social settings and relationships, sometimes leading to outbursts, missteps, and misbehavior. Fortunately this is a handicap that can often be avoided by involvement in partner or group activities, clubs or groups, sports, free play, and so on. Failing to develop satisfactory social skills can lead to poor habits and reclusive tendencies, ultimately preventing success by various measures among other ill effects such as susceptibility to peer abuse (bullying).  In addition to regular academics, many parents rely on martial arts type classes to help their children develop strong social skills at an early age.

Introducing Krav Maga for Kids

Introducing your child to a quality self defense program, will not only help your child to interact with others, and take direction, it will give them skills that will last a lifetime.  Krav Maga training will enhance their physical ability, give them confidence and teach them to stand up for themselves.  Most importantly Krav Maga training for Kids will give parents peace of mind that their child can protect themselves and make decisions that can potentially be life saving.  Our Krav Maga Kids program is for children 10 and up.  Let your child try it for FREE! Give us a call for a free trial class 773-775-5201


Krav Maga Illinois has been selected as Best Self Defense training by Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 2009 by Sue Garstki, a lifetime martial artist with over 40 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  Krav Maga Illinois has served thousands of students looking for realistic self defense and awareness training, confidence, empowerment, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Our Krav Maga Training practitioners include moms, dads, students, professionals, military personnel, law enforcement, anyone interested in protecting and improving their quality of life.  Krav Maga Illinois is a proud licensee of Krav Maga Worldwide, and is on a nationwide curriculum with over 150 KMW training facilities all over the world.

Krav Maga Illinois Krav Maga Kid’s Program is for children 10 and up.  This is a program that focuses on reality self defense, anti-bullying, strength and confidence building.  It is a hands on program in a safe and supportive environment.  

All of our instructors are officially certified through Krav Maga Worldwide and USA Boxing.  They are  knowledgeable and recognized in their field of expertise. What we do is self defense, and that is clear through the level of instruction given by our talented instructors. Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at or call directly at 773/775-5201. You can also visit our website at

About Sue Garstki: Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Shorei Goju Karate.  She has been certified in Commando Krav Maga and the Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. system. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels. Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems, and Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year. Sue has worked with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues. In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year.  She is a certified personal trainer under NDEITA and was one of the first instructors be be certified to teach the National Association of Professional Martial Artist’s (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program.  She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.  Sue can be reached at any time for more information or to answer any questions at

The Krav Maga Illinois headquarters is at 5201 North Oketo, Chicago, Illinois 60656 773/775-5201