About the Kids’Skills method

What is Kids'Skills?

Kids'Skills is a step by step method to help children learn skills and overcome emotional and behavioral problems with the help of family, friends and other people close to them.

For what age children is it useful?

Kids'Skills is designed for children aged four to twelve but its principles are also applicable to teenagers and even adults.

Who can use it?

Kids'Skills was originally intended as a tool for people such as therapists, counsellors, social workers and special education teachers whose work involves helping children overcome problems. The method is, however, simple and secure that it can also be used by parents with their own children and with minimum professional guidance.

What is the basic idea behind Kids'Skills?

Adults tend to see problems as symptoms of an underlying disorder that needs to be treated, whereas children tend to see problems as a lack of skills that need to be learned. Kids'Skills adheres to the childrens view. Its objective is to encourage and help children acquire the skills they need in order to overcome problems. As the method involves recruiting family, school and friends to support the child, it has an impact not only on the child but on his entire social network.

What is special about Kids'Skills?

The main advantage of Kids'Skills is that although children shy away from talking about their problems, they find learning skills enjoyable and rewarding. In addition, Kids'Skills fosters cooperation with parents by regarding them as partners and having them act as supporters for the child.

What kinds of issues can the Kids'Skills method address?

Kids'Skills is suitable for a wide range of issues. These uses include fears, inappropriate conduct, concentration, bad habits, temper tantrums, eating, sleeping, going to the toilet and so on.

By helping children gain control, it can also alleviate the symptoms of more serious psychiatric disturbances such as attention deficit disorder, autism, pervasive developmental disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hyperactivity and tantrums.

One can say that Kids'Skills is suitable whenever there is a problem that can be solved or ameliorated by the child learning a specific skill.

Are there ethical concerns involved using Kids'Skills?

Generally speaking, Kids'Skills is safe and the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work. However, like any tool aimed at human changes, it can be used to facilitate changes that are inappropriate or ethically questionable such as teaching children how to lie, or how to work even harder when they are already doing their best. This risk is fortunately reduced by the fact that children themselves have a say in what skills they will learn and that the important people in the child´s life are invited to participate in the project by acting as the child's supporters.

In principle, it is also possible that a person who is only superficially acquainted with the method can apply it mechanically without understanding its basic philosophy, its emphasis on respecting the child and the importance of building genuine cooperation with the child's social network.

Finally, it should be pointed out that Kids'Skills is not a cure-it-all. It is simply a method for helping children overcome problems that can be overcome by learning skills. It should not prevent children from medical attention or protective interventions when they are warranted.

In the following video Ben Furman relates that Kids'Skills has an impact not only on the child but also on his or her entire social network.