Social Skills: Compliments to the Chef

As we all know, preparing a thanksgiving meal takes a great deal of time and effort, and every chef welcomes a compliment regarding their food they prepared. This is whyit is important to practice the skill of giving compliments in relation to the thanksgiving meal. This is trained very similarly to responding to questions, however instead of generating a response to a question, the child is responsible for initiating and/or generating a compliment. The discrete skill steps for this skill include

  1. Face the person

  2. Make eye contact (within 3 seconds)

  3. Provide a compliment (i.e. this meal is delicious)

  4. Listen and respond with a relevant statement (maintain eye contact and respond)

Again, train this skill as you would any other skill and go over approximately three different responses (or compliments) that your child or student can use during dinner. An interesting point that may come up is that your child or student may not actually like the food items. In this case, it is okay to explain the child that they have two choices. One choice being that even though they don’t actually like the food it is still okay to give a general compliment on the meal being fantastic, because the individual did put a lot of time and effort into preparing the meal. The other option is to just not say anything at all. It is important to go over that they should not say anything negative about the meal. Remember to go over that this is a ‘special’ occasion in which they can tell a white lie, and that these occasions rarely happen and that they should typically always tell the truth. Also, depending on the child’s level of functioning, this skill may or may not be appropriate to even go over. I do believe it is important to outline the rationale of why they need to provide a compliment on a day like Thanksgiving. Remember, that if you do see your child engage in any of these skills to praise them immediately for doing so, (even if it is just a whisper during dinner).

I hope these skills are useful to you and your children or students and that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I know that I am thankful for some time off to go back home and visit friends and family! I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with delicious food, relaxation, and football. Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Kate Helbig

Third year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at The University of Southern Mississippi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *