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Teaching Life and Social Skills-bookcover

By: Galen Downes

Teaching Life and Social Skills

Pages: 58 Ratings:
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Why do so many of us feel dissatisfied, unhappy – sometimes depressed?

We have vastly more material possessions than we need, yet we’re duped into buying more, because of our need to keep up with others who have more money and ‘things’ than we have. We’re also pressurised by advertising, and glossy images of people living extravagant lives.

There’s a noticeable increase in our use of mobile phones. We tend to communicate more by messaging, than face-to-face conversations. There’s also a worrying trend in the misuse of social media (including cyber-bullying).

All these trends in our behaviour largely explain why there’s a rise in mental health problems – especially in youngsters – who need counselling and support. Unfortunately there’s a lack of appropriate resources.

We only need to take a few practical steps:

We can stop buying things we don’t need.

Stop envying, and comparing ourselves unfavourably with others.

Cut down on mobile phone use; allocate periods of ‘phone silence’.

Use social media responsibly, and think about its effects on others.

Make more time for family and friends, enjoy chatting face-to-face.

Think of others – give a helping hand, be generous and positive.

All we need is a change of attitude. It requires effort and determination – but it’s rewarding; and costs nothing!


This Workbook is a practical guide to help youngsters – working with their teachers and parents – to cope with any concerns or anxieties that inhibit them, and to develop their confidence, and fulfil their potential.


Galen Downes is a former teacher and lecturer. He was born in Umtata, Transkei, South Africa. He is a graduate of Natal University (BA) and London University (MA). He has produced training videos for candidates preparing for job interviews. As a former freelancer on Swansea Sound Radio, he reported on rugby and produced a weekly local business programme.

Galen lives in Caswell, Swansea, where he is currently writing a practical language development training programme for nursery teachers and volunteers. This is part of a charitable preschool playgroup project in an African township near Cape Town. He makes regular donations to their toy library.

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