How Children Can Improve Their Social Skills with the ACF

5 April 2018

After school clubs can be a great way to help your child learn valuable social skills. School can be a tricky environment for children to thrive in, but organisations such as the Army Cadet Force bring young people of different ages and backgrounds together; developing their social skills and improving self-esteem. Discover more about why your child should join the ACF.

After conducting various studies, experts found that regular participation in extra-curricular activities and after school clubs is extremely beneficial to children’s growth. This can mean the development of their personality, a reduction of stress, and an enhancement of social or academic skills that children could profit from in the future.

How Does the ACF Enhance Social Communication Skills?

Socialising with different ages

Meeting and interacting with boys and girls of different ages (the ACF caters to children aged 12-18) boosts their confidence and allows relationships to build between those who might not usually interact in a school environment. Working with children outside of a standard classroom setting allows them to learn the importance of improvisation, sharing ideas, and offering support to others in challenging and contrasting circumstances.

Teamwork

Working well in a team is central to ACF values and teachings and sets cadets up for the future. Teamwork is something our cadets will unquestionably have to apply to various scenarios in their futures, whether it’s academically, sociably, or in their careers. As young people start to learn the value of working in a team, they discover interpersonal ways of thinking. This, in turn, teaches them how to socialise and work well with others.

Leadership skills

The ACF teaches cadets how to be good leaders and provides skills that allow them to stand out from the crowd. To be a good leader, a certain level of social skills and confidence is needed, and these can be attained through spending time with the ACF. The National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition says that by learning leadership skills, young people will be better able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, making it easier for them to reach their goals.

Strengthen independence

Interacting with new people in a productive environment can push youngsters to be more independent. Attending annual camp with the rest of the county’s detachments is the perfect way for cadets to really find their independence and learn how to be more social; it is a great opportunity to build the special bond our detachments have. Also, allowing children to do things on their own provides an opportunity for them to make mistakes that they can learn from in the future.

Building character

Exploring personal capabilities in an environment where they’re valued can really help our cadets get a sense of their own characters. Allowing young people to express themselves – whether it’s asking for help, offering an opinion or explaining an emotion - allows them to grow into confident and empathetic people.

If you’re interested in inspiring cadets and helping them to grow and progress, find out about volunteering with the ACF. As well as teaching the cadets new skills, you will gain valuable experience in areas you may not have touched on before. Meet new people, gain new skills and make a difference not only in your community, but in your own lives too.