The study investigated the interactive impact of different dimensions of social skills on children’s emotional symptoms. We differentiate between self-oriented social skills which focus on considering own goals and needs in social interactions (assertiveness, social participation) and other-oriented social skills which focus on considering other’s goals and needs (pro-social and cooperative behavior). 167 children participated in the study at the ages of 5, 6 and 9 years. A multi-informant approach (parents, teacher, child) was employed to assess children’s psychopathology. Teachers rated children’s social skills. The study demonstrated the importance of deficits in self-oriented social skills for the development of emotional symptoms. Low levels of assertiveness predicted later emotional symptoms. In children with low levels of prosocial behavior, high assertiveness protected from emotional problems. In contrast, high levels of prosocial behavior emerged as a risk factor for later emotional symptoms, especially when is goes along with low levels of social participation.