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teaching how to socialize with other children

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Can someone please help me with my 5 - almost 6 year old kindergartener?  he is not socializing with other children appropriately and now doesn't appear to be making friends.  He is trying to be funny but it becomes annoying to other children.  He has a 2 year old sister and acts like her often when playing.  He is very intelligent but appears to be far behind socially.  When I volunteered at his class one of the other students asked me why he was so weird.  Is there a book?  Anything that could help me teach him how to socialize.  I am not really sure what to do or say.

Thanks so much!

Lindsay

post #2 of 14

Do you have any friends with kids *older* than him that you guys could spend time with?  My dd is 6yo and has a 3yo brother that she plays with all the time.  Sometimes she slips into kind of "babyish" behaviour that other kids her age find annoying.  BUT she also has a best friend (the ds of my best friend) who is 2yrs older than her, and I think that spending time with him kind of helps "even things out" if that makes sense.  Her older friend is more patient with her than her same-age peers, maybe because he is that much more mature and/or because he recognizes that she is "only 6" and so some annoying behaviour is to be expected... I don't know.  But I do think it helps her socialization skills to have time around older kids.

post #3 of 14

My ds used to ape around when he wanted to interact with people.  He wanted to make them laugh but I suspect they weren't sure how to respond to him and wondered if they should look away from him or something, lol.  I taught him a few jokes which made it clear to everyone that he was trying to engage them and make them laugh.  That worked well for him...

 

The other thing he would do is kind of poke random strange kids because he wanted to play with them.  Sometimes they thought he was trying to be aggressive.  I coached him to say "Hi, my name is ___, want to play?"  Again, that was very helpful because it made his friendly intentions clear.

 

Maybe you can role play with him a bit.  Find out what he is trying to accomplish with his interactions with the other kids and give him a script, just a few simple phrases, that will help him achieve them.  And let him know what to do if the kids react in different ways.  A kid saying no or just moving away probably means he should ask somebody else to play, for instance.

post #4 of 14
post #5 of 14

There's a good curriculum called: Superflex which you might be able to teach him some social thinking skills.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the suggestions.  Those books are exactly what I was looking for.

Lindsay

post #7 of 14

You could look into a social skills "group" in your area. He could interact with other children and practice and learn "hands on". You could do a google search or see if different community mental health/psychologist practices/social workers/etc. in your area offer such a group.

post #8 of 14

Have you spoken to the teacher or school social worker about this?  Schools sometimes have peer groups designed to promote social skills (lunch bunch, friendship groups, etc.).  Has he socialized with other kids appropriately before this, or is this something you've been watching?

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I did call the teacher last week and she has yet to call me back.  Very frustrating because I am the room parent and she always calls me back when I am planning all the school events!  I'll call her again today.  I am now realizing that it is certain types of personalities he is having a hard time with.  Mostly the hyper boys.  He gets along with all girls and quiet boys.  That is what I noticed in school when I volunteered last week.  I put the books on hold at the library and will see about social groups.

post #10 of 14



If he's able to make friends with some of the children then I really wouldn't worry too much. My ds tends to shy away from loud/hyper/aggressive boys and definitely has not interest in playing with "behavior" kids. He's pretty quiet and a rule follower/teacher pleaser and has always tended to find more friends with girls or other more mellow boys. We've been hoping he'd improve this year on social skills too. He is starting to but is still very hesitant and awkward with new people/places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlight mom View Post

I did call the teacher last week and she has yet to call me back.  Very frustrating because I am the room parent and she always calls me back when I am planning all the school events!  I'll call her again today.  I am now realizing that it is certain types of personalities he is having a hard time with.  Mostly the hyper boys.  He gets along with all girls and quiet boys.  That is what I noticed in school when I volunteered last week.  I put the books on hold at the library and will see about social groups.



 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

beebalmamma,

that is sounds exactly like my dd and really he has always been that way.  I can remember taking him to playgrounds when he was 3 and he always stood  back when there were hyper kids there.  Maybe I am overthinking it.

post #12 of 14

I know, my ds will still just look at kids weird or duck away if a child he doesn't know approaches him at a park and says hi or asks to play. He is just so reserved that he can't seem to cross those social boundaries by himself yet. We try to give him the cues of what he could say and I often model the behavior for him. I figure he'll get there and I think school is a big help for giving him opportunities. Have you spoken to his teachers about his personality and what they observe? I know my ds's teacher were aware of his reserved nature/social skills (or lack of ) and they mentioned during his p/t conferences how they would try to give him opportunities to connect with other kids in the class and at recess. They may also be able to give you a better idea of his interactions with other kids in the class.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

There's a good curriculum called: Superflex which you might be able to teach him some social thinking skills.


Superflex helped my dd tremendously. So did time. She's 6.5 now and it's a huge difference. It's written for Autistic children, but really can help any kid.
post #14 of 14

I have a similar problem; my 5 year old daughter socializes reasonably well with kids she knows well but is very awkward when she meets them on her own such as when we take her to the playground. I find she is much better with younger kids because there is less talking involved, whereas the kids her age or a little older things she's weird or annoying. The older kids (2 years or more) or typically much more understanding and sweet with her as they attribute her behavior to simply being younger. I find it very difficult to watch her interact in certain situations as it hurts to see kids snubbing her or actually conspiring against her. I generally try to sit back and watch since the other kids are also being watched and hopefully supervised to some degree, but I will sometimes try to pull my daughter aside and steer her in the right direction. Sometimes it's better than they figure things out for themselves - it makes more of an impact than being 'lectured.' Thanks for your post.

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