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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

social problems


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69140
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Posted Mar 14, 2001 at 12:00:01 AM
Subject: social problems

PASSWORD>aazUL4WRip/vsMy fourteen-year-old son is in 8th grade. The boys in his class, when not making fun of him, have very little to do with him. The girls are more tolerant and try to help him, but needless to say, his social skills are lacking. I've tried inviting kids to go to a movie with him, and they have a good time one-on-one, but never reciprocate. How can I help him to make friends? Would an older boy---used as a tutor/role model help?

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Greetings Kathlita,My 13yo daughter had the same problems in 7th grade except both the girls and boys rejected her. Since beginning HSing her this past year, she has made new friends with other HSers. HSers as a whole seem to be more open and receptive because they have greater exposure to a wider range of children's ages and abilities. Also, they don't develop "sibling syndrom" which seems to occur in an enclosed classroom of peers. Despite this, she still hasn't had a "best" friend since 6th grade. We too invite others kids to spend the night, go to movies, etc. and it isn't always reciprocated. But I don't stop inviting because each contact helps no matter who instigated it. I suggest getting your son involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Swim lessons, sports, karate, dances, youth group, youth bowling league, Sunday School, etc. will get him into contact with other kiddos outside his classroom. My dd loves school dances, Girl Scouts, church youth group, outdoor activities, talking on the phone and emailing others. Frequently, the kiddos who won't have much to do with them in class WILL talk with them via email and then that opens the door for other social activities. An older tutor/role model would be helpful if you can find one genuinely willing although a possible problem with an older student could be that your son would get more "information" than he needs at this age. A younger friend is perfectly okay. Frequently, LD kiddos relate better with someone younger because their social skills are actually on level with the younger child. Hope this helps.Blessings, momo

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

: Are you also working on his social skills while at the same encouraging friendships? If the students in his class are happy to accompany him to the movies but don't include him in return, there may be some messages there. What happens if they're not at the movies which is a highly structured activity? Movies don't allow for much social interaction really.To make friends, he will need to find people who can be comfortable while he is still developing his social skills. That can be hard for teenagers. Certainly an older boy or any person who is aware of your son's needs and willing to accept those needs could be helpful to him.If the girls in his class are tolerant of him, have you thought of inviting them over... on his next birthday? It could be quite a coup for a 14 -15 year old boy to be the only boy at his party.It's also sometimes easier to make friends outside of school. School can be such a pecking order kind of situation. Too many kids in too small classrooms. What about social avenues outside of school to support him through this challenging period of adolescence? Are there church groups or youth groups that are smaller than school is? Could he take group lessons of some kind and so have a social interaction in that experience?My own son who sometimes struggles for friendships at school takes Akido lessons. Three times a week he is welcomed into a community of learners, small and supportive, all of whom come there to learn a non-agressive martial art and practice the art form. The philosophy of Akido is to welcome all learners of any age and help them learn to support each other.It's an unusual recommendation but it's one I'd make to anyone who's in need of learning how to grow socially.Good luck.My fourteen-year-old son is in 8th grade. The boys in his class, when
: not making fun of him, have very little to do with him. The girls
: are more tolerant and try to help him, but needless to say, his
: social skills are lacking. I've tried inviting kids to go to a
: movie with him, and they have a good time one-on-one, but never
: reciprocate. How can I help him to make friends? Would an older
: boy---used as a tutor/role model help?

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

My son is having social problems, too. In my i-surfing I have found some valuable information. Try the book 'Peer power. Preadolescent culture and identity' (Rutgers University Press1998), they report the results of an eight year study of the peer culture of preadolescents, children between the age of eight and twelve. This represents the latter part of the elementary school years, roughly grades three through six. But,it applies through high school. The main point is that the most popular kids are not the nicest, friendliest, most sincere people. Popular cliques are based on power and exclusivity. I am just trying to give my son the tools and actions he needs to be a true friend, not a popular kid. Research shows that popularity in school is not an indicator of successful adulthood. Work on their self-esteem and their ability to be a true friend. Help your child using LaVoie's social autopsies, dissect situations and give your kid the actions and words that would have helped and practice, practice, practice. Be a good role model in your friend relationships. It is so hard, I know. Sue

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Hi Kathlita,I would like to suggest cub scouts or boy scouts. This puts your son in a situation with 6 or so other peers with at least one adult supervisor. They do interesting things, and this might give you a great opportunity to observe his social behaviors. Then you might see specific little things about the way he interacts that you could coach him on changing. Watching my son in cubs has opened my eyes to some things that my son does that turn off some kids and adults.Also, I think that when kids don't call back, that it hurts me much more than my son.Finally, I highly recomend getting a puppy. I promise you that there is not a single thing more effective in brining kids around YOUR home than a puppy. I realize this might not be totally addressing the situation, but believe me, it works.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

In addition to the ideas already mentioned, we were able to hook up with our local Big Brother organization. My son needed a friend, and the staff were very supportive of his needs. My son's Big Brother has been fantastic, guaranteeing him some non-parental attention and support once a week. It's wonderful for my son to get that special kind of encouragement and guidance from his Big Brother!Our Big Brother organization welcomed us; there were no criteria that we had to meet except perhaps wanting our son to be happier. Social workers on staff there were familiar with NLD, but parents may want to help brief a potential Big Brother/Sister on the child's particular social affect. Good feedback between parents and the Big Brother organization during the first few months also helped support the developing Big/Little Brother relationship.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 01, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Thanks for all of your suggestions. In addition, we live out in the country, so every social interaction has to be planned. But we've had success lately with younger kids. I even moved my son down a grade in our church class, because the boys in that class were much friendlier. One of his church classmates is driving our 4-wheeler with him right now. Four wheels have the same effect as the puppy suggestion! I'm also looking into the "big brother" idea. Yes, he's working on social skills, but if you ask his younger sisters they'll tell you he's not learning much.

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