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amum
amum asks:
Q:

Is there a good book for me to help my son improve his social skills.

My son is 8 and appears to be quite sociable and interacts with his peers. He usually gets on really well with people he just met but I often see boys from his class trying to avoid him ie: at judo. From time to time he mentions matter of factly (mainly) that he does not have friends. And my observation backs this up. He would like closer friends.

He is an indoor kid and break time is spent at the computers either using them if it is his turn or watching if not. He does not have close relationships and does not get invited to parties or to other peoples places after they have been to ours. But the other kids are usually keen to come again. So thats OK. He has a kid close by who often comes to play so-kind of a family friend .

His teachers and class nick-name him Einstein and Brain box due to him loving to read (and then him telling them all about it) he is a 'bookworm' if a computer is not there and loves facts. However his report does not put him as an excellent student as he finds writing really hard and his ability to 'phase out' and lose time is incredible. He is left-handed and this holidays I am going to try to improve his handwriting.

As his mother I cannot see what he is doing wrong. He is generally a loving child, but even though he is a goodish boy I find him harder on my nerves than my daughter. He can be irritating he wants to change everything so that sometime doing a simple thing becomes a pain. But I do not know what is turning people off?
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

AnnieFox
Dec 22, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Even though you say that you are wondering why you son isn't more popular with his peers, after reading your description of him, I get the feeling that he doesn't quite measure up to your standards. I realize that sounds harsh, but listen to some of the phrases you've used to describe him. They are not particularly positive:
"He is a bookworm"
He "generally" a loving child
He is a "goodish" boy (these are qualified statements)
"I find him harder on my nerves than my daughter"
He can be "irritating"
"He wants to change everything so that sometime doing a simple thing becomes a pain"

On top of that you seem to have problems with his hand-writing and are planning to use part of what should be a joyful holiday season to work to "improve" his penmanship.

My advice, since you asked, is that you lighten up on the child. Catch him in the act of doing something right and praise him for it. Please stop comparing him to your daughter. That's not helpful nor is it likely to promote the development of positive self-image. One other thing, please ask the teacher to stop calling your son "Einstein" and "Brain box" as these nicknames will only encourage his classmates to think of him as "different" and not at their level.

As for what you can do to help him gain more friends, by all means continue inviting kids over to play. Your son sounds like an intellectual (nothing wrong with that!) Because he spends so much time in the world of ideas, it would be good to offer a balance... so the more social interactions you can offer, the better.





On top of that,

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Additional Answers (2)

AnnieFox
AnnieFox , Child Professional writes:
Even though you say that you are wondering why you son isn't more popular with his peers, after reading your description of him, I get the feeling that he doesn't quite measure up to your standards. I realize that sounds harsh, but listen to some of the phrases you've used to describe him. They are not particularly positive:
"He is a bookworm"
He "generally" a loving child
He is a "goodish" boy (these are qualified statements)
"I find him harder on my nerves than my daughter"
He can be "irritating"
"He wants to change everything so that sometime doing a simple thing becomes a pain"

On top of that you seem to have problems with his hand-writing and are planning to use part of what should be a joyful holiday season to work to "improve" his penmanship.

My advice, since you asked, is that you lighten up on the child. Catch him in the act of doing something right and praise him for it. Please stop comparing him to your daughter. That's not helpful nor is it likely to promote the development of positive self-image. One other thing, please ask the teacher to stop calling your son "Einstein" and "Brain box" as these nicknames will only encourage his classmates to think of him as "different" and not at their level.

As for what you can do to help him gain more friends, by all means continue inviting kids over to play. Your son sounds like an intellectual (nothing wrong with that!) Because he spends so much time in the world of ideas, it would be good to offer a balance... so the more social interactions you can offer, the better.





On top of that,
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
Hi amum,

It seems to me that you have a wonderful son who is intelligent and marches to the beat of his own drum.  GREAT for him!!!

I wouldn't be so concerned with quantity of friends he has as much as I would be over the quality of relationships that he has.  He sounds like a very intelligent child that may simply not have common interests with other children his age.

Great that he enjoys reading and learning as this will do much more for his future than petty childhood friendships.

As for the left hand writing.  It is not something that will improve over a holiday break.  It is a timely process and with practice his writing will improve, but you mention that he is 8.  Not too many 8 year olds have mastered penmanship skills.  Legible but not excellent penmanship, this is at the age that they generally start practicing cursive and it is difficult to master when they print one day and cursive the next.  But practice will most certainly improve his skill.  One tip for left handed writers, they should turn their paper slightly to the right as right handers turn their paper slightly to the left.  It's just the opposite for 'lefties'.  This may be something he is already doing, but if not - it's useful to know.  I have a right handed child and a left handed child and I'm lucky that I can write well with either hand (right is preferred) but I often switch to use my left hand when working with my son.  You may want to try that if you hadn't already.

Relax!  Let your 8 year old son be just exactly who he is and praise all his good work and deeds.  You're lucky to have such a bright young man!!!

Best wishes!
> 60 days ago

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