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Dulce Domem

Help with boy - building friendships

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Hey all!  (I feel so bad because I only ever get on here to post a question.  But I know that you all would know!)

 

I have a 10 year old boy who is not the greatest with interpersonal relationships.  He is extremely outgoing and extroverted, but he doesn't understand the intricacies of friendships - mostly the give and take that relationships require, even in conversation.  Does anyone have any helpful resources that I can use with him?  I am not the best at personal relationships, either, so I can use all the help I can get!

 

I know that there are a slew of books for girls about these topics (like all of those American Girl guides), but do those exist for boys?  I am at such a loss as to how to help him learn to be a friend and how to connect with people.  Coming from a background where there are a few narcissists in my family, I am probably being overly sensitive to his quirks, I realize.  

 

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

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Go to the public library and ask the children's librarian for social stories.

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Go to the public library and ask the children's librarian for social stories.

 

Is that an actual genre?  Will she understand what I mean?  I've never heard that reference before.  

 

(Just want to make sure the librarian would actually understand what I mean!)

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My DS10 aren't good at learning social skills from books. He had to learn by modelling and coaching. We find that he improve when in classes/camps where the instructors know how to guide "socially awkward" kids.

I have two boys and my DS11 tends to be accomodating to DS10 or he tunes him out. So DS10 had to get the "You talk too much" from someone else.

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My DS10 aren't good at learning social skills from books. He had to learn by modelling and coaching. We find that he improve when in classes/camps where the instructors know how to guide "socially awkward" kids.

I have two boys and my DS11 tends to be accomodating to DS10 or he tunes him out. So DS10 had to get the "You talk too much" from someone else.

 

Interesting.  What would a class this like even be called?  How would I even google that?  

 

My 10 year old learns from reading in general, especially if he can read, then discuss and model secondly.  He inputs best from the written word (which is why all the modeling and coaching we have done for 10 years now just hasn't helped!).  It's how he learns sports techniques, etc.  

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In my area there is a group called "friendship in teams." My ped actually recommended it for DS 9. Maybe talk to the ped and go from there.

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The classes are called "social skills classes" where we live. We tried two different types and neither worked for ds, but reading books has helped.

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I agree with, if you can afford it, looking for a social skills group for him. Psychologists run these groups for kids in this situation. It's like group therapy. Kids sit around and practice the skills.

 

If you feel like it's not that severe a need... I would say look into a structured academic project team activity if you can. 4-H and Scouts can be this way, but I'm thinking of Lego Robotics or Destination Imagination or possibly Science Olympiad... this sort of thing is good for kids because a big part of the challenge is teamwork. A good team manager will help the kids practice those teamwork skills. Another option would be an improv class, since improv is all about teamwork.

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I haven't finished it yet, but the book "The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends" has been highly recommend to me by several people.

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One thing that has helped us a lot -- and my son is now 13 -- is that I put him in activities that he loves. So that way, he gets his extroverted needs met. He happens to love theater so I've gone out of my way to find a theater program that fits.

 

Plus he's taken piano lessons for four years and I have him going to a senior home and playing once a month. He loves the positive feedback from the residents.

 

The activity-thing was a lifesaver.

 

Alley

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Thanks so much everyone!  Lots of good ideas.  I don't think it's a severe need, it's just that I never had anyone model appropriate behavior/how to interact with others/how to have healthy friendships at all in my childhood.  I have learned so much with as adult, but still feel awkward and completely unsuitable to be the one to help him through situations.  *I* need help!!  (And I've considered getting it...)  My husband is a preacher of a 300+ person congregation and I thrive there and have no problem, but it is not natural for me and I have to think through everything which is just exhausting.  I don't think that if you surveyed our congregation that anyone would consider me to be socially awkward, though.  My son is a lot like me, and I would like to give him more help and support than I got.  

 

He is finishing his baseball season and we are looking into more extracurriculars for fall.  There is an excellent speech group near which is high on our list.

 

And I will definitely look into that book - thanks for the recommendation!

 

Off to google classes now!  

 

(And improv - genius idea!)

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