30 December 2007

How to Make Friends

Our kids have really poor social skills. Like really bad. Their skills are so bad I'm no longer surprised by the immense difficulties they experience at school and in other social settings.

Bella is a bossy, know-it-all, control freak. Bubaloo is a belligerent, belittling and downright mean dude. While we, as their parents, know where these issues come from, other children do not and do not have the patience to stick it out.

We had an inkling about what they were experiencing at school and having seen them play with the neighbours over the past few days, I'm horrified at how bad they are. I'm not even sure after yesterday if the new neighbours will even play with them again. They are no longer friends with the handful of other kids who live on our street.

Our kids just can't seem to make friends or acquaintances, and without the ability to befriend other kids, how will they ever learn how to build a friendship?

We've put them in extracurricular activities. No click. We sent them to summer camp. No click. We've arranged play dates with other kids from LGBTQ families. No click. They go to school everyday. And still, no click. How do we help these munchkins?

We repeatedly re-visit what makes a good friend. Because often the kids they choose to hang around with don't inspire the best behaviours in our children. We see our kids being used for some troublesome purpose (like stealing chocolate bars out of a cupboard at school) or engage them in unbalanced friendships (like only being a friend when everyone else is mad at you) which negatively impact our kids.

Yeah, kids can be pretty cruel. But in turn, we know our kids dish it out back. Or, dish it out first.

Neither child has ever had a single good chum. And, we're at wits end to help them develop the skills they need to help them out. How do you help your kids negotiate the intricacies of friendship?


Gawdess said...

Okay, I think I know where you are at on this...my oldest was dx'd with social disorder at 6 and in particular this is something my youngest struggles with.

So first something that helped us a lot Carol Gray and Social Stories
-I'm not guaranteeing anything but I found her very helpful.

The other, I am practically a martinet with my kids, because it works for them, I make it clear what is okay and what isn't.
I will use bribes for good behaviour or whatever it takes.
I joke that my 3 rules for raising kids are
It took a lot of shadowing on my part to improve things for my kids and I on purpose did a lot of modeling and role playing with the kids and with my husband.

Hope this helps. It is such a hard one.

Chantal said...

I wish I had something wise to day. Unfortunately, I can just offer a shoulder and let you know what great parents you are.

Pendullum said...

I have come to this post so many times... and tried to write a comment of support your way...
But words truly fail me...
But I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and your wee family unit...
And where I have no earthy advice...
I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and of your situation...
Hoping there are answers...

Pendullum said...

How has everything resolved?
HAve you found solutions?
Please post...