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poor social skills 5 year old

poor social skills 5 year old           reply
06/02/2013 13:30 - Ask Mother Hen
Just wondering if anyone else has any advice in relation to my 5 year old who has very poor social skills,

He seems unable to communicate with other children his age, to interact with them he tends to become hyper running around laughing and shouting, and making faces etc. He is really not like this always.. he is quite a sensitive little chap. He does not take rejection well. He is in junior infants and although he does sometimes play with others he has not really made any friends. He seems to alienate himself with his hyper behaviour. He did have a couple of friends but I think they are running away from him in the playground now. He is obsessed with one boy who he says is his best friend but I dont think the feeling is mutual anymore. I have spoken to the teacher in relation to this and she had set up play groups outside, but he was never happy as the boy who he calls his best friend was not in his group.. I would think the teacher did this on purpose The playgroups are no longer in place and I think he is happier. I try to talk to him about using his words to communicate with his friends, but I suppose its a shyness thing and its hard to do it when he is in the situation. Anyway all advice would be greatly welcome.

re : poor social skills 5 year old           reply
07/02/2013 21:46 - Ask Mother Hen
I wonder, is this social situation new to him? Some children have had to learn to mix with others from a very young age in creches etc., and others then are dealing with it for the first time in school. It may just take some time for him to learn - he´s so new to school. Perhaps take him to a sport or hobby after school once a week and see how he gets on. At home, check in with him after school and try to draw him out, chat about different situations so you know how he feels about whats happening during the day. Role-play can be a very useful method for coaching children and helping them to learn different approaches to specific situations they´re dealing with.
Is there any other possible reason he gets hyper at break - eg. whats in his lunchbox? Does it happen in class or can he sit still for the teacher? In other words, is it a symptom of something else or is it just social awkwardness? See if its possible to arrange playdates with one or two boys where he might be more relaxed in his own home and with a smaller number of children to play with - this could help build his confidence and connection with a few others. Observe him with cousins or children of your own friends and that helps you to direct him in appropriate behaviour. Encourage and help him to gain positive experiences with things he´s good at socially to build his confidence and his skill set.

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