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Old Yesterday, 06:48 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
81,184 posts, read 74,335,397 times
Reputation: 80947

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
Is this a description just from you, or from everyone? I ask because my mom described me in this way in my youth. Interestingly enough, when she talked to my best friend’s mom, best friend’s mom described a totally different, chatty and outgoing RamenAddict that my mom never saw. My mom described me as having a porcupiney personality even when I was a young adult. FWIW, my mom is a mental health professional... so I always had to deal with that particular aspect of worrying about having a mom working in mental health. The point is, maybe they are just nervous when their parents are around and not so nervous when the parents are gone?

I do not have any social skills problems now. That hasn’t been a problem anyone has mentioned with me in the workplace for some time, if ever. I think I got over it in college.
This is such an astute observation! Great post! Also, I don't think parents setting up playdates just to force a child to socialize is a good idea. The impetus for the playdates should come from the child, who hopefully has made at least one friend at school, whom she'd like to see on the weekends. Forcing a playdate on a (purportedly) shy child could be damaging.
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM
 
8,064 posts, read 4,292,567 times
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There are many smaller things you can do to help her. For example, when you go to a restaurant, let her tell the server what she wants and answer any questions herself. Brief little things like that help build confidence. Also be sure you are teaching her good manners. I remember at about 7 when my Dad actually had to tell me that some of my behaviors seemed rather rude.

Also, shyness and poor EI generally involve thinking too much about your own feelings rather than other people. You could ask her to tell you about her schoolmates as well as about herself. When you take her someplace fun, you could encourage her to ask a friend to come too.
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Old Today, 07:28 AM
 
9,227 posts, read 2,683,959 times
Reputation: 10336
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmybirdie View Post
My kids 3, and 7 year old are shy, tend to avoid eye contact and not good in social situations. Do you know if there are programs out there that teaches kids with social skills? My 7 year old daughter is in GATE program, extremely good in math but I realize that Emotional Intelligence is much more important for her overall happiness and career success. Weak Emotional Intelligence is also something that I struggle with even though I am very successful in my engineering career.


I am current reading a few emotional intelligence books and trying to help mainly my 7 year old with a few activities:
* Asking my 7 year old to describe and write down her feelings each day
* Learn new words to describe feelings other than happy and sad, color images of facial expression and body language of various feelings. This came from emotional intelligence books for kids
* Set up more playdates, at least once a week so she can practice social skills
* Thinking about enrolling her into girl scout


What other activities or training program do you recommend?
Thanks,
None of that address the issue. It caters to all her strengths as you've described it, because they are academic exercise.

Does she look you in the eye? Her sibling in the eye? Why don't you start practicing that?

Or try martial arts. Kids HAVE to look sensei in the eye out of respect. They must look up to participate. They must look at their opponents. There are some non contact types, if that's a concern.
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Old Today, 07:49 AM
 
4,180 posts, read 1,760,762 times
Reputation: 2748
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmybirdie View Post
My kids 3, and 7 year old are shy, tend to avoid eye contact and not good in social situations. Do you know if there are programs out there that teaches kids with social skills? My 7 year old daughter is in GATE program, extremely good in math but I realize that Emotional Intelligence is much more important for her overall happiness and career success. Weak Emotional Intelligence is also something that I struggle with even though I am very successful in my engineering career.


I am current reading a few emotional intelligence books and trying to help mainly my 7 year old with a few activities:
* Asking my 7 year old to describe and write down her feelings each day
* Learn new words to describe feelings other than happy and sad, color images of facial expression and body language of various feelings. This came from emotional intelligence books for kids
* Set up more playdates, at least once a week so she can practice social skills
* Thinking about enrolling her into girl scout


What other activities or training program do you recommend?
Thanks,
Look within than outside. You think those soccer kids or dance coaches would love them? You dont teach kids. They pickup and follow or copy the parents.

How iften do rhey have access to thier geandparents? Or even cousins of same age? You cannot expect them to be comfortable around strangers, when you ae trying to address the veey issue of social skills.
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Old Today, 08:19 AM
 
1,255 posts, read 362,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
There are many smaller things you can do to help her. For example, when you go to a restaurant, let her tell the server what she wants and answer any questions herself. Brief little things like that help build confidence. Also be sure you are teaching her good manners. I remember at about 7 when my Dad actually had to tell me that some of my behaviors seemed rather rude.

Also, shyness and poor EI generally involve thinking too much about your own feelings rather than other people. You could ask her to tell you about her schoolmates as well as about herself. When you take her someplace fun, you could encourage her to ask a friend to come too.
This^^^
Social interactions should feel natural as in a real life. Sometimes it feels awkward because they are “forced” : on Thursday between 3 and 5 you are having a play date with Amy... think how unnatural it is really. Maybe the child wants to read or draw or snuggle with the parent instead at that time.

Be casual about. At the restaurant- “excuse” yourself to the bathroom and ask your daughter to ask the waiter to bring you a glass of water, etc.
At the book store ask her to go find a clerk and find out where is such and such books/ games, etc section.
“ is seat taken?”, “excuse me, is it your eyeglasses on the floor?”, “ how much is this ..?”

Just think of situation when she might need to approach people and try to model those situations.

Start in the family: some outgoing game night like monopoly- when you are all involved and interacting? Eventually, you or her may bring your friend/ neighbor? To add the number of people?

Nobody mentioned volunteering: you could find something you are interested in- where you could take your kids with you- like cleaning the beach, planting trees, walking the dog at the animal shelter, bringing food to a food pantry, community gardens, where one have to interact with new people and show compassion to a dog, a person on hard times, etc

The museums have children’s programs where one can get a small dose of interaction and observe other people.

Books on the EI could be ok, but the research could be flowed ( I recall an alarming situation with one of coworkers when their adults child had read some famous book and “diagnosed” that their parent-child relationship were not good as the parent was “borderline”. I was confided into this and had to do some research on the author and the book- the author used an outdated research; fake “science” which was disproved- so I comforted the coworker, the child eventually outgrew their notion that a parent was mentally ill- but it was not an easy few years for that coworker. They still keep that trash of book - which unfortunately sold a lot of copies- to tease their more mature child now and laugh about it and as a cautionary tale)

Last edited by Nik4me; Today at 08:30 AM..
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Old Today, 08:26 AM
 
1,332 posts, read 389,743 times
Reputation: 2548
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmybirdie View Post
My kids 3, and 7 year old are shy, tend to avoid eye contact and not good in social situations. Do you know if there are programs out there that teaches kids with social skills? My 7 year old daughter is in GATE program, extremely good in math but I realize that Emotional Intelligence is much more important for her overall happiness and career success. Weak Emotional Intelligence is also something that I struggle with even though I am very successful in my engineering career.


I am current reading a few emotional intelligence books and trying to help mainly my 7 year old with a few activities:
* Asking my 7 year old to describe and write down her feelings each day
* Learn new words to describe feelings other than happy and sad, color images of facial expression and body language of various feelings. This came from emotional intelligence books for kids
* Set up more playdates, at least once a week so she can practice social skills
* Thinking about enrolling her into girl scout


What other activities or training program do you recommend?
Thanks,
I had a daughter exactly like yours. She did outgrow it in college but it was painful to see in the intervening years and it wasn't for lack of participation in activities. Children are finely tuned to pick up on other children who are socially awkward and avoid them. So she would be the one seated alone on the bus amongst all her team members.
At her birthday roller skating party all her "friends" would pair up and she would be skating by herself. Everyone was friendly to her but I could see she wanted to belong and have close friends. I contacted her school and the only suggestions I received the familiar refrain of getting her into more activities.

In retrospect I wish I found an away camp with a counselor who could assist her by directly observing her interactions, coaching her and setting up opportunities for inclusion.

Last edited by Maddie104; Today at 08:35 AM..
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Old Today, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,944 posts, read 12,747,549 times
Reputation: 33898
Yes, there are social skills programs. However, this is local and what's available in my community says nothing about what is available in yours. I would start with the school and see if they know of resources in your area. I would look for specific groups and not assume that she would learn the necessary skills by osmosis simply by participating in a group activity.
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Old Today, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Cypress, CA
385 posts, read 1,170,461 times
Reputation: 414
Thank you everyone for your feedback and ideas. I just want to add that my daughter has two close friends at school and she and her friends want to have playdates after school and I am not pressuring her to have playdates. She is in swimming (individual), piano and taking hip hop. I will enroll her into girl scout. I have found a public speak class for kids but it is too far from my house.
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Old Today, 02:35 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,401 posts, read 2,106,972 times
Reputation: 5182
There are a couple of entities near me that offer social skills programs and camps. I've long toyed with putting my son in one and am going to do it soon. Maybe google and see if any are near you or ask in some local facebook groups.
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Old Today, 04:00 PM
 
1,255 posts, read 362,744 times
Reputation: 3266
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmybirdie View Post
Thank you everyone for your feedback and ideas. I just want to add that my daughter has two close friends at school and she and her friends want to have playdates after school and I am not pressuring her to have playdates. She is in swimming (individual), piano and taking hip hop. I will enroll her into girl scout. I have found a public speak class for kids but it is too far from my house.
Maybe things are not as worrisome as they seem?
You are a wonderful Dad - everything will be all right with your kids under your watchful eyes!

Good luck!
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