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Old 01-20-2020, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Cypress, CA
385 posts, read 1,170,461 times
Reputation: 414

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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,
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,443 posts, read 479,957 times
Reputation: 1642
Have you ever considered getting them involved with team sports? I started playing little league football and baseball at an early age and sports taught me SOOOOOOOOOOOO much about life at an early age. Many of those lessons propelled me as an adult.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,105 posts, read 18,544,628 times
Reputation: 45065
Many, if not most, schools do have some type of social skills training classes. However, they are often only offered to children who are in a special education program. I am assuming that GATE means gifted and talented education, if yes, she may qualify for services. Talk to her teachers.

Sometimes pediatric psychiatric hospitals or children's psychologists or therapists have individual or group classes on building social skills/emotional skills. We had a program in my area that was quite expensive but partly covered by insurance (under mental health).

Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:13 PM
 
69 posts, read 17,131 times
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Is your daughter a girly-girl?
Does she have sports abilities?

If she's athletic sports might be okay, but to excell players need to be aggressive in scoring. Generally shy sensitive girls (I was one) aren't comfortable in that kind of setting.
There are some athletic activities that are solo performance but still part of a team like gymnastics, swimming, yoga.

Dance might be something to think about for her.
There are all kinds of dance classes: ballet, tap, hip-hop, musical theatre, folk traditional, and much more. In dance students compete against themselves and not others in a non-competitive environment.
Then for social skills there are cotillions, daddy/daughter princess dances, ballroom dancing classes.

Does she have a friend maybe they could do a class together.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
46,487 posts, read 44,785,958 times
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It sounds like you're doing plenty already.

The only thing I would advise is not to present this stuff to them as a way to solve their social skills "problem." In other words, don't unwittingly give off the message that they are doing this wrong; they should just know that this is something fun to do.

Improved social skills will be a side effect of the various activities they're doing.

I would also be sure that you're modeling the behavior you want from them. But it sounds like you're off to a good start.
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Old Yesterday, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,105 posts, read 18,544,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
It sounds like you're doing plenty already.

The only thing I would advise is not to present this stuff to them as a way to solve their social skills "problem." In other words, don't unwittingly give off the message that they are doing this wrong; they should just know that this is something fun to do.

Improved social skills will be a side effect of the various activities they're doing.

I would also be sure that you're modeling the behavior you want from them. But it sounds like you're off to a good start. k:
I agree that it is very important that you model more outgoing behavior, model eye contact when speaking to someone, model having good time with your friends, etc. even if you have to push yourself to do it.
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Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
 
7,156 posts, read 3,385,385 times
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Use the inch by inch approach.
Personality sometimes can determine how far to encourage a child's emotional growth.
I can attest that 'sports' at a young age did not enhance my emotional side. I withdrew further in fact : as (yes) ...kids can be cruel. Even being in brownies which was to be fair and team bonding...brought more of the outcasting.
My youngest son and I can relate to that awkward social phase. My eldest son who forced himself into being outspoken in the public sector..still states he struggles with inter action and reading ppl.
True that echoing back a child's statements so they can identify their emotions does aide. Listening skills are as much apart of the emotional intelligence as validating or identifying. My grand daughter of three years is intuitive. Quite the gift. She can 'sense' how folks are...it's amazing to watch her. She'll even say... Uncle Paul is sad..he said he lost his keys! But I found them.
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Old Yesterday, 01:59 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
81,184 posts, read 74,335,397 times
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What grade is she in, OP? If she's in first grade, maybe she'll grow out of it as she makes friends. I don't know that I'd label it a "problem" just yet...
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Old Yesterday, 04:51 PM
 
13,948 posts, read 14,279,718 times
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I was very socially awkward and academically successful. The issue was super self-involved parents and undiagnosed learning disabilities (that still did not mess with the academics -go figure).

I LOVE that you are being proactive on this, but I'm not sure your daughters have a problem. My thoughts on possible solutions for this possible nonproblem are below:

-Check out books on amazon about this topic - a search for social skills for kids pulled up a lot of books.
-Teach them meditation and how to be present. Teach them listening skills.
-Do an organized activity as a family that involves other families. Like hiking or ski trips. Give them an opportunity to interact directly with different types of people.
-Model the socially adept behavior you want them to display. Teach them to ask questions.
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Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM
 
4,978 posts, read 2,141,169 times
Reputation: 9867
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,
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.
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