Saturday, July 18, 2009

Social Skills


One of you suggested the book Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success. Please stand and wave your hand. I started reading it last night and I am really impressed with this book. It is not just a little book with photos of faces that are happy, sad, etc. It is information on how to assess where your child is in the "social skills reading" and has some real practical advice. I can't wait to get started. It is by far the most methodical thorough book on the topic I have seen.

8 comments:

Life's Mom said...

I recommended that book to you - but I heard about it from Deborah Gray's book "Attaching in Adoption" (which is also a great tool.) I have read parts of the Social skills book that applied to us several times and am implementing many of her ideas with success. I am glad that it was helpful to you.

Brenda said...

THANK YOU! I find it very helpful so far. I did the activity with Taz where you turn off the sound on the tv and have him tell what the person is feeling. The Wedding Singer was on (He's 14). At first he just said "Are you kidding me I have no idea. How can you tell?" So pointed out things about the mouth, the eyes and the furrowed forehead. He started picking up some of it. Good book.

Life's Mom said...

I was able to figure out that Life can totally read the other person's emotions. (Good news!) However, her desire to do or say whatever she wants is greater than her desire to think of the other person, so she completely overrides their emotions and just barrels over them. She can read that the other person is uncomfortable, but she won't usually back off anyway. Any ideas on that one??

Life REALLY wants to have friends, so we have spent the last few months trying to convince her that until she thinks of other people first, she is going to continue to have trouble making friends. She almost believes us. The selling point has been that my other two emotionally healthy teenagers have a bunch of friends who are over all of the time. I've almost convinced Life that we taught the teenagers how to have that many friends. If she would listen to the lessons that we are teaching her, she could have that many friends too. She has implemented some of it this summer at day camp, but then she will have a bad day where she is bossy, overbearing, tattle tale, etc and she undoes all of her hard work. Her lack of cause and effect thinking is really hurting her here.

Oh how slowly the social skills change. The teenagers and their friends have been so good for her. I have asked the regulars who come around to be sure to correct her when she says or does something awkward. She will listen to them more quickly than she will to me or her father. She has learned a lot from the teenagers. They have even played some of the "name that emotion" charades games with us - which was quite hysterical.

Life's Mom said...

Also - today is Life's one year anniversary with us. We just returned from celebrating at Chili's (her pick). She used her very finest manners and was a complete joy at lunch. She ordered for herself with great confidence.

In her four years in foster care, she had eaten out very few times. She would see all of the commercials on tv, but had never been to any of those places. So she wanted to slowly visit all of those advertised chain restaurants.

Last year when we took her to Chili's for the first time, she was so overwhelmed at the choices on the kid's menu, she just curled up and started to cry/scream. We had to take her out to get her back in control. When I think back to then, oh what progress we have made! Sometimes I forget how far we have come.

Brenda said...

Happy Anniversary or Gotcha Day or whatever you choose to call it. Our kids had never been to a movie which we didn't even think of until we were sitting at one and they mentioned it. It is hard to remember they may have suffered a lot of social neglect as well.

As far as her lack of empathy for others. Maybe the next time you are showing empathy to her you can say "I'm trying hard to understand your feelings right and see what you are feeling." and then point out. Right now I want to play such and such because you want too. We both know I enjoy playing this game more so maybe next time you can say "Mom let's play this game" just to show you care how I feel. Maybe you are already doing all that. All we can do is keep repeating it until the brain makes the connection.

Barbara said...

As a psychiatric nurse, grad student and mom to one child with Rad, I understand the value of social skills. I teach a class to my adult patients about reading feelings, common courtesies, intrusiveness, and respecting others. I feel social skills training is as valuable as the medication teaching to help prevent relapse and find healthy connections with others.

Brenda said...

Barbara,

Thanks so much. Do you have any other recommendations for us?

*Peach* said...

Thanks so much for recommending this book ~ I will be getting it to help my son, who was premature and has delays in social skills.