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Immature social skills in ds age 4

(7 Posts)
mrsflowerpot Mon 28-Feb-05 19:58:49

Sorry if this ends up being long...

DS is 4 next month and has been doing five half days in the nursery class at the local primary since September. I got called in by the teacher today to talk about him, they are concerned about his social skills and how to engage him in certain activities. Basically he has found himself a best friend and if this friend is there, he has no interest in other children, fair enough I suppose, but also will not tolerate other kids being involved in their games. He does play nicely with other children on the occasions this best friend isn't there, but again, it's on a one to one basis. They are concerned about this exclusivity.

They also feel they want to move him on from the same play every day (he does lots of imaginative play, not many creative or thoughtful activities like board games and jigsaws). He's the same with that at home, he will paint, do puzzles, play games etc but we have to suggest it. He also has limited patience, he's always been a tantrummer extraordinaire, but that has markedly improved recently. However, he still loses it from time to time and if he doesn't get his way he will shout and rant at us. We use time out for that and enforce it quite strictly, I don't find that any more acceptable than hitting, but we haven't made big headway on that one yet. Nursery are going to use the same techniques for that because he does shout at them on occasion.

I don't really know what to think, he's very articulate and bright and interested in things. He does play with other kids ok on a one to one basis but thinking about it I've always been a bit concerned about his behaviour in group situations. He's an only child (until June, now that is going to be fun) and so has never had to share either possessions or attention in the same way as he would if he'd had a sibling.

I just wondered if this rang any bells with anyone?

pedilia Mon 28-Feb-05 20:04:14

I have just said to dh that you could be describing ds1. He is very controlling at play and only wants home corner, nothing else. The nursery have suggested that his keyworker suggests five minutes doing an activty of her choice and if he suceeds he gets a sticker, this appears to be working extremely well. ds2 is five months and ds1 is excellent with him and at home, although he does have a short attention span with any activity other than one of his choice.

mrsflowerpot Mon 28-Feb-05 20:06:40

That's one of the strategies they're going to put in place, actually. One of the staff will engage him in another activity for short periods, including things like board games that they can get other children playing as well. Good to know that other nurseries take the same approach.

pedilia Mon 28-Feb-05 20:14:20

arrival of ds2 actually improved things for us, the nursery also have sessions at the big school for a couple of hours a week to introduce them to school. ds1 starts on friday and the nursery feel it will help if he is one of the youngest, as it will teach him that he cannot always dominate play. He also gets the hump if bf wants to do something else.

I will let you know how friday goes, the nursery also operates a daybook system where they can communicate any problems via book so we can work in tandem or address issues at home if need be.

mrsflowerpot Mon 28-Feb-05 20:23:04

It's really reassuring to hear that what they're doing is working for your ds because it does sound similar. Hope it all goes well at the big school for him!

The other thing that struck me while she was talking was that she could have been talking about my dh as a child, or at least as both he and MIL talk about him. He still has the same best friend that he made on the first day of infant school. DS gets alot of his temperament from dh.

coppertop Mon 28-Feb-05 20:39:56

If he is very interested in imaginative play have the nursery thought about using role play to teach him social skills, eg how to behave around other children?

My ds1 has problems with doing certain activities and the 1:1 direction from an adult has really helped him a lot. (He's now 4.5yrs and in Reception).

mrsflowerpot Mon 28-Feb-05 20:57:46

that's a really good idea, I will ask them about that.

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