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Need ideas/books/dvds on how to help 5.8yo ds with social skills (playing with other children)

(8 Posts)
accessorizequeen Sun 06-Sep-09 20:52:55

It's become more and more of a problem in recent months, I think he's getting isolated at school because he's so controlling with the other kids. My dad (paed) suggested getting him some social skills books as talking to him about it is getting us nowhere. Dp and I both really worried he'll have no friends soon, he's making them all cry when they come over for playdates! He also soils (a lot) so that's not helping. Any ideas welcome.

He's had a lot on his plate and we've got a psych appt in a few weeks for him, but would like to get started asap to try and help with this. I looked in library yesterday but no idea where to look!

Earlybird Sun 06-Sep-09 21:00:44

I read this morning about a book called "The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies To Help Your Child Make Friends" by Eileen Kennedy-Moore. I've not read it, but it was quoted extensively in an article about kid's friendships and cliques.

I think the author is American (the article was in an American magazine), but Amazon US will ship to the UK, if you decide the book looks like a worthwhile purchase. HTH

lingle Sun 06-Sep-09 21:40:47

Hanen ( has published a new book on this topic called "Talkability".

Stanley Greenspan ("The Child with Special Needs") also writes extensively on this (his prose is not that great, his ideas though are terrific).

Essentially both would (I'm afraid) advocate that you embark on a gruelling regime whereby you become his playmate and gradually interfere more and more with his desired plans for a game. The idea is that in time (and no doubt after lots of tears) he will come to tolerate more variation from his preferred mode of play.

mathanxiety Sun 06-Sep-09 22:00:33

The control thing with the friends and the soiling are two sides of the same coin. Soiling is about refusal to let go of control over body waste, and keeping it in as long as possible; poo is often seen as a part of the body. Sometimes children will hold back the poo until it hurts, even to the point of constipation, because of this fear of/ inability to relinquish control by letting it go into the toilet when you feel the urge, and then flushing it away. And the effort of holding it back takes concentration and effort, which often results in not having the energy or the carefree spirit needed to interact with other children.

accessorizequeen Sun 06-Sep-09 23:13:56

mathanxiety, you've really hit the nail on the head there I think. DS1 has/has had chronic constipation since he was nearly 3. Now he just soils all day but denies it. I know there are control issues and can understand what's caused them (although personality part of it I think), just feel helpless to do anything about it.
shall look up both books too, thanks. i think my dad meant books that I could read to ds (like ones about going to the dr for the first time etc) but they may also be useful. Really can't see that I would have the time/energy (I have 3 other children inc 11mo twins) to embark on a gruelling play regime though!

mathanxiety Mon 07-Sep-09 01:59:37

I remember telling one of my DCs that the poo was on its way to join all the other poos for a big never-ending party with all the longlost poo friends and family. We would say 'Byebye poo! Have fun!' and wave, and say "See you again soon' -- I know this is not exactly anatomically correct, but I think it helped to think of the same poo leaving and coming back and keeping in touch, so to speak (luckily I never got any questions about how the poo got back in smile. I also tried to give that same DC more control over other areas such as what clothes to wear or footwear even if it was ridiculous for the weather. Same with food, up to a point -- here I gave choices between reasonable breakfasts and lunches while the rest of the family was away at school. I included quite a bit of fibre in the diet, which made pooing more of a regular and frequent event whether the DC wanted it to be or not. Look up encopresis (sp?) on google.

lingle Mon 07-Sep-09 09:31:19

"gruelling play regime "

Yes I can understand that. When you child leaves you in peace for 15 minutes to play trains, you have to join in and announce that he has to swap trains with you, etc, etc.

It's exhausting!

accessorizequeen Mon 07-Sep-09 19:28:48

love the story, maths grin i guess I'm so exhausted by all the poo over the last 3 years I've kinda given up. Perhaps a bit of humour will help.
lingle, does sound absolutely exhausting, I'm so grateful when he goes off and plays can't imagine interrupting!

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