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Assertiveness and social skills in kids - tips for parents lacking!

(7 Posts)
TwigletMonster Wed 16-Feb-11 12:15:03

Walked past a school today and there was a little girl sitting on her own in the playground - looking quite sad and lonely sad

It made me worry about my own DD - she's only 2 - but I worry that I don't have the abilities to provide her with the social skills she needs to prosper, and I know her pre-school years are vital in learning those skills.

At school, I was bullied and a bully - I know the two often go hand in hand. As an adult, I do have friends but have a difficulty making new friends, and feel I'm quite socially awkward (and a bit glass-half-empty!!).

How can I do the best for my daughter - I'd love for her to avoid the insecurities and awkwardness I had as a child and still carry as an adult.

Top tips from those of you with more social aptitude than me please!! I'm sure much of it is 'nature' but how can I nurture too?

GooseyLoosey Wed 16-Feb-11 12:19:31

I have thought about this in the context of my own children. You work out the attributes you think you lack and then you pretend to have them around your children.

I am morbidly afraid of death. I regularly have open chatty conversations about it with the dcs (whilst quaking inside).

I am very introverted. I make sure that the dcs see me talking to other people and that it appears to them that I have friends and that I like other people. I make sure that I invite their friends around a lot.

cory Wed 16-Feb-11 12:26:47

First of all, don't assume that your dd is going to grow up like you, or if she resembles you as a child that she will stay that way. Self-fulfilling prophecies can be very difficult to do anything about.

fwiw I was bullied at school and had zero social skills. Both my children have grown up to be sociable and well liked. Partly I think it is MIL's genes (thank you, dh!), partly that I never made the assumption that there would be a problem. They are not me.

Also, I am not that sure that the preschool are that vital and that there is some kind of bus that you mustn't miss or you're stuck in one place forever. I decided in my late teens that I no longer wanted to be that shy and awkward person- and I trained myself out of it. Very deliberately by pushing myself to do things like order things at the cheese counter and make conversation with people in shops. I had a great time at university and the people who knew me there would have been seriously surprised to find out that I was the shy child standing forlornly in a corner of the playground. I think a big part of my initial problem was that I had accepted a label.

Dd was very shy as a toddler, but was highly sociable once she got to school age.

Davsmum Wed 16-Feb-11 12:46:51

Good tips from Gooseyloosey.
Children pick up more from your behaviour than they do from what you tell them so 'acting as if' is a good way to put across confidence etc. However- it would probably be exhausting !

The bonus is though - that following that advice will also help you change and become more socially confident yourself.

BTW - she will pick up from you that you are a worrier too !

ChessyEvans Wed 16-Feb-11 16:18:37

Just wanted to add that my mum tells a story where one day they drove past my school at lunch time and saw me standing in the playground on my own looking out through the fence (I was about 8). They did this as I said I didn't like playtime and I think they expected to drive past, see me playing happily and then not worry!!

It's just my personality, I prefer to be alone or with DH than in sociable settings. Given the choice, I would have no interaction with other humans at all! I think I got this from my mum!

Like cory says, I 'trained' myself to overcome this where necessary and had a fab time at uni etc. Only my family really know that this is an act and I would rather be alone! It doesn't hold me back though so I don't think it's something that has to be avoided at all costs, we can't all be social butterflies!

In terms of what you can do for your daughter, I agree with the others that you may have to be far more positive about socialising etc than you really feel, just so you don't pass these issues on. I'm dreading having to do the same once my first is born in a couple of months - mum and baby groups? hmm

TwigletMonster Thu 17-Feb-11 14:33:27

Thanks for you replies. I don't think I'd describe myself as shy, just a bit, well, awkward, saying the wrong thing or mis-reading a situation, only for the penny to drop later!

I do think there is something in the saying 'like mother, like daughter' though. Some of my more, ahem, unattractive qualities I can see in my mother (bit controlling, bossy etc) and so as Davsmum says, she is likely to pick these up from me too. I do try really hard to reign it in!

I also remember my parents visiting school when I was younger (at primary school) to discuss with the teachers how to help me be more assertive and less aggressive. Heaven knows why they let on to me, but I guess that (and other similar incidents) took a knock on my confidence at a young age.

I suppose what I'm trying to say, is that I'm aware of what I don't like, but not so sure of how to change it confused. It's my default setting as it were. Turning into a bit of navel-gazing, sorry.

indiana7 Sat 05-Apr-14 08:46:16

I.know this is an old thread but I could have written it. Like op I have alot of difficulty mixing & making friends & have done since I was 4. How do I help dd avoid my pitfalls.thanks

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