How to teach my teen the art of conversation?

(5 Posts)
DancingDuck Sat 16-Jan-16 19:54:57

DS1 is gorgeous. he is gentle, really loyal and kind-hearted but he talks at people for ages and has no idea how to have a conversation. My DF, DH and DS's brother are all ASD and although DS hasn't been diagnosed people have occasionally assumed he was also ASD because of this habit of collaring people and talking at them about his passions.

In conversation he will politely wait his turn but then say what he'd wanted to say before the other person started talking, instead of replying or saying something that develops the discussion. DH does this too. I really want to teach him how normal conversation works before he gets a reputation at school for boring people. He is passionate about music and politics and knows lots of really deep detail about both subjects that no one else cares about but he shares it anyway. He can come over as dominant because of this, he's always first to reply and assumes leadership roles whether or not he's suitable for them. But he's supersensitive underneath. When I commented once that he needed to take second turn more often and let his brother take the lead occasionally, he went scarlet and silent and didn't go first in anything for months afterwards.

I don't want to crush him by being too direct about it, but he really is getting too old to get away with talking at instead of to his teachers and his mates. WWYD?

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Robertaquimby Sat 16-Jan-16 21:18:33

I have a ds that loves politics and music. He would love to talk to your ds. It is difficult when they are not interested in mainstream stuff. My ds quite likes football and has some games on his phone he enjoys, these are things that give him more in common with others of his own age. I encourage this.

I have fairly bluntly told my ds it is rude to talk about politics when the other person is not interested. I have also told him that if he wants to be a politician he needs to be a good listener and take other people's ideas on board.

If there is any opportunity to foster friendships with kids with similar interests that might help. My ds has found people intetested in politics through debating and has musical friends through various music groups.

How does he get on with his peers? If he has friends at school I wouldn't worry. My ds has some really nice friends that aren't interested in music or politics but accept him for who he is. Also remember that that teenage boy chat is different from.middle aged woman chat. Ds's friends also go on and on about obscure sports, whereas my friends' conversations are much more about the other person.

Also what do school think? My ds has got a lot of doing group projects in areas which need real cooperation.

I have also talked quite a lot to him about friendship, how to make everyone in a situation feel included and he has really tried with this.

gleam Sat 16-Jan-16 21:22:58

Does he play chess?
I wonder if you could liken it to chess, where your move is in response to the other player's move etc.

iciclewinter Sat 16-Jan-16 21:28:44

Perhaps encourage him to ask people questions about themselves, and to give them a reasonable amount of time to reply (and suggest what that is).

DancingDuck Sat 16-Jan-16 22:20:28

Thank you all for your advice. It's so helpful.

Robert that's a lovely post. They probably would get on. He does have friends and school haven't raised it as an issue. Good point about how we relate and they relate! He'd take on board a more general conversation about friendship than a targeted one about him, so that's a really helpful idea. Thanks.

Gleam he used to play chess. That's a great idea. He'd get that immediately, and icicle I'll do that too. The 'reasonable time to reply' point is a good one.

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