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    #183376 - 02/27/14 07:56 PM media and poor social skills
    KJP Offline

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    DS6 is in kindergarten and is very 2e. He is identified as gifted, dyslexic, dysgraphic and as having dyspraxia. He also has a genetic disorder that makes him uncoordinated, weak and easily fatigued. He also has sensory issues. The overall result of all that at school is kind of an immature, uncoordinated kid that has spotty executive functioning, and some spectrum like leanings.

    We run a pretty tight ship on media exposure. He is our oldest so we don't have any older kids to contend with. We have no regular TV, some PBS cartoons and kid movies. Video games are limited to Angry Birds and Bad Piggies.

    Last year he had a classmate who was allowed to watch scary slasher movies. He heard about some of them from the kid and talked about it A LOT. The scenes the kid would describe really stuck with him. He wanted the kid to like him so he would try to talk to him. It would go "Hey Friend, it would be cool to watch someone get killed him a chainsaw, right? There would be lots of blood and you could see bones. It would be so cool to watch, right?" Of course, then he sounds like a complete psycho.

    The thing is, he is almost freakishly scared of intense moments in kid movies. There is no way he would ever be able to actually watch such a violent movie even if he had a chance. He just wants to fit in and struggles to really get it right.

    This year it is a kid whose parents let him watch an older brother play Grand Theft Auto. Once again, DS is the one that is trying to fit in and talking about that stupid game at school. You can imagine how that is going.

    Both kids sort of excluded him/picked on him and then it is like he hangs on every word they say and tries to do what ever it takes for them to like him.

    His teachers know he is pretty much like a four year-old in some skills and a 13 year-old in others and I am pretty sure they know where this talk is coming from. I just don't know what to do.

    He hasn't really said this but I bet he is thinking along these lines:
    Kid hurt my feelings. I don't like hurt feelings. Kid likes X. Kids like other kids who like what they like. If I make Kid think I like X, Kid will like me and won't hurt my feelings.

    Any ideas of what is going on? Is he too sheltered making him extra curious about these things that aren't allowed in his house?

    We tell him "Don't talk to Kid about that game. We don't like that game." I know it is still going on because he brings home little drawings with scenes from the game that he made based on Kid's descriptions. When we confront him about it he makes up some excuse like he is acting like an undercover cop* by pretending to like the game so that he can trick Kid into talking about it in front of the teachers. I get that this goes against the idea trying to be a friend thing. It is like he can't figure out if he wants to be friends or get some sort of revenge.

    *this is career of the month, picked up on field trip to courthouse.

    Edited by KJP (02/27/14 08:18 PM)

    #183380 - 02/27/14 08:22 PM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5012
    Would it work to speak with your son, sharing that he can talk about his feelings with you and describing what you shared in your post?

    There are also books such as It's so much work to be your friend which may provide helpful insight and tips.

    Have you seen these articles from the Davidson Database on friendships?
    2005 Dr. Fred Frankel
    2006 Miraca Gross
    2007 Fr. Fred Frankel
    2010 Annette Sheely
    2011 Dr. Fred Frankel

    #183382 - 02/27/14 08:58 PM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    titubeante Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/14
    Posts: 18
    Are there other kids in the class who are nice kids who you could encourage him to play with? If you know the kids in the class I would suggest someone else who is good to play with and even set up playdates with their parents if possible to encourage the friendship.

    I had a hard time handling the information ods was getting in preschool from kids with older siblings, but now I have yds in preschool and I am sure he is sharing with other kids and other parents are having a problems with him now!

    Edited by titubeante (02/27/14 09:00 PM)

    #183385 - 02/28/14 03:25 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    Wesupportgifted Offline

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    I have observed what you have described very well. It is definitely one of the hurdles in parenting during this period of time. Non-gifted families have that problem as well. I remember when Tipper Gore was fighting this fight on behalf of America's children but since the Gores split up they seem to have much less of a public presence. Maybe someone with a high profile will read your message and take up the cause. For your family, I'd say to make sure the family and the school provide enough of other type of materials and activities and link your child to other kids as well (away from such an emphasis on gaming). The up side is many gamers are very smart and do become gainfully employed in our ultra-techy world. There are so many people who know how to hack we will probably all have to learn how to hack so that the good guys can beat the hackers. The other up side is that learning about all of the different types of people at school prepares you for dealing with all of the other people at work, social gatherings, the market, the airport.... You sound like you are super-perceptive. Your communication is very clear. Sounds like you are on top of it.

    #183386 - 02/28/14 04:54 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    Zen Scanner Offline

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    We have a fairly unrestricted media house, but I don't think that has anything to do with this and is probably distracting from the core social skills issue. Abstractly ironically, I find DS8 learns a lot of social skills in the emotionally easier laboratory of the living room watching, studying, and discussing television shows. Conversations like: "Do you think Bill the bully is going to like Bobby just because he has memorized all the songs that Bill likes?"

    #183388 - 02/28/14 05:04 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 693
    One additional point- not that you should change or compromise your own values on the topic, but we eventually "caved" and got a gaming system. It helped our DS tremendously, as it gave him an "in" and helped him connect with other boys. So much of the culture here, at least in his age/gender group, seemed to relate to this. While we choose games selectively, there is still enough common ground that he can be part of the conversations happening at school, and feels more comfortable inviting boys over, even if they don't end up playing games (which is frequently the case). We are probably atypical, in that the game console is very infrequently used, but for the above reasons it has been helpful.

    That said, I agree with zs, that this issue is probably more about social skills than the specific media; sounds like your DS is trying hard to connect but could use some help figuring out more acceptable ways to go about it.

    #183391 - 02/28/14 06:07 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    Loy58 Offline

    Registered: 09/11/13
    Posts: 816
    My DS5, kindergarten, would be friendly to your son - lending support because I know this is a tough age for sensitive little guys.

    My DS5 is a follower (yes, this concerns me) and REALLY wants to be liked by his long-time friends. DS seems to "blend" very well with most children, because he is very flexible and adaptable in his approach to friendships. He is also very sensitive and sweet (which he can "hide" around his rough and tumble buddies).

    We strictly control media, too, but DS is my younger child, so he is more exposed to media than my older DC was. DS's friends play and watch games and shows at their house that I do not allow at home. DS is actually VERY good at understanding what is appropriate and inappropriate, so this has not been too much of a problem, but boys this age already feel the peer pressure to be just like the other boys.

    With DS, we keep reminding him that you can have many interests. Your interests are what makes you unique. You have some "shared interests" with your friends (video-game characters that we limit at home), but your other non-shared interests are important, too (science, geography, math). As parents, we encourage him to enjoy his "non-shared" interests with us at home.

    DS is not the most athletic kid in his group of friends, but he has taken some sports classes this year. He has improved his skills, learned to love a sport that is good for his health, and learned the lingo so he can discuss sports with his friends. I do think that at a minimum, UNDERSTANDING sports (they cannot all be the best athletes) is good for boys socially.

    With his friends, DS will jump off of playground equipment and talk about video game characters - fits right in. At home, he carries around and cuddles a sweet-looking stuffed animal and reads about the oceans. wink

    Your DS just needs to meet some friends he can share a couple of interests with. Perhaps there are some boys nearby who like the "more tame" video games and share a couple of other interests? Can your son take a class with one of these boys? DS has really developed some new interests by taking classes with some of his friends. I think you are not alone in controlling media - I think like you do, but we allow some leeway when DS is at his long-time friends' house because I do not think he is exposed to anything THAT far out of what I think is acceptable.

    All the best to you and your DS!

    #183394 - 02/28/14 06:17 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    momoftwins Offline

    Registered: 03/27/13
    Posts: 156
    There are always going to be kids who get to watch different movies, tv shows, or play different games. That being said, however, I did loosen the restrictions in our house once Kindergarten started, because I wanted my children to be able to take part in the conversations the other kids were having. I did it once it became apparent that it was hurting them socially not to "know" anything at all about the things the other kids were discussing.

    "Loosening restrictions" for us meant allowing some TV-Y7 shows and some video games such as Skylanders and Minecraft; previously I had limited the kids to mainly PBS and educational shows. I do limit their screen time. We also started taking them to more movies, but only "children's" movies.

    I have to say that I would strongly discourage a friendship with a child who was allowed to watch the movies you are describing, or even the video games. Our family values would just be too different, and I would never be comfortable sending my child to that families' house for a playdate.

    Can you encourage your son to build a friendship with some of the other boys or girls in the class? Can you discuss the issue with his teacher? At our school they do have a social skills pull-out class and lunch group to help the children who need help building social skills.

    #183398 - 02/28/14 07:10 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    No matter how good a job you think you're doing of sheltering your child from the evils of media, there's always someone out there to tell you you're not doing enough, and there's always another child out there ready to undermine your efforts. For example, my DD has taken it upon herself to explain Harry Potter to her friend who is not allowed access to it, because it teaches children to use real magic.

    #183410 - 02/28/14 08:37 AM Re: media and poor social skills [Re: KJP]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    This is why I don't really forbid my kids to see most things that are popular by their peers. My experience is the more forbidden you make material, the more likely the child with start sneaking it. But what I do is make sure that I watch it WITH them and we talk about it. This is why I spend way too much time watching Zack & Cody & Hanna Montana when my daughter was a preteen. I'm not talking about letting a 6 year old watch R rated movies.

    On the other hand my children have both been very sensitive to things that were scary. To this day DS15 won't have ANYTHING to do Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, book, both movies just freak the kid out. And I remember getting really irritated at a daycare center that was showing scary movies to the Kindergarten kids right before Halloween. These movies were NOT appropriate for young elementary kids, don't know what they were thinking.

    Edited by bluemagic (02/28/14 08:38 AM)

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