Looking for social skills training classes

  1. #1

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    Looking for social skills training classes

    My 4-year old daughter seems to be doing ok in school but in the summer, when I introduced different activities for her, I found that she was reluctant to participate in most of them. I believe she lacks self-confidence and is very timid and perhaps social skills training would help. Anybody knows about such classes in English please?

    My daughter still enjoys her swimming classes because they are not new to her. But in the one-week sports camp, she only sat there throughout the two and a half hour session to watch other children play. At the end of the week, she was still sitting there without any participation. But she said she liked sports before I signed up for it! In the group skating lesson, the same thing happened. She only sat in her chair in the rink to watch when everybody else were doing what the coach asked them to. My daughter told me that she didnt understand how to move the chair when she was sitting down. But if she was watching other kids do it, why couldnt she at least try? Im really frustrated. Anybody has similar experience? How did you help your child to overcome it?


  2. #2

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    Hello Sandrine,

    It must be very frustrating. My own kids are very forward almost too much so, but I have seen children who are very shy and hang back.

    From what you say, it sounds like she shy about participating in new activities alone. Maybe what you can do is help her learn a bit of the new activities with her (teach her to skate yourself) or get her some one-on-one instruction first. Then when she has the confidence of the skills (like she already has in swimming) she may participate more.

    The other thing to remember is that she is still very young. Maybe she wants more "mama time" at this point than she wants to interact on a short-term basis w/ kids she doesn't know.

    So, I would recommend hugging her and playing with her a lot. Take her to the playground or pool where there are other kids and mothers and encourage her to play with them, but at the same time be open to her hanging out with you.

    Does she have any little friends that she likes to play with informally? I have found that if I go down to the playground at the same time every day (usually late afternoon or early evening) we run into the same kids day after day and that can create a social group. The kids play "tag" or "red light green light". The more fun she has playing with familiar children informally, the more social confiednce she will gain.

    If there are no kids in your area, or if language is a problem - then you might want to consider play dates and things like "kindermusik" or mama-and-child play groups or classes.

    Good luck!


  3. #3

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    Hi Loupou,

    Thanks very much for your comforting messages. People were telling me that if my child doesnt have the skills to face people, she would be shy wherever she goes and exposing her to people and activities wont help much and so I thought about training programs. But it isnt easy to find suitable programs.

    Then I tried to take it easy and I realize that if I let her spend the first few lessons watching, she would eventually start participating when she feels shes ready. This makes everyone happy. My child is getting motivated to try new things too if I let her do at her own pace. This works ok in a non-competitive environment but by the time when she goes for school interview, Im afraid her slow warming up time with cost her a place!

    Youre right. My daughter enjoys spending time with me. She still needs lots of mama time. She likes being with me, even when I go to see the dentist, she would love to go with me. Once in a while, she would tell me that she made new friends, on the playground or on the skating rink. So shes not really a loner. Just need to relax.


  4. #4

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    Hi Sandrine.

    One other thing is that people can be shy at different times in their lives. When I was a school child, I was a bit shy w/ other kids, but not shy with grown-ups. It wasn't until I was ~ 15 that I stopped feeling shy w/ people my own age.

    About the school interviews - it really depends on the place. Some places have kindie interviews where the mom can be next to the child, so it's not too scary. Other places (p-1 interviews) do it alone. But, being out-going &charming isn't the only thing they look for.


    My kids are very articulate, outgoing, friendly and well behaved and all did very well in the "in-person" interview sessions at the "big school" interviews. They *still* weren't accepted. :) I think maybe they talked too much and the interviewers, while they enjoyed them thought, "Nail sticking up, does this school want to go to the bother of hammering them down?"


    Also, most eachers are familiar w/ kids who are a little slow to warm up. Don't worry.

    So, continue to relax. The most important thing is that she is happy and feels confident in a loving relationship with you and her father.


  5. #5
    scr
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    sorry to hijack the thread Loupou - how do you play "red light green light" ? Curious :)


  6. #6

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    give her time

    Hi
    My little girl is the same, it's like she really has to watch what everyone is doing for ages before she takes part - usually just before we go home! I was like that as a child and still am a little as an adult.
    She was even worse last year, but then due to her birth date was put back a year (in her spanish nursery she was in the year ahead due to her birthdate and then in the Int'l system she was put in the lower year due to different criteria), the chance to be the eldest rather than the youngest in the class made a huge difference to her self confidence. she's still shy, but copes so much better.
    I guess what I'm saying is that one should maybe let them be a little more and wait till they're really old enough for stuff, although that can be hard in this veyr competitive environment.
    by the way, she's just interviewed for GSIS, on her own in the assessment and was accepted ... so they can perform when needed (mine also insists I don't watch her, she's more self concious when i'm around than not!

    Good luck


  7. #7

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    I think ti is good to let her go at her own pace and watch a few times before participating. Pushing her when she is not ready could make it worse. She may need practice on what to say or do, before hand to. Practice roleplaying at hime, about how to apraoch other children


  8. #8

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    Basic rules to red light/ green light:
    http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/s...ames/rl_gl.htm

    The kids also played "what time is it Mr. wolf"
    http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/c...games/wolf.htm

    But, in the HK version it was "What time is it teacher" (Sin-saan gei do dim?) and instead of "dinner time" the kid who was it would shout "time for school!" (fang hok!!!)


  9. #9

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    Hi Loupou,

    Your kids not getting accepted probably not because of their personality. Perhaps the competition was too keen, especially when you went for the elite schools. Or perhaps it wasnt the school for them. While an outgoing kid not necessarily is smarter than a shy kid, being sociable does have its advantages. At least it gives people the impression that your kids are forthcoming and know how to get along with others. These are the skills that grown-ups need too, right? Sorry to say that Im a bit like that too. In the crowd, I seldom talk and only listen to others. So my child has picked up my traits.

    Deschatjes,

    It was reassuring to learn that your girl, being apprehensive and still was able to perform in the interview and got accepted. Congratulations.

    Capital,

    Youre right, pushing her wont help. I tried and she just wouldnt respond and it only made both of us upset. If I encouraged her, she might give it a try and settle in faster. I also found that if I could wait, after some time when she was ready, she would do just fine. So the key is, how to shorten the warm up time.


  10. #10

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    Great Site to help you out!

    Hey Sandrine,

    I'm not sure what English classes she can take, if that is what is the cause of her lack of confidence, but there is a site that has helped me alot. It's called Agogus.com. It has informative tips on how to build confidence in almost any settings. It includes a vast library covering all topics. Maybe you can check it out and see if that would help her out. Hope that helps!