Socialization, again!

Share everyday things like field trips, homeschooling experiences, or just anything that doesn't seem to belong elsewhere!

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Socialization, again!

Postby Dolly-VA » Tue May 08, 2007 7:55 am

Okay, what about the child who really does NOT want to go out and do stuff with other kids his own age? I've been homeschooling my 13 yo only since last October. Prior to that he was shy, sensitive, had only one or two friends he liked to do things with (who do not live near so it's always been a "plan" playtime) has been in team sports but did NOT like them, etc. Now that he's homeschooled he's a shy, sensitive boy, with only one or two friends he likes to do things with...exactly the same except he has lost the anxiety that he suffered with every day prior to going to school. He likes doing things with the family both in and out of the house, plays well with his siblings, is helping to raise and train a puppy for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, etc. But he does not want to do anything that involves getting into a group of kids his own age. Should I force him? I've tried encouragement and cajoling and everything besides outright forcing him. His younger sister is doing something somewhere almost every day of the week, but he just doesn't want to. His older brother (who is 18, goes to public school, and knows everything) has been arguing with me about this pretty regularly ("he needs socialization with kids his own age!" says he.)

Any insights? Suggestions? Comments? Being fairly new to homeschooling, I'm finding that most of the hs kids I know or hear about are as or more active than the average. (So the "What about socialization?" question is usually pretty funny.) I just happen to have a totally introverted, shy kid.

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Postby 4given » Tue May 08, 2007 9:33 am

Hello, Dolly. Your son has a purpose on this planet and I think you are doing well in helping him find it. Forcing him into things he has no desire for, would serve to break his spirit, IMO. So he's not a social butterfly, big deal. He sounds like a very thoughtful, admirable young man. Looking at the big picture... character matters most. Not how many activities and events a child is immersed in. I believe you are giving your son the environment he needs to become a confident and secure man. By the way, being confident and secure has nothing to do with how social you are. I have several friends who are extremely insecure with themselves yet give the appearance of being out-going. They tend to talk and take over conversations out of nervousness. The fact that you are concerned with your son's well-being is awesome. He'll be just fine. Don't let others guilt you into thinking otherwise.


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Postby Mark » Tue May 08, 2007 9:47 am

Hi Dolly-VA,

I tend to agree with Sheila on this one here.
of course, I have one of each in the introvert, extrovert department. :)

Hang in there and be supportive, you never know, he might find a group
that strikes his fancy enough to get involved yet. :)

With my youngest, it takes a while.. we forced her hand with the university
"strings project" last year. Big mistake. Group lessons just made her decide
that she wasn't going to play cello after all.

At least she is going to stick with violin and piano.

Everyone is different. I know I don't tend to like crowds, so I work the
night shift. :)


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Postby Cally » Wed May 09, 2007 12:25 am

One of the interesting things about socialization is that you can be socialized without being a sociable person.

Socialization is acquiring social skills, a personal identity, values, and behavior while fitting them into the norm of society. And this is a continuing process for everyone.

Socialized is when you are made fit for life in companionship to others.

Sociable is when your inclined toward being with others and seeking out companionship.

So in these meanings (which) are taken from a dictionary.
Socialization means you are acquiring the skills to fit in, Socalized means you're done acquiring and you now fit in with society, and Sociable just means you plan to use those skills a lot.

So unless he has bad manners, doesn't know who he is, doesn't have values, and stands out (in a bad way) when you are out in society. Then his socialization is fine.

As for sociable he could just not be inclined toward that. Which probably just means his personality doesn't include that need. Some people really enjoy their own company and need lots of alone time. Just like a person who has a more sociable personality would like to spend more time with other people.

Chances are he already has a very strong sense of self if he has a couple of good friends and gets along with his siblings. So I would say his socialization is coming along nicely!

If your oldest bothers you about it you can always tell him to check out a book on personalities to learn more about your 13 year old, and why he is more inclined toward different traits than himself.

The deal with the dog is so cool and shows his values clearly! I think he is doing just fine and you need not worry at all!

Hope this helps!

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Postby MelN2LilMen » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:50 pm

I'm glad I saw this thread. My 9 year old son is very introverted as well and is just not interested in hanging out with other kids in a group. He gets on quite well with people when we are out and about, but just seems to have no interest in 'getting involved.'

I worry about it quite a lot. He does act young for his age, I think, which may be because his primary playmate is his autistic younger brother.
Mel N 2 Lil Men

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Postby 4given » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:00 am

MelN2LilMen wrote:I worry about it quite a lot. He does act young for his age, I think, which may be because his primary playmate is his autistic younger brother.

Try not to worry. If you are giving him opportunities to mature and socialize, I believe he'll be just fine.

He may be acting more his age than you realize, too. When my two oldest were in PS, they were daily exposed to subjects (by their peers) meant for adults. This repeated exposure probably serves to age children by stealing their innocence. Your son has the wonderful opportunity to mature at his own pace.

Having a brother with special needs may even be a source of maturation down the road. I think it's great that they have each other.

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I'm dealing with this, too

Postby jenniferGWOTW » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:44 pm

We moved, and my oldest ds has had a hard time making friends. I actually put him in school this year for that reason. He has a few friends he hangs out with in school, but they don't get together outside of school and next year when we homeschool again I'm worried he won't have much of a social life.

My solution is to try to keep us busy and active in the community. Sooner or later (probably when we least expect it) he'll meet someone he really clicks with.
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me too!

Postby oneofthegirls » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:24 am

I am so glad that I saw this son who is away in college has been hounding me and saying that my twin girls (12) need public school because they will not have the proper skils to 'socialize' in a homeschool setting. It seems, that when children reach the upper teen years- something magical happens to them and they automatcially 'know' how to raise children better than their isn't that always the case?
I told him- when he has his own children,and they are school-age, then he can come back and argue the points with me then.
I wouldn't force your shy introvert to participate in group activiites, but if there are areas that need attention then work on them. ..Has he said why he doesn't prefer participating in them? Are the sports related activities or just social interaction settings? It might be helpful to investigate that the reasons for avoidance are or are not because of selfesteem. Example;
I was not physcially coordinated at all growing up ,and I wish that my parents had taken the time to develop improvements in these skills so that I would have felt more confident. Other kids would laugh at the way I ran- and so, I did not ever, ever, run anymore. I did not participate in sports at p.e. but sat on the sidelines. It wasn't because I didn't like doing these things but because I had no confidence in doing them. I isolated myself and felt more alien and different from the other kids.
I was always painful selfconscious of my shortcomings and so this is why I wouldn't participate. If your son just does not have an interest because it isn't his thing to do- then it's ok. Develop the things he is interested in and find other kids that have the same interest to build selfesteem and more friendships. The interests that hold him, and the areas of confidence will lead him to participate in group settings.
It is ok to be shy, it is ok to be selective about friends- who says everyone has to be a social shutterbug? God didn't make us up the same way. Introverts are great thinkers; they are also able to tune in to others feelings and have a great intuition. Everyone has unique personality gifts.
My son, the parental critic, is a bold leader and a social shutterbug- he never meets a stranger- so he measures his experiences of ease and success to everyone else. He can't understand the concept of wanting personal space or even awkwardness in social settings.
I wish, wish, wish that I had the opportunity to be homeschooled growing up. I think I would have benefited from it greatly. Why should socialization include being bullied, picked on, and pushed around by others- and exposed to the negatives of other children? That is the kind of 'socialization' that I received growing up and I still have the scars to prove it- though they are lessening.
Being homeschooled is the perfect opportunity to infuse some self confidence, success, and improvement for a shy introverted child.
at least- that's my opinon, lol.
My 19 year old son would not agree. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one having this argument.
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.â€

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Postby ncmom » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:04 pm

My oldest son who is now almost 14 has always been the shy kid who never had any friends and stayed inside. He never had any desire to participate in any activities outside of the home and was content sitting in the house reading...That was 2 years ago...Now he has a girlfriend, loves going out with friends, plays outside all the time, and is an outgoing fun loving kid. He just had to outgrow it. I didn't force the subject and just kept encouraging him. He just seemed to outgrow it.

It will get better.

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