Doesn't want to join in

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    PS - just to add that this all fits in with a theme of my son not so much responding to what other people are giving out (though he is definitely sensitive), as just wanting to "impose" what he is on them, though not usually in an unpleasantly aggressive way. But his whole temperament is so extrovert and highly charged that I've really no idea how one would get him to "change" that...
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Something I have noticed about my little boy - and I would be very interested to know if this strikes chords with anyone here - is that he does not want to join in with group activities... He is sociable, gregarious, always approaches people with a smile and a greeting, but he seems to disdain being "an ordinary member of the crowd". Yesterday we had a carnival in the village - all the kids (and some grown-ups) dressed up in costumes and then we proceeded around the village accompanied by music. At the end, the children and teachers formed a big circle and danced in a "round". J absolutely refused to participate in this, prefering to dance in the middle of them (despite various calls for him to join the circle). And it struck me... this is exactly like gym class where he consistently refuses to sit with the others in a group when called to do so. It is as if he wants to be "different", special, I don't know... but I feel it is something that is not going to stand him in good stead.
    Does anyone have any light to shed on this?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my son when he was little. He was overly friendly (moreso than people expected or wanted sometimes), but did not interact appropriately with other kids unless t hey would, say, run around with him. My son is on the autism spectrum and this is typical behavior for this. I do not know what is up with your son. Nobody here can really tell you that. We don't know.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I know Midwest Mom! Actually, after i had written the post this morning (my time), I thought: "This is silly - it's as if I'm wanting or hoping people will say 'Ah, he doesn't like joining in - that means he's... X, Y or Z!" And of course no-one can do that from a distance without knowing the child concerned...
    I suppose confusion reigns in regard to my son right now, at least as far as my sense of him goes... nothing seems black and white. For example, he does sometimes interact with children well, play with them appropriately, read social cues. And overall I think I feel - as probably many other parents here feel? - that he is a super little boy, with so much to give and so much generosity of spirit and zest for life and yet... something is not quite right - though I don't even like to put it like that because it makes it sound as if there is a "right" way to be, which I do not believe - and because of this he fails to do himself justice, as it were. It is something to do with development, lagging skills in some ways, I cannot put my finger on it... and in due course, when the time is right, we will have the evaluations that hopefully will tell us more.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    There's also the fact that the kids he's interacting with aren't clones, there's all kinds of group dynamics at play.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course that's also true.
    I've got so used to my son (obviously) that his constant high energy, intensity and "playful aggression" now seem to me quite normal. I have lost the perspective, I think, of other people and children who often find this behaviour strange, abnormal or overwhelming. I accept him, more and more, in his difference. Should others accept him as he is or should I try to get him to change to fit in better....? I'd like to think the former might happen but the latter seems more realistic...
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You try to channel them as best you can - play up their strengths while you help them with their weaknesses. He has a leader's spirit, now he has to learn how to get others to follow. Things like that. Make sense?
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When difficult child was younger, he also did not want to join in group activities. I allowed him to be an observer. I think so many people crave to be part of the action, part of the crowd, that we forget that not everyone wants to be and that is o.k. It is countless the number of times we would be at a large event such as a boy scout gathering and during free time when the other boys would organize a game or even during a structured time when all the boys were asked to join in, difficult child would refuse. I always said, "It is o.k., let him watch."

    He is not on the autism spectrum and I don't feel that he is shy. He is just quiet and wanted to understand the game/activity before joining in. Largely in part to his perfectionism trait - gotta be perfect before you can do anything in public you know.

    Any way, I felt in my heart that it was him and it was o.k. I followed my instinct to allow him to sit out and assure others that he was not feeling left out. Assure the adults who were feeling sorry for this kid sitting on the sideline maybe wanting to join in that it truly was his choice - that he was not being excluded. Then one year (I think 6th grade, the year following his hospitalization), he started to blossom. He LOVES giving oral presentations on subjects he knows about, he has no problem joining the crowd. He is a leader and a team player. My instincts were right.

    You need to follow your instincts. If they are nagging at you that something about this is not right, than follow through with that. You are the mom and you really do know when things are not going as they should - that is what our instincts are for. If you at peace and don't see a problem with this than follow your heart in that matter also.

    I think in your case since you have brought up the question that there may be a little uncertainty in this? I would talk to his teacher and discuss how the teacher sees this. Does he/she think this is a draw back? Will he/she agree that it is a personality trait? Does he/she have any insight in activities you can do at home to help him overcome this if you think it is a problem? Has he/she seen this occasionally from time to time over the years?