What to do at the pool

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by snees, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. snees

    snees New Member

    My older son is doing swim team this summer, which is always great for him. He also has had issues with social behavior and this is really great for him to be out there with other kids, etc. I also have boy girl twins. My boy twin has issues with social behavior as well. They are six and they opened up the baby pool today. He, as usual, picked some kids to splash at and throw things at. He has a language delay as well, which my older son did not. I tried to explain that he can ask a child "do you want to play with me." He has difficulty getting the right words out for the social situation. He just started behavior therapy last week so that is in the works. Anyway, there was way too much going on so I took him home and my husband stayed with the other two. I cannot be with him all the time at the pool and I don't want him to feel badly about himself. He asked to go home, he got very sad. I have no idea what to do until he gets the social situation together.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you get in with him to guide him? If he does't have the words yet, he doesn't have the words.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Can you hire a PCA -like person to help him? You'd probably have to train the person about the issues and how you want behaviors handled but if he gets overwhelmed he'd have someone to go for a walk with, or to play with on the side.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmmm. I don't know the background here, so if I hit a nerve please forgive me.

    I realize he asked to go home, but I don't see how removing him from the social situation is going to help. If he leaves a social situation simply because his behavior is inappropriate (due to lack of skills) and so it gives undesirable feedback (kids don't want to play).......I see him losing the opportunity to learn the correct way to ask someone to play. And no, he doesn't necessarily need words to do so.
    So he doesn't get a chance to improve those skills with practice.

    My son Travis had issues with this when really young, not due to language delay so much (he was difficult to understand sometimes), but because he often didn't think to use his words. Depending on the situation I might have either had him stop the inappropriate behavior (splashing) and remind him to use his words to ask the other children to play, or if needed walk him away far enough that I could explain that he should use his words when he wants another child to play and that most children don't like to be splashed. Or something along those lines. If that wasn't enough to stop the inappropriate behavior, then Time Out would happen and we'd try again. But I can't think of any time that he was removed from a social situation for inappropriate behavior unless it involved violence/raging ect.

    I also didn't mind explaining to the other children why he did what he did. Other children need to learn that not all children are going to behave exactly alike in social situations for various reasons.

    I'm going to give you an example to think about. The child is not a difficult child. And the mother was truly trying to be a good parent and teach her child to behave properly with other children. This was a neighbor of mine many years ago. I also watched this little girl in my daycare. She was 5 years old, I'll call her D. They had lived there a couple of months before D came out to play with my kids. They did well together for a short while, then as kids do.....D didn't want to share her toy with one of the kids. Mom was appalled at her lack of sharing and gave her a warning. D still didn't want to share. My jaw dropped as Mom not only spanked D (a normal brief spanking) but proceeded to ground her to her room for 2 weeks. When at the news D became hysterical......2 wks turned into a month. I didn't say anything because many parents go overboard and then don't follow through. But this Mom certainly did.

    It was a pattern I noted all summer. Poor D maybe got to play with the kids 2 or 3 times. One day Mom comes to me and is upset because she just doesn't understand why D won't play nice with the other kids (D had a tendency to hit, shove, push ect as well as not share). She was consistent with her discipline and the rules. She didn't understand what she was doing wrong. So I asked her if she wanted my honest opinion? When she said yes, I said the biggest thing I could see was that due to her over zealous discipline, D was rarely exposed to other children to actually practice her skills. I told her it's normal for a child not to want to share once in a while, or to hit or shove or whatever. Consequences are a good necessary thing, but she was going so far overboard that D never got to socialize long enough with other children to understand what she was doing wrong.

    So then I had to help her form new guidelines for discipline, like the normal Time Out for however minutes the child is old, ect and cautioned her against using 2 consequences at once. Make the only one fit what she's done instead. The result was D was spending far more time with other children practicing socialization skills.......and within a month or two you'd not have known she was the same child.

    Like I said, she wasn't a difficult child either. But the jest of that whole thing is........Mom didn't keep her in the social situation to continue to practice, so nothing was gained.....in fact opportunity to learn was removed.

    So often when we know our kids have problems it's tempting to either be too accepting of those problems or to protect them due to those problems. It can be really hard to cope with a child with speech delays and social skills delays in public, trust me I soooooooo get that. But if you don't encourage by both your behavior/attitude that they can learn to do it, that you expect them to learn to do it.......(and I realize I'm probably not saying this part well)......then it's easier for them not to keep trying to do it. Does that make sense?

    Travis, for all his disabilities, was held to the same standard and expectations of his sisters. He followed the same rules ect. Unless he had a meltdown or whatever, he remained in whatever social situation with whomever he was with until everyone was ready to leave. Now that doesn't mean that I didn't supervise him closely and jump in when necessary to help him navigate a situation ect.....but he didn't get to leave just because it was hard or unsuccessful. (and he had a lot of unsuccessful attempts) It also helped other children he saw fairly often get used to him and his behaviors and the skills he had at any given time. If he couldn't verbalize something, he could point or mimic or show them what he wanted to play. They learned to let him do that.....and after a while none of them thought much about it. This was tested time and again because we moved about every 2-3 yrs when my kids were growing up, so there was always a new set of kids to teach.

    Is your son's language delay such that sign language would help him for a time? It would give him an alternate way of expressing himself, even if he needed you or husband to interpret for him.

    Like I said, I don't know the background, and I'm certainly NOT criticizing.......I'm just stating an observation mostly, maybe giving you a different way to look at it.