9 answers

10 Year Old Has Difficulty Getting Along with Kids

I have a ten year old son who has a hard time getting along with other kids. He is very calm and has no problems being around adults, but with kids eight and up. He becomes very anxious and wont stop talking and or being bossy. He has few friends and the kids at school have a hard time relating with him.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I'm a 5th grade teacher and I had a boy like this in my class last year. What really helped was getting the mom's okay for him to start seeing the social worker at school. She saw kids in a lunchtime group and helped them develop social skills. I also sat him at a table with some really understanding kids and spoke with them about trying to be accepting of him and modeling good behavior for him. I can't say he changed completely, but he was a little less bossy after a few months and kids did start warming up to him a little.

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Hi R.!
My 4 year old son has the same issues. It is one of the major signs of autism. You son may have this development delay. Anxieties and controling behavior is a part of it too. Their brains are working faster than their bodies and they usually do inappropriate behavior to get the sensory input they need. The earlier you confirm this diagnosis - the better it is. Unfortunately - at 10, there may be issues with his self esteem now. You will need to work harder to get him in a good place. LCSW and psycologist at school can help him with social stories and learning techniques to deal with his peers. Talk to your pediatrician and get a pediatric neurologist recommendation. Occupational therapy has helped alot with fine, gross motor skills and interaction with peers.
Good luck!
S. in Lisle

Hi, R. -

Let me start by saying that I am a fourth grade teacher who has seen this before. I would bet that there is a little bit of good and bad happening here. He may have a higher IQ if he relates better to adults than children his own age. Perhaps he is used to the mature interactions of adults and doesn't know how to respond when his peers don't act the same in social settings.

However, he really does need to learn how to become a better communicator with his peers. The only way he can do this is through practice and guidance of how to react in certain situations. You and your husband could really coach him (even down to exactly what to say in his high stress moments) and help him set his own goals. He needs to feel that he is in control of this transformation, not that this is a drastic intervention. Be frank with him about how other kids view his bossiness. Help him see how they might feel and emphasize the golden rule with him. I have found that if a child makes even one close friend at his age, they truly start to understand how to have mutual respect. Stay in good communication with his teacher and let him/her know what you are working on at home. He/she could be of much use to him at school if he really tries to improve. He needs to walk away from this experience feeling good about himself, not overly disciplined. If it seems to be beyond your family and teacher's reach, consider having him talk with a child psychologist. Sometimes an uninvolved, neutral adult can make a bigger impact than we can.

Good luck and I hope you find success!
A.

I think it is great that your son gets along with adults so well and is mature enough to be able to! I also think it is great that you recognize that there is a problem with him getting along with his peers!

I think you perfectly explained the problem there... he gets anxious around them. If I was in your shoes I would find a sport for him that allows him to be around more kids. I do not know if I would throw him right into a team sport though, but there is BMX racing(bicycle motocross- not motorized dirt bikes).

I had my son race from 10-14. It helped him to keep in shape physically plus helped to gain friendships with kids more his age and geared him up for better relationships with his peers without the anxiety he first had leaving our sides.... he was a major Momma and Grandmas boy!!! He is now a very independent 19 year old and is even thinking about getting back into racing. It really helped to build his confidence in himself and get over some of his original physical limitations he had! He also learned to control his emotions from racing and be a great sport when he lost... we learned the hard way to not let him win everytime we would play things with him!

If you go to www.ababmx.com you can find a track that would work for you. We had him go to the one in Elgin and Rockford as well as in the winter we would go up to Elkhorn, WI. If you wanted to bring your son out to the track in Elgin you can do that- or used to be able to- on any day that was not a race day to give it a try to see if he would even like it- bring a helmet and long sleeve shirt and pants... another thing we learned the hard way! He got on someone elses bike with bearclaw pedals and slipped and ripped his knee apart when he fell! Oops! I consider it a safe sport even though he had quite a few falls... nothing ever broke and the one incident we just taped it up since it was on his knee and nowhere a scar would cause problems later! He ended up with more injuries playing soccer and football later on in school and with broken bones and sprains there!

You might also want to check with your park district to see what programs they offer during the summer that might interest him... I am sure there are plenty!

Good luck and blessings to you!

Sounds like an only child. Have you tried putting him in some sport so that he can learn team work and other social skills while getting out aggression and finding an outlet for his obvious gift of being a leader?

my 7 and a half year old son has this problem- he can make friends but its difficult for him to keep them. I have him signed up at the ped place for a social support group where kids like him get together and talk some of these issues out I know there are a lot of psychologists out there who offer this class as well. With some kids they just need to be taught social skills. GOod Luck!

I would advise you to try to get your son to see the consequences of his actions. He is 10 and it's not too early for him to learn that other kids won't tolerate his behavior. Obviously he wants to have friends and so that is where you start, "You want to have friends and there are some things you need to stop doing in order for that to happen. What do you think they might be?" He probably has some clue about not talking so much and being bossy. If he does, build on his remarks (in response to other ideas he has in other directions, like "I need to buy them toys" for instance, just don't respond to those). "How do you think you can stop talking so much?" In the discussion, ask for his input first, don't just tell him what to do. "How do you suppose kids feel when another kid tells them what to do?" If he has no clue, then ask him to watch what the other kids do when he's bossy and tell you about it. "So do you think it is a good idea to tell them what to do (try to not use the word bossy)? What could you do instead? How can you get other kids to do what you want them to do?" Frankly, he's not going to be able to do that, because human nature being what it is, kids respond to kids with natural leadership. He will have to learn the slow process of working with others and compromise that the majority of us have to learn in order to lead. Talk to him about those qualities and work on instilling them in him.

I'm a 5th grade teacher and I had a boy like this in my class last year. What really helped was getting the mom's okay for him to start seeing the social worker at school. She saw kids in a lunchtime group and helped them develop social skills. I also sat him at a table with some really understanding kids and spoke with them about trying to be accepting of him and modeling good behavior for him. I can't say he changed completely, but he was a little less bossy after a few months and kids did start warming up to him a little.

so he does fine with younger kids? or he bosses them too? and he does fine with teens and adults, but not his classroom age range? just clarifying.
it sounds like he's in the midst of the school pecking order. trying to be on the top because that's what school promotes, but not sure how to stay clear of the bottom without bossing or continuously asserting his existence. does he have any friends his age? you might try getting him one on one with another kid his age with similar interests and work on him that way. or talk to him about why he gets nervous/anxious, and strategies that he can do to avoid going over-board when he feels that way (like stepping away from the group for a few minutes to calm back down).

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