Monday, April 27, 2009

Mingling skills

I had been worried that Lele hasn't enough oportunities to mingle with other children since he is the only grandchild and child in the family, without any siblings or cousins. While some children will mingle and play with one another in the playground, Lele would rather play with the dog, pluck fruits off ixora plants or play with me, or with adults.

When he did mingle with other children, it was not very gentle. He would shove a little too hard, tug at the hair or proclaimed loudly,

"I don't like this one (meaning another child)."

Even though Lele attended enrichment classes from 9months till now, I accompany him to all these classes. I wonder if perhaps he has gotten a little too used to playing with me, hence he doesn't want to or know how to play with kids his age.

Nowadays at his enrichment class, I try to do 2 things.

1) Give less attention to him especially during free-play time at the beginning of lesson so that he can play independent of me. To my pleasant surprise, he showed absolutely no signs of distress. When I need to be away (either to the washroom or do admin stuff), I will just let him know. He will cheerfully say, "Bye, mama." and proceed to play with the teachers. One teacher commented,

"Lele can self-entertain very well."

I even found him more sociable towards other kids. After endless repititions, firm warnings and pep talks, he now does not behave rough towards other kids. Yesterday in class, he stroked a child's hair very gently:) When another child laid down on the mat, Lele thought he wanted to sleep and he actually got down on his knees to stroke the boy's chest while humming, just like I always does with him! Words cnnot describe enough how relieved I am to see these small kind gestures...

2) Training attention span by putting in more effort to engage him during activities. See, now the Lele is more familiar with classroom procedures, his classmates and the teachers, he is becoming more active. Instead of paying attention, he liked to sing or move around. When he moves around, I will tell him that he needs to be out of the classroom if he wants to move around. He will request for me to leave with him, and I will say that I don't want to go outside because I want to enjoy the activities. When he found himself alone outside, he will request to come back in. Then I'll make a deal with him. I'll tell him that he cannot move around in the classroom. He'll agree and then I'll let him in.

Other methods of training attention at home:

a) Have simple art/craft activities at home a few times a week.

b) When Lele chooses a book for me to read, I'll ask him to choose a spot where he'll sit. Then I'll tell him,

"No moving around during story time."

He'll actually be very focused during story time:) unlike last times when he'll be all over the place even though he still interacted...

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