Using Books as a Tool to Bridge the Social Gaps

One of my sisters is a friend of John Rich, and she told me about the following book he helped to write, which I instantly wanted a copy of.  If you watched the “Celebrity Apprentice” this past season you saw that his team wrote a book about a boy, Lil Jon, overcoming fears on his first day of school.

Not So Little, Jon  (Volume 1)

Books like this are great to read with your little one over the summer if you are going to put your little one in any kind of program whether it be a formal school setting, a mother’s day out, or a daycare.  This can be great preparation or reinforcement for a little one to develop a sense of confidence in their individual personality, talents, and abilities to initiate social interactions. A few others I recommend:

Stephanie's Ponytail (Classic Munsch), Chrysanthemum Big Book, Wemberly Worried

Additionally, if your little one is already dealing with some social complications due to tattling, shyness, uniqueness, bossiness, etc. I recommend learning about some of the literature available for children with those tendencies by reading the reviews and taking a peek inside books that can really bridge the gap that your little one might be struggling through concerning social development.  Books like:

A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, How to Lose All Your Friends (Picture Puffins), Franklin Is Bossy

I hope you find these books helpful for discussing and guiding social development.  Books are great tools for helping children to gain perspective and to learn new ways to problem solve independently.

What To Do With A Clinger

I was at the park with some friends and I noticed one of my friend’s little girls clinging for dear life to her dad’s leg while the other children played across the park.  I know this little girl to be a VERY sweet little one, but she is just naturally shy when it comes to social settings.

So, I walked over to her, knelt down to her eye level, and asked her what her favorite area of the park was.  She hesitated as she pointed to the swings.  Right then, I held out my hand, and I said “Why don’t we go together to the swings and see if we can find one friend that we can play with by the swings?”  She didn’t hesitate at all!  She grabbed my hand and we headed over to the swings together.

Then, I called one of her well-known playmates over to the swings, and I asked my shy little friend to “use her words” and ask that friend if she would like to swing with us.  She hesitated and I said it again.  On the third try she asked that friend to play with her, and the other playmate gladly accepted.

After that, I stayed around for another 5-10 minutes to spark activity ideas and conversation between them, and then walked away to let her play independent of my guidance for a little while, but I kept my eyes on her in case it looked like she needed more prompting.

I wanted to share this with all my Mommy Teachers because I don’t want us to loose sight of the teaching opportunities we have in developing our little ones SOCIAL skills as well as cognitive skills.  I hope this inspires you 🙂

If you have any similar stories or questions PLEASE share them with me via email: jessica (at) themommyteacher [dot] com or on my facebook page.

I borrowed this picture of my friend Casey and her kids because she is such an awesome Mommy Teacher who plays with her kids and teaches them social skills as well.

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