Convincing the kids to have a bonding moment

by beagooddad on October 27, 2006

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We are going through a really interesting stage right now with the kids. Pookie is getting really good about taking things like us saying, “Goodnight, Pookie” and, instead of him repeating it back, he’s starting to actually turn it around and say, “Goodnight, Daddy.” It is still scripted speaking, but it is a big improvement. He is even getting much better about walking around the house and telling us what he wants. Actually, a little to good.

At the same time, Geetle is getting into friends. She has a neighborhood buddy and loves the friendships at school but, despite loving Pookie, she does not often go out of her way to talk to him. She will chase him around and always wants to do whatever he is doing but she does not try to engage him in conversation like her other friends.

The other day, Geetle asked me to play something with her. I told her that she should ask Pookie if he wanted to play with her. She replied, “He doesn’t understand.” Very few things hurt a parent more than hearing something like that. Getting Pookie to be more social is a huge priority for us and something that we are always conscious about working on.

Pookie likes phsical, goofy play. He likes to be held upside down and likes having raspberries blown on his belly. I held him upside down the other day and had Geetle blow raspberries. They both thought it was hysterical. Then I held Geetle and had Pookie blow raspberries. The pandemonium continued. It is a little step but we are working on bridging Pookie’s difficulties socializing with other kids and Geetle’s desire to play with friends.

Our kids are twins and one has autism which makes for some interesting challenges and benefits to trying to get them to socialize together. But, the basics skills are the same no matter who the kids are. What tricks have you used to get your kids to interact more with each other?

Update: A few minutes back, Beagoodmom called me with some news. She was helping Pookie onto the bus and decided to sit him next to one of his classmates. They stopped in front of him while Beagoodmom put Pookie’s backpack under the seat. Unprompted, Pookie said, “Hello” and then whatever the kid’s name is. Pookie will sometimes say “Hello, dad” or “Hello, mom” when we get home, but very rarely without prompting. I have never heard him address anybody outside of the immediate family without being prompted. It is little things like that that can really make your day. I told Beagoodmom that we need to get ahold of that kid’s parents and set up some playdates.

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