My 7 year old first-grader has trouble joining into social situations. He plays well with his 5 year old brother, but with peers, he goes off on his own, and will tell stories to himself (I believe this is a coping mechanism, bc he is not sure what to do or has learned that they won’t want to play with him). My gut tells me this is a confidence thing with friends, since he does play with his brother.
How can I encourage him but not control him, to take chances with peers? Since implementing John’s methods about a year ago, we have seen drastic changes in his behavior and his over-all well being. This social thing seems to be the last “big” anti-social behavior that he is still hanging onto. It felt like we had to lay the hammer down so to speak (to bed early and no toys for weeks) for him to change his other anti-social behaviors like bad classroom habits. Can you do the same things with talking and playing with peers?