Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Are Your Kids Socialized? The Rudeness Factor

My son is 9 now, but I think this is the best "socialization" story I have to date. Below is the story as I shared with my local support group.

My 7-year-old son has been going to a stuttering therapist since late spring. He has a really good rapport with the therapist and enjoys going to his sessions.

A few weeks back the therapist asked to speak to me. This isn't all that unusual but I could tell he had an issue on his mind. So, we sit down and it goes like this:

Dr.: "It's not really my business, but I was just curious, how is your son with other kids?"

Me: "Oh, he's great! He has lots of friends, other kids seem to like him and request to play with him, he gets along..."

Dr.: "No, that's not what I mean."

I give him a puzzled look and he explains.

Dr: "There are, what I see, two types of kids. There are those that are really popular and outgoing, and then there are those that are well, nerdy. Typically it's those that are nerdy that tend to stutter. (Note: Our therapist was/is a severe stutterer, so I wasn't offended by this assessment really.) This isn't really any of my business, but I know you homeschool, and well, your son is such a nice kid. He comes in here and is so well-behaved. He's polite and does what I ask. He only sometimes gets a little silly at the end or when we are playing games. I was just wondering how much he's around other kids."

I was completely speechless for a second. The Dr. thought my kid was unsocialized because he's
well-behaved! What a hoot! And this is a concern? Would he be concerned if my son were rude and disrespectful? Would he not stutter if he were rude? This therapist is well-respected and I was told "the best" in this field. He travels around the world talking about his program. I hope he isn't telling his colleagues to watch out for those well-behaved kids.

Anyhow, it just so happened that I was doing some fall planning during their session and had written down all of the kids' classes and activities outside of the home. My son's totaled about 7 classes or activities a week, not to mention play dates, field trips and other non-weekly things. After I regained my composure, I spoke with just a smile rather than laughing in the therapist's face. I told him of my list and starting rattling off the activities. He cut me off again and said "Okay, okay. I guess it doesn't apply here. I was just curious. It obviously isn't an issue." He still looked confused.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share as we start off our school year. I guess if being well-behaved, respectful, and complying during therapy makes my kid a nerd, then I'll take it! However, I apparently need to work on that socialization and seek out some rude kids for him to
hang out with to put it all in balance.


Heather said...

What a great example of how the world just can't understand the well-behaved, well-rounded, well-adjusted child anymore. LOL. I hope my boys turn out like your son!

Homeschool Dawn said...

That is unbelievable. Good job handling it so politely and calmly.