"No-one plays with me" from ds. Talk some sense into me.

(26 Posts)
harryhausen Tue 08-Jan-13 22:16:59

My ds is in Y1. He seems to really enjoy school normally, although its hard to get him to concentrate on reading/spelling etc.

Tonight, he was in tears in bed just before we read our bedtime story. He was saying that no-one plays with him, or they all play games he doesn't like. He was utterly heartbroken. I told him, it would be ok and he basically had to try and join in with some games he doesn't think he likes. He said no-one likes his games.

There are 20 boys in his class (!). He's very geeky, into dr who and Star Wars where most of the boys are into football or talk about Xbox games all the time (we don't have an Xbox).

Now, I KNOW to take all this with a huge pinch of salt but its really got to me thinking he may not be happy. My elder dd says he seems fine at school.

What I want to ask from you lovely sensible people is how common is it that young children say this one day and are fine the next? I never really had it with dd.

Basically, tell me to not be so stupid and get a grip?

PowerPants Tue 08-Jan-13 22:21:25

Oh I wish he was in my son' s class, they would get on so well!

I have had this from my ds too. I am sure there is an element of truth, as he doesn't do the console gaming/football thing either. He likes 'making things up', 'let's pretend' games.

I think your son probably had a bad day at school. When I did early school pick up once I could observe ds in the playground and he was as happy as larry, interacting with lots of people and organising a game.

ThisIsMummyPig Tue 08-Jan-13 22:22:04

My DD is still in reception, but has said throughout nursery and reception (and playgroup before that) that nobody plays with her. If I mention it to the staff they always deny it - then a few months later they tell me how she is now playing with the other kids where she didn't before (so I was right in the first place).

I suspect that there is a hint of truth in what your son says - I think he probably will be playing with the other kids, but some of the other children will be more gregarious than he is, and he will feel like he is missing out.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:29:25

the telling thing from your post is that he said no one likes his games

my dd used to say no one played with her, the reality of what was happening is that she would walk up to a group that were already playing and ask them if they wanted to play her game. They were already wrapped up in the game they were playing so would say no

to a 5 year old, she thought they meant they didn't want to play with her but if she had said can I join in, they would have included her

they had a fantastic teacher that worked with them on how to play together and what words to say and it worked a treat

it does surprise me that schools don't do more of teaching them how to play together, it's a skill they have to learn just like reading & writing

FannyBazaar Tue 08-Jan-13 22:30:43

My DS says this from time to time. Yesterday apparently no one wanted to play with him at break time, except for a boy who wanted to catch girls but DS didn't want to catch girls. Apparently he was really sad. He says he did play with others at lunch time though.

He often says he doesn't have many friends but then when pushed will name about a dozen kids he plays with who are his only friends.

No reluctance to go to school and often taking about other kids so I don't really consider it to be a problem although it does hurt when he tells me these things but I'm also glad he will talk to me.

stealthsquiggle Tue 08-Jan-13 22:31:58

DD said this and it turned out on further interrogation gentle questioning to be nonsense. However, her teacher didn't even slightly laugh at me for checking - and she gave me some names, so that I could say "really, DD, so what was X doing? How about Y?" and it would turn out "no one played with her" for about 2 minutes of playtime.

(that's a very long winded way of saying it's probably nothing but is worth checking)

harryhausen Tue 08-Jan-13 22:38:31

Thanks so much. The replies have already made me feel better.

Sausagesandwich, yes that is quite a telling phrase isn't it "HIS games". He's quite a bossy little boy at home and always wants to be in charge of the made up games. I suspect today, he got fed up of no-one wanting to play his game in particular.

I told him that we don't always get to play the games we want or sometimes games we think we don't like may be fun. It's just a life lesson I guess, trying to learn social niceties.

It's so hard when he looks up at me with big brown teary eyes saying "I feel so sad. No-one plays with me".

I will try not to dwell on it. I really wish there was a more balanced gender split in his class though.

Tgger Tue 08-Jan-13 22:38:55

Awwww. I'm sure it was real to him and that's what's important. However, it could easily be he was having a bad day due to being more tired than normal etc so it hit him harder than normal- I had this with my DS the other day when he was in tears because the tower of bricks he had built fell down (he is also Y1 and would not normally be in tears over this!).

So.... I would take it seriously enough to have a conversation or two with him about joining in with others (as you already have) and thinking of games that his friends enjoy/going with others' ideas/saying yes to a friend's idea before suggesting your own etc.

If it happens again I might have a word with the teacher though. Having a child unhappy more than just a one off needs action.

Tgger Tue 08-Jan-13 22:47:41

I think there is a lot of bossiness at this age btw. Watching DS and his cousin play at Christmas was interesting as they try to outboss each other. DS would ignore my niece quite a bit, his way of dealing with her being bossy and she in turn would argue and use language to try to talk him round which would drive him crazy..(male/female...? grin)

TennisMom Wed 09-Jan-13 00:31:45

harryhausen, I had to smile when I read your post because my DS, who is in Y2, sounded similar. At the beginning of the year, the teacher sent home a note saying that she'd like him to participate in "carpet" discussions more. When we asked him about it at dinnertime, he said that he didn't have a lot of friends and "I don't know why they don't like to play with me. I asked." This statement broke our hearts.

He loves Dr. Who and is also very geeky (advanced reader and math and quotes the Dallek and the Doctor). He said, "I don't know what I would do if Dr. Who doesn't exist." Lol!

Since that initial note, his teacher and I made an effort to get more boys to play with him during breaks and play dates. Thus far, we have noticed a huge improvement in his social interactions.

He's definitely more cerebral than sporty and, at his age, more boys are into the physical. I am hoping that he grows up, he'll find more like-minded friends.

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 10:25:24

I really appreciate all the reassurance. I will keep an eye on him but not dwell on something that's probably not a huge problem.

He went to school this morning quite happily. I really think you're right in saying that he probably just had a bad day.

Tennismum, it's good to know there are like minded boys out there. I may have chat with the teacher next parents evening just to reassure me. If the teacher brought it up first then I would definitely do something sooner.

My dd Y3 is extremely happy in school although took a long time to settle properly. She's very much her own person and didn't 'get' any of the girlie pink stuff that most of the girls were into in her class. She was quite stand offish which really worried me. Now everyone's a bit older many of the girls have grown out of the 'pink' and my dd is very secure about her own choices. She's great friends with the boys and the girls....although her class has a good gender split.

I just worry that my ds class is over 'boyish' for him.

I'm sure time will tell smile

losingtrust Wed 09-Jan-13 11:37:27

It is hard for boys not interested on football. My ds has always been the same and sounds like yours. It did take him a while but found a handful of good friends some who were into football and others not. Now he is still friends with a lot of those at age 12 and the football issue does fade throughout primary. Try inviting more kids both boys and girls to get to know more. Both my dcs had friendship problems in the earlier years and you do worry and I would speak to the teacher.

losingtrust Wed 09-Jan-13 11:47:23

Interestingly both of mine liked imaginary games too and ds still does play with dd four years younger like this although now also has an Xbox. Both liked to play their own games too. i did talk to them about other people's games. Generally for me it is just as good for them to have s small number of close friends than to be friends with lots. Are yours also younger in the year as this can make a difference sometimes?

mintyneb Wed 09-Jan-13 13:06:20

harry, I know how it feels when your DC comes out with things like that. My DD is also in year 1 and whilst she seems happy to go into school (although she does say she hates it as 'you just have to sit down and learn all the time'!) I'm still not sure how well her friendships are developing.

I helped out in school a few times last year and often saw her playing by herself. I also helped with the summer day trip and had to watch as all the class rushed around getting into pairs to get on the coach. There was an odd number that day and you've guessed it she was the odd one out. To see her little face fall as all her friends turned her down broke my heart.

Only on Monday this week she came out saying 'I was sad today (and it turns out on her own in the playground) but x,y,z didn't come and ask me what was wrong'. I also discovered that she's not been invited to two parties this month of girls who i thought she played with regularly

She is a very sensitive character but on the other hand very stubborn and determined. She's hugely imaginative and regularly plays with all variety of make believe characters. Possibly other kids just don't 'get' her yet?

I guess I have to try hard not to project my worries on to her but just keep an eye out over the rest of the year. She's certainly not disliked at school, perhaps she just needs a bit longer to find her way

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 13:06:28

He is fine, if this is the first you have heard of it.He was probably just tired and tearful.

mrsshackleton Wed 09-Jan-13 13:17:03

Having all these worries with dd, who's in second term of Y3 at a new school. From reading these posts, it seems stubborn, imaginative children have the hardest time. mintyneb your dd could be mine.

Dd isn't at all sporty and all the other kids at her new school do is play tag at breaktime. I've had plenty to play and she's fine with them one on one but she can't fit into a group, esp one doing an activity she doesn't enjoy.

I have decided to wait until half term to talk to teacher but am going to find it agony between now and then,

mintyneb Wed 09-Jan-13 13:32:23

It's not fun is it mrss?And I've heard from friends with older children that it doesn't necessarily get any easier as they get older sad

nonickno Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:14

Harry, your DS could be mine, it's heartbreaking. Going to closely follow this thread!

Spatsky Wed 09-Jan-13 14:31:56

Sounds like my son, except he is Year 2. He has no games console to talk about and pefers fantasy type stuff (wizards, trolls, that kind of stuff).

He says they exclude him from football and basketball because he's rubbish at it (which he is to be fair). I have offered him football lessons to get better but he isn't really interested in football anyway, just wishes they would enjoy his games.

With my son I have pin-pointed a couple of boys that do share interests and got them around for tea for my son to introduce them to his games that he is into and they have loved it when they got stuck in, and it probably helps him bond with them too.

Are there any that your son is particularly fond of that you could get over to tea in this way?

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 14:40:40

how common is it that young children say this one day and are fine the next?

very very common. No harm in mentioning to teacher & monitoring, though. it turned out to be true for DS2 (who is bad tempered, crude, rowdy & impatient, I can see why he gets left out). I find they only need one 5 second moment of feeling excluded that they can't deal with so later it bubbles out at bedtime, even though they also had 39 minutes of palsy fun play with many mates the rest of playtime. But that was easy to live so they don't dwell on it. confused

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 16:19:33

Mintyneb and mrss

Well he's fine today. He said he played Star Wars using the climbing equipment as the Death Star today - with 3 other boys. Hopefully this will calm his worries (and his bossyness!) for a while.

Mintyneb and MrsS - I so feel for you. Like I said up thread, my dd is in Y3 and took until the end of Y1 to really find herself at school. She doesn't really conform to the majority of girls in the class, liking scary werewolves, magic, beasts, dogs etc. I obviously love this about her but it is obviously odd to others. In the beginning of her y1 report, I noticed an offhand comment in her learning diary about PE and how dd was a loner and needed help to be with other children. I was devestated, as she was incredibly sociable with non-school friends and very confident. If just seemed that she didn't speak much. However the teacher never flagged it up to me. I asked about it and they said she was fine. Bit confusing, bit I worried myself to death about it.

These days she's still very much 'herself'. Other children have grown towards her a bit and I know she's popular. She's close to friends boys and girls that I don't really know their parents. I know that's genuine. She's also excelling at lessons. I'm very glad she doesn't have a girl 'clique' yet. I'm hoping we may avoid it - but I'm aware it's common.

So my ds, had started nursery, reception and Y1 seemingly loving school and all his friends - until last night. Maybe it might be the other way around for him and he will grow apart from his peers?

Anyway, he's seems ok now so I'm happysmile

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 16:20:49

Sorry Mintyneb and MrsS, I don't know why your names are at the top of my last post.

narmada Wed 09-Jan-13 16:21:14

Sounds like my DD, who is in reception. She also says that she didn't play with anyone quite often, but then it turns out she has done. She is very headstrong and I would say that she is quite able academically (not sure, nothing really to compare her to) but her social skills lag a bit behind. I imagine some of her small friends might find her language a bit odd. She's always been one for big words.

I similarly asked teachers and they reassured me she did play with others. I have noticed recently that she is having to learn to be more flexible and to play other people's games sometimes. It's so hard - you don't want them to be doormats and be bossed around, but neither do you want them to be left out. I think in a year or so we will (hopefully) wonder what we were worried about.

I think friendship groups are v fluid at this age so there is plenty of time yet for your son to get on and build friendships.

mrsshackleton Wed 09-Jan-13 16:40:31

Glad today went better for you OP, I am forbidding myself to ask dd, have decided to only ask once a week about social things, unless - obviously - she brings it up.

dd took a long time in her old school but was very happily settled when we moved her (like your' OP by end of y1). I assumed she'd got the hang of social things and it would be fine second time round at the new place, but obviously not. I am a) beating myself up about moving her - though there were good reasons and b) consoling myself that she is a slow burner and will get there in the end (when the other kids stop playing "tig").

It is extremely hard though, my heart sank when she went back to school on Monday at the prospect of another term, and anyone on this thread in a similar position has all my sympathy/empathy

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 16:57:06

MrsS, you're right I'm sure she get there. Console yourself in the fact that she's clearly very intelligent and needs to wait for the others to catch her upwink

I'm dreading my dd going to senior school now and it's years away. I don't want to send her to the local comp where a lot of her friends now will probably go (it's awful at the moment but a lot of the mums I know seem more concerned about the fact that they go up with their friends rather than aced emit results). So she'll probably know hardly anyone at her senior school. Can't even get my head around ds going.

Can't believe I'm worrying about all this already. I'll give myself a heart attackgrin

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