Sadly lacking play dates and sleepover invites - please help

(12 Posts)
DesperateMOM Fri 08-Feb-13 10:24:32

Hello

I have a lovely DC aged 9 who is desperately lacking in play date and sleepover invitations.

DC is a nice child but can be considered a little awkward (i suspect autistic spectrum traits) in that finds it difficult to mix socially - always seems to be sitting in the face and misunderstood -not particularly sporty and more geeky iyswim. DC attends a small school which can limit friend making opportunities I suppose and DC tells me is often on own at pay times.

DC lately seems to be left out of everything and I'm desperate that DC needs to fit in and be included.

Snowme Fri 08-Feb-13 11:26:05

I suppose instead of waiting to be invited, you have to do the inviting? I don't get this play dates thing at all, the children have their own lives outside of school.

What about organising a swimming play date or country park outing for your child and a few classmates, activities like that encourage them to interact with each other more I suppose, meaning friendships could be forged.

kw13 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:36:11

Completely agree with Snowme. My DS also picks up on how I behave - so I have made a huge effort to talk to the other parents at pick up/drop off and volunteered for cake making (really not my strong point), the school disco, fireworks night; and then talked about them to DS (eg 'I was talking to X's mummy/daddy and she/he said that X really liked Lego). And then you definitely have to invite them to yours first. You could ask the teacher which child your DC seems to talk to most and start there? Socializing isn't for every child - some really just prefer being on their own (my sister for one!) but there is probably a like minded child to yours out there! Good luck.

newgirl Fri 08-Feb-13 11:41:52

yes I agree you have to do lots of inviting. Little groups at that age is nice. Not sure 'best friends' is that healthy or fun.

Im not a massive fan of sleepovers but like kids getting together to do things like park, play on a sat afternoon etc so maybe start with that as some parents may not be keen on sleepovers with family they don't know hugely well

gabsid Fri 08-Feb-13 12:31:42

I am in a similar situation with my DS 7. I believe he is somewhere on the autistic spectrum as he gets obsessed with things, e.g. Lego, Starwars and can be a bit paranoid with other people/children staring at him. On the other hand, when he feels confident he can be quite chatty and sociable. DS doesn't want to join any clubs at school and doesn't want to do any after school activities either.

Our school is a village school in what seems a fairly tight knit community, and some parents appear quite cliquey (ignoring in the street) which puts me off volunteering really. I will do it though once DD starts school and I have more time.

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 14:21:11

Hi OP, my child and a mum of a similar child I know who aren't at same school have started to write to each other with the idea they will eventually be able to come to each other's birthdays and sleep overs and send little presents and Such.

Dd is really enjoying it as she feels she has a special friend.
Could you do that too?

BoneChina Fri 08-Feb-13 21:57:39

I second what others have said already - you really do need to lead by example.

In that I mean instigate play dates at yours/or days out - different children each time -that way you can gauge the dynamics of each relationship as they move forward. ALWAYS ALWAYS reciprocate so that other parents don't feel these things are heavily weighted on their side - no one likes to feel used.

Don't be so keen for the sleepover thing to happen - and certainly don't force the issue by demanding one of parents in front of said children. In my experience play dates and sleepovers occur organically -usually best approached by a text or email to other parent rather than putting on the spot as it were. Be child-lead in these things, for example who does your DC have a common interest with (both like drawing, ballet, lego, whatever) want to invite over?

EXPAND horizons - extra curricular activities outside of school giving the chance to form a wider circle of friends and interests. Actively seek out activities that your child enjoys that will help your dc to bond with the girls / or boys. Give exposure but don't force something on your dc that she/he is clearly not that into - as would make for a miserable life I feel.

Approach all of this slowly.

Sorry - all of the above sounds patronising and certainly isn't meant to be. here's an egg, this is how to suck it grin

TheNoodlesIncident Fri 08-Feb-13 23:20:59

I would also ask school if they have noticed him/her struggling socially and whether they have any groups available where this can be developed. If your child needs support in a particular area they should get it.

School can be fairly miserable for a child who gets excluded through being unable to form bonds with the other children. Playdates and sleepovers are fine but if you suspect ASD then it's only fair that you get your child help to learn social skills, as their ability to "pick up" the subtleties will be impaired (i.e. your dc will not learn this by watching you or anyone else, it has to be specifically taught!) Neuro-Typical children pick up social cues from the adults around them from a very young age - seriously, if your dc is on the autistic spectrum, learning by imitation is unlikely to happen (and it hasn't by age 9, has it?)

It's up to you whether you decide to investigate further whether your dc has ASD, but secondary school is likely to be much tougher and you might wish then that you had looked into coping strategies previously.

cumbrialass Sat 09-Feb-13 09:55:12

My son has Aspergers and has NEVER had a " best friend", birthdays have usually been with the children of my friends-or of his brother, he has only ever been to one sleepover and has never invited anyone back ( and he is now 18!)
But actually I'm the one who is sad for him, he is quite happy without friends, much prefers his life the way it is and, so I later learnt, didn't want me trying to organise his social life for him! So make sure that this is actually what your child wants rather than what you want. It was a hard lesson for me to learn.

DeafLeopard Sat 09-Feb-13 11:58:56

As others have said, you need to do a lot of inviting first in order to foster friendships and hopefully get reciprocal invitations.

Also have you spoken to the class teacher about how they can support your DC in finding friends?

Can you find some group activity that your DC would like to join in? Similar hobbies can form the basis of a friendship

Jestrin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:52:32

This used to break my heart if I'm honest because it always seemed like the other children (and their parents) would form groups and it was hard to fit in despite invitations to play or cups of tea for mums. I hope that doesn't sound pushy, I wasn't, but asking in general conversation. After school or school holidays would be spent without their 'friends' unless I had rung everyone up to arrange something. It was NEVER the other way around. It used to really upset me. To the point that I decided enough was enough and stopped it.

Jestrin Sun 10-Feb-13 18:54:48

I should add that it upset the children too. So we made our own fun and now that they are older, it isn't a problem

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