Pushy parent(65 Posts)
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I need to admit that I might fell under the category as ?pushy parent?. And this is not what I?d like to hear, I am more interested in how it affect, will affect my son life socially or in any other way. A bit of background: both parents went to university and the family is not English, so we speak 2 languages.
He is in reception and I think he is a very good learner (but I cannot compare because I grow up in another education system). But I have some evidence. His English is only a half year behind compare with his peers (however he learns English only in the school and no any English influence from home). He is in yellow reading level, good in math (adding up, subtracting numbers up to 20, counting at least to 100, knows his shapes 2d and 3d, etc?) and his writing is good as well (they learn cursive letters). He is a summer born child (and had a heart surgery) so physically he is a bit behind (but I think I would put this under the fact that we do everything for him at home: change his clothes, clean his teeth, help him eat, etc?). Socially I would say he is ok. He definitely not the chattiest boy, and he does not like to be in the middle, but he has some friends (3-4) mostly from the older children. But we do not mind, because we are the same type of person with his father.
He is a kind of learner that if you do something with him he remembers from the first time. He understands the logic in math. He loves books (because we influence him with books since he was born). And I would like to take advantage of these. He is only 4.5 and we learn together at least 1-1.5 hour every weekday, sometimes weekend as well. I do not need to push him very hard to do it, but of course if he could choose he would watch TV. When I say learning, I really mean learning (do math next to a board, reading, spelling and writing) ad not playing with puzzles or board game (we do these as well, but in another time).
But in the other hand I am worried a bit too. He wears glasses and sometime I think it is my fault, because I introduced the books for him too early. And I think he develop some kind of urge to try to be perfect for me. I am afraid that he does things because I ask him (most of the time) and not because he would like to do it. He always asks me if I think his job is perfect or not. I think he does not believe in himself as much as I believe in him (however he can do everything he wants, he just need to try it and most of the time he succeed).
I would be interested to know if any other parents do the same at home (probably this is typical and I should not worry at all), or if any teacher had experience with children with ?pushy parent? like me. And why I would like to know these things, simply because I would like to be the best mum for my son, even if I need to chnage my behaviour.
I am prepared to get negative answers, but I would be happier to get some kind of solution (how you are dealing with situation like this) or experience from other parents and teachers.
That's a lot of extra work for a little one on top of a full school day. We only do what the school asks plus some extra on spellings because this is a weakness. If you want to do extra - I'd limit it to 15 mins a day.
I'd let him play and relax after school, see friends and develop outside interests.
TBH at this age why push so hard? He'll see all his classmates doing fun extra curricular activities and having play dates and wonder why he can't. It may make him feel that he HAS to do extra work because he's not clever which is the last thing you want.
There's plenty of time to get anxious about school performance in year 5 and 6!
Crikey. 1.5 hours, in addition to school, with extra time for puzzles, etc is an awful lot for a four year old, especially one who is going to spend his time at school concentrating extra hard because it is his second language.
I have a reception boy, very clever, who is doing well. We do fun stuff at home like puzzles and lego construction (great for developing all sorts of skills including maths and physics), read together so now he is starting to read more and more of the words himself, do word games and number games in the car, and other similar things where the learning is incidental to the enjoyment. No pressure, but he is learning loads and remembering it.
You obviously have concerns about what you're doing. Can't you try to make it fun, rather than such a scholarly cramming session? And remember he'll be picking up loads of English from watching tv.
Well, for a start you don't need a solution because you haven't presented us with a problem. What you want to do is discuss parenting styles. And don't forget that there are some traditional families and cultures which regard learning as a high priority. It's not unusual to have some families with lots of professionals in many generations. Nobody's saying that that is inherently a bad thing. In fact at one time it was widely considered to be aspirational. Now I'm not sure whether it is or not.
One of your worries is balance. You want to know whether or not you balance playing with your son correctly against teaching him. It's difficult for us to know because we don't know you. But if your son is a happy child and if you don't actively prevent him from playing when he wants to then it is possible that you've got the balance somewhere near right. But again, I don't actually know that. You've got to judge for yourself.
Incidentally I can't abide the term "pushy parent." For me it's a term invented by teachers to denigrate parents who take an active interest in their children's education and I believe that any teacher caught using the phrase should be sacked on the spot. I think it's a disgraceful phrase.
You are considering what's best for your son and trying to separate that from what you consider best for yourself. We can't change our own characters but if we are lucky we can try to prevent our neuroses wrecking havoc with our children's lives. At least you are aware that you're striving to shape your son's life and education. Many parents are unaware of the influence that they are having. Perhaps they are the ones who should be posting on mumsnet.
Like anything there needs to be a balance. Doing extra learning activities after school if he's not too tired and if they are fun is sine. Doing 1.5 hours of hard study probably is too much.
And a balance needs to exist between academic abilities and other important abilities such as self care and socialisation. At this age, equal weight should (I think) be given to perfecting skills such as teeth brushing, dressing, sharing and forming friendships as it is to spellings and maths' boards.
I don't think the early introduction to books was a bad thing at all or that it harmed his eye sight but I think there is a potential to turn a child off learning if it is pushed quite so much or if it is done at the expense of other important things.
Yes, education is high priority in our culture (but we start school at the age of 6). And also we think if we fortunate enough to be in this country than we need to make every effort to help him to have a good education here.
Overall he is a lovely life loving boy. He enjoys his life with us, but I need to admit that he prefers us (parents) instead of his peers, when it comes to playing. But it is the same with children who speaks his first language. So I think this type of behavior also comes from our culture, where parent have strong influence on their child life.
1.5 hour seems too much for me also, but on the other side he is not complaining at all, he is not tired at all. And we take breaks as well. We also play together, we play board games, puzzles etc He also interested in chess.
More that I would interested is how this can be affect his self confidence (self believing). He always asks me if something is perfect what he has done, instead of judge his own work. Also I am afraid that it will "kill" his creativity (e.g.: if I tell him how to form that letter, or something is good or not). And I know creativity is a big part of the English education.
1.5 hours per night sounds a lot to me.
I would want him to be relaxing ie watching some TV or a DVD to unwind (and I have 2 kids,one of whom is in reception who are very driven to read/write a lot)..
I also think you are doing him no favours (sorry if I am being harsh) in doing everything for him. My DD has been dressing and undressing herself for 18mths maybe and I rarely clean her teeth (just check she does it right) and at meal times she is expected to get on with it (although might need some help opening a packet of something)..These are important life skills and as vital as learning academic stuff IMO (more so actually)...
It sounds like he is doing well at school which is good but I would also be concentrating on how he is at making friends etc too...
It is possible that you are leaving praise too late. My daughter used to do the most horrendous scribbles and I'd say "that's lovely, darling!" I think, thankfully, I I'm not one of those parents who says that's nice, dear. What is it? But the end result is that my daughter thinks that everything that she does is perfect, even when it isn't. But at the same time she does ask how to spell things. Children also have their own natures and I'm sure some children (maybe your son) like to be reassured that they're doing things correctly. It may have nothing to do with your teaching, that might be part of your son's nature. My daughter's teacher wrote in her reading diary that she constantly seeks reassurance that she's reading correctly. She doesn't do that at home. So I didn't know what the teacher meant by that. I wrote back explaining that she doesn't do that at home. So, it is also possible that your son just picks up some kind of vibe from you and believes that he should keep checking. Other than praise him I'm not sure (if that is what is happening) what you can do about that. I'm sure self belief grows with experience (self doubt too.) I wouldn't worry overly at the moment about it. He's still very young. But make sure he does a few activities that he's naturally good at. Most people (including children) know when they are good at something.
I do a lot of work with my kids at home, they're 5 and 9, but never more than 3 hours a week. That is plenty for a child who is not behind. If you continue doing work with him for such a long time every single day, it might backfire.
You will build his confidence by allowing him to get dressed, brush his teeth, tie his shoe laces, wipe own bum and feed himself. Allow him to make mistakes and encourage him to try different activities.
What about physical activities? What about socialising? What about music? What about crafts?
Is he able to entertain himself, self-stimulate, engage in games with peers? At his age, these are more important than having all his activities structured and laid out by you.
It wouldn't suit my children but all children are different. Some children love a structured learning environment.
I would suggest you try to make him a bit more 'rounded'. I mean just give him other experiences away from the blackboard and books.
Like swimming classes, art classes, dance, yoga, karate, Beavers, playing at the park, tennis, cycling etc.
Some he will like, some he won't but he will learn alot from these experiences and not just how quickly to count to 100.
I think it sounds like you think that his confidence doesn't match his ability. He clearly loves learning, a lot, if you're not pushing him to do all this extra (if he's just going along with it and happy to do it).
I would guess that if you talked to a professional they would tell you that he is lacking confidence because you don't allow him enough independance. And this is really a common thing with children who were sick when young. Heart surgery! I can't even imagine going through something like that.
Let him start doing more for himself. He is 4, he can dress himself, put his own shoes on, feed himself. Give him some jobs that you know he can do, but that are a little hard. Like perhaps taking the plates out to the kitchen or setting the table. Maybe you will get some broken plates but it will do wonders for their sense of self esteem.
Physical play helps with confidence too. Is there a friend at school whose mum might meet you at a local playground so the boys can play together for an hour?
I don't think you mention any physical activities ... being physically active is important too if possible, and might help balance things out for you both and help him socially.
Right having thought about this a bit more,I think it's lovely that you care about his education (my DC go to a school where lots of parents think its the schools job to teach their child and not theirs) however, I think it is vital to teach your DS to entertain himself at little bit more which will hopefully build up his confidence. My DS's confidence was low when he was younger (he is now 7) and would ask if he was doing something right a lot (despite me explaining that in some situations there is no right or wrong way,he can choose)...
If you asked him what he wanted to do,what would he say??
I listen to my kids read every day (unless they are ill) and usually play some kind of game with them most evenings but they are now good at entertaining themselves (although admittedly its easier with 2 as they play together) ie DS will play with his cars,match attax cards etc and DD dresses up, plays with her dolls house or whatever....she is also very into colouring in.
Are there any after school clubs he can join?? DS does beavers (although your DS is too young ATM) and both kids go to a youth club every week. Their school does after school stuff too (we find out next week what club they have been allocated)...
He is capable to eat, dress, and wipe his bum alone, only I do for him if he asks me. He is a kind of boy who does not like physical activities a lot. He likes to play more inside the house with his toys or spending time with his grandparents. He likes music too. But he loves learning, that is what he is very good at it, and he loves to do it with me, with his teacher, etc...
He has a couple of friends (3-4) in the school, he plays with them at lunch time, but he does not want to invite them to play after school. And I think nobody knows friends from the KS1 when they are adult (at least I do not). He is participate in group activities as well.
I have a v bright ds2 who basically taught himself to read and write when he was 3 by looking at ds1's phonics books. He never has to learn a spelling, just looks at a word and remembers how to spell it. His y2 teacher is great at giving him stretching work, but he began to get really anxious about getting things wrong and I couldn't think where that was coming from. I knew he was learning in a supportive environment where mistakes are seen to be a critical part of learning.
So being a certain sort of parent, I did a bit of reading. I can really recommend 'Self-Theories' by Carole Dweck or 'Mindset', her pop-sci version of the same book, which talks (amongst other stuff) about how giving children the right kind of praise (ie praising effort, determination, resilience) can lead to happier dc with a 'growth mindset' who also, btw, end up achieving more than dc with a 'fixed mindset'. I've found this really helpful with ds2 (and for myself!). We've also started to talk about our 'best mistake today' at tea time.
1.5 hours is a very long time on top of a school day. Reception can be exhausting! Perhaps you could let up on the after-school work, get out the Lego and see what happens?
rrbrgi, are you still worried about his weak heart, or is that all in the past now?
I have a daughter who is very driven to read and write ( also in reception) and tbh she would rather be doing this than most other things.
She always has her head in a book and when I check her after she has gone to bed she has usually fallen asleep with a book on her face
She is constantly writing letters to her favourite people telling them how much she loves them etc.
However she does not do it with me iyswim. She chooses to do it (as well as other stuff) and will come and either tell me about what she has read or show me her letter. And even she would struggle to do 1.5 hours on top of a school day...
As I have said I listen to her read on a daily basis but if she chooses to do more that is fine,it is also fine if she gets her barbies out or plays with her marble run iyswim...
I am not worried about his heart. He can do everything like a "normal" child physically.
But probably this is the point why I do everything for him, because once I felt the feeling losing him and the feeling that I am not able to help him.
it must have been truly awful for you,your family and of course your DS.
Your feelings are totally understandable. He is still so young and of course you want to protect/take care of him...
Well, maybe it's time to let go a little then. That's something for you to reflect on. But I think it's not that related to the school work/play balance. I think that's a separate issue.
I understand that feeling rrbrigi. It is hard and don't be too hard on yourself. You seem to be aware of you doing things for him - just gradually let him grow in independence. It will be one of the best things you ever do for him.
And do try out lots of other activities not just book based things.
I can only begin to imagine how awful that must have been. It sounds like you really want the best for him.
I agree with the others,you have acknowledged why you feel the way you do (and act) so maybe it is time to let go a bit....
Very hard to break a habit (protect himself) that you do for years, but I will try harder.
Also I think because of this heart problem, he is behind in development (probably half a year behind), and he is the smallest in his class (half a head smaller than the next one) and these things do not help him to socialize.
As an ex primary teacher I would say 1.5 hours is far too much. For all means practise his sounds, his handwriting and a little reading but no more than 20-30 minutes a day (I would say less but as he is keen 20-30 would probably be fine). In my experience at that age the best things you can be doing are trips and visits to lots of different places rather than study: museums, the beach, playgrounds, soft play, swimming, a forest walk etc. Children learn so much by being out and about. I am sure you'll fine a physical activity he would enjoy. Exercise is really important.
Make sure he has a chance to be a child.
please do read Carol Dweck's book "Mindset" - if your son is already worried about whether or not he's doing something perfectly that is a toxic mindset which will hold him back and make him nervous and unhappy, no matter how clever he is.
I still have friends from KS1 and so do my brother and sister. I am not sure why that is relevant though?
When a child plays with friends is not an investment for their adult social circle. It is about having fun and relaxing also learning about turn-taking, playing fair, "different house, different rules", etc.
My children are doing fine at school. We have a loose timetable over a week of when we will cover homework and the odd bit extra (e.g. violin, handwriting practice for son). But we are prepared to not agonise over it when it doesn't happen. e.g. yesterday their Granddad came so it was board games, stories and singing all afternoon - no homework.
There are a lot of areas you can think about in which you may want your child to develop besides academia:
- social: getting on with others, having fun, having interests (theatre? museums? nature?)
- musical: does he listen and play to a range of music (free festivals, dancing round the living room, banging a drum/wielding a "microphone" and being a rock star, learning an instrument, joining a choir...)
- physical: can he catch, ride a bike, swim?
- nutrition: does he eat well? does he enjoy eating out? do you cook together?
- creativity: does he enjoy pretending with dolls, puppets, trains, cars?
- artistic: does he have fun with clay, paint, drawing, colouring?
Not saying you need to do all of these, but just trying to paint a possible spectrum of activities. If he gets home from school at 3:30 pm, for example, and goes to bed at 7 pm and has to fit 90 minutes school work in, there is not much time for any of the other things on the list.
I don't want to criticize your parenting choice, so if you want to do 1.5 hours after school with your child then that is your choice. However, you have asked for opinions, all I would say is make sure you don't stifle his creativity, and I think maybe by doing this amount of extra "formal" learning he might not have time to do his own thing, to have some down time and to find his own passions.
How can children find their own passions if they are always being directed by a teacher or a parent? They can't really I think. I think there is room for both, it is tricky to get the balance. A bit of direction provides stimulation, too much and you risk stifling creativity and the child's sense of self.
In regard to praise. I've read about this and the trick is to praise effort rather than just give "empty" praise which is quickly a turn off to children. And to be specific when you can. That way the child values the effort they have put in and will be more likely to keep trying at a task they find hard.
op you wrote 'I think he develop some kind of urge to try to be perfect for me. I am afraid that he does things because I ask him (most of the time) and not because he would like to do it. He always asks me if I think his job is perfect or not. I think he does not believe in himself as much as I believe in him (however he can do everything he wants, he just need to try it and most of the time he succeed)'.
Have you ever tried asking him what he thinks about what he has done? how he feels about it? My Ds used to be the same at times until I smiled and asked him what he thought (absolute class the first time I did it the look of shock on his face said it all! ), now its a regular thing and he seems to love the fact that we value his opinion as an individual and now he will attempt the things that he would never of even given the time of day to a while back. I think that sometimes without even realizing it we parents tend to help our Dc too much eg cleaning their teeth, dressing them, helping them to do their best with their education etc but at the same time we are preventing them from becoming their own person IYSWIM which I should imagine would have some impact on their self esteem after all if someone has always guided them even with the really small things how can they possibly learn to tackle something themselves without expecting more guidance from someone close?
when do you timetable in having fun, playing and relaxing?
He needs a childhood not academic pushing.He needs to play with you and with others.At 4.5 he needs no extra work at home except a little bit of reading.He needs to have his confidence and independence bolstered.
You need to praise his effort rather than his achievements. For example say " I can see you were really trying hard - well done" rather than "you got 10 out of ten - well done"
I also thing you are doing way too much extra with him after school. I agree with sunflowers about this!
Have you considered taking him to music
Have you considered taking him to musi nc classes? You can start stringed instruments in reception and its a good educational activity with a social dimension.
My DD1 is 5.5, nearly free reading and also loves to write lists and letters. But like other posters' kids she does this mostly on her own when she wants to. School is very tiring & my dd doesn't have any sense of winding down so I let her watch TV or play after school. I struggle to see where you can fit 1.5 hours of extra learning in on a school day!
He needs a childhood and to develop imagination. He also needs to be self directed in what he does. I rarely play with my girls but I'm rarely required to as bother together and separately they are excellent 'players' and can amuse themselves for hours. I think that is as just an important skill as maths etc.
Give him a break, and yourself a break! Children learn so much through play, and it helps them process things emotionally. Being a secure and sociable person is just as much an advantage in life as academic achievement.
Personally I think you are pushing him too hard. You don't mention having his friends over to play, developing interests outside the home, just relaxing after school.. It's rather telling that you say that he could watch TV if he wanted.. Are home study and telly the only options in your house?
I think if there is anything that I would do differently it would be to encourage him to do more physical and outdoors things even if he doesn't like them- because they are good for his health and will help him to socialise later- and to become more independent with practical skills. If you baby him for too long, other children will perceive him as babyish and that may make it harder for him to form friendships even with the kind of children who could help his academic development by sharing his interests. It isn't just about whether you mind about him having friends; it's about what will be best for him.
What a sweet boy he sounds, but I think you are worrying about him which you would bearing in mind his past conditions but all that studying at home for such a little chap is too much. Without sounding too harsh it sounds you you are trying to produce a socially inadequate nerd. He is only 4.5 he need to be out playing having fun, learning through play, having play times at homes and other homes with other children to have fund and develop friendships and make friends and to grow his confidence. He needs to have a dance and a giggle and to go and see pantomimes, dance around the street singing. Have time to do nothing and feel bored, to be creative. I really think you are doing him much good with this overbearing teaching stuff. Ask yourself the question why are you doing it? What good do you think you are doing? Sounds like you are going to produce a very stressed out and socially shy young man. Give him his childhood back.
I am a reception teacher and a mum of a reception age boy as well as coming from an overseas and academic background. My boy is bright too and he only has to see, do or hear something once and it all gets internalised straight away.
I think the most important thing at this age is encouraging friendships with his peers, giving him lots of lots of life experience and building his self confidence. Can you invite one of his classmates for playdates at home or elsewhere? Having social skills with his age group is very important and am I right that he spends most of his time with adults and older children? Do you go to (for example) the park, the shops, museums, garden centres, train stations, airport, soft play area, concerts, nature walks, swimming, farm, cinema, theatre? Having these experiences means that he can draw from them for story telling and he will have lots of knowledge about the world. Praise his efforts rather than getting the right answer or writing perfectly.
Spend less time doing academic work as I think that one and a half hours of work is too much and spend more time learning through play - children learn best through play. Could you change your approach to be more creative so that both you and your son can have fun? I actually don't do more than fifteen minutes of "work" with my son and he is still doing great. Most of the time, I sneak learning in without him knowing.
His heart surgery may have set his development back, but don't forget that he is a summer baby and makes a big difference too. He sounds like a lovely boy, btw.
Really good feedback PopMusicShooby...
You put it much more softly and and nicely.
I think you are right in the fact that the social interaction with peers and understanding the rules of interaction and making friends are very important at this stage. I too have a very bright little boy. I dont spend much time with him teaching him with books at all. He is bright I dont need to overburden him with more than he needs he is 4.5 only.
What is very important to me is that he has fun every day and is always smiling and laughing. Also getting the cultural currency he needs to keep up with friends at school so learning foot ball, martial arts with lots of different boys, learning about trends of music, books, programmes, thoughts are so very important when interacting with other kids and feeling a valued part of a group. He loves me to wrestle with him and read a book. I think its really important to teach them the social skills of interaction with other kids and adults so playing in parks and going to other kids houses all those things which give a child confidence. He will learn in time, there really is no hurry is there especially for a 4.5 year old. It's more fun to chase a cat or scoot around the streets or play spies with a friend and learn the subtle or not so subtle nuances of frienships and play that will take you through life. Better to go out doors and smell fresh air that be forced to study which believe me will come into force much more later. I feel it is so important for children to have a happy and relaxed childhood and not to be controlled so much. Dont get me wrong Im too harsh with my son a lot of the time and directional about things and Im not easy going, what im saying is more of the parent I want to be! We are not all perfect and you are doing a great job you just need to stop the traditional learning methods and get you little boy out and about having a bit more fun!
Reading your answers and think through their meaning, on Saturday we went to visit a kung-fu class, that he enjoyed a lot. He got "jobs" to do at home (like: clean his teeth alone, dressing up alone, etc...) and if he does he can get reward in his next kung-fu class. I hope this will help me to let him do things alone. He dressed up himself this morning. He looks forward to going to the next kung-fu class. Also I took him to a drama class, that he did not enjoyed that much, so probably we won't go again. He also visited his cousin on Sunday. We read his books, did a bit of writing (approx half an hour a day) and played together.
I will try to give his childhood back. There is a little girl in the school, that my son likes to play and I would like to invite her to play with my son after school. Silly question but please could you write down for me how I should ask her mother? Should I invite her mother too? Or is it very unlikely that a girl will come to play with my son?
Sounds like a lovely weekend.
As regards asking the girl round to play do you know her mum/dad (or at least know who they are)? If you do, I'd go up and introduce yourself (if they don't know who you are) and then say that your DS was asking if he could have their DD round to play after school. You could add that the parent would be welcome to come round and have a cup of tea as well (some parents will want to, others won't care). Then depending on the reaction sort out a date and swap phone numbers. I don't think (if they play at school) there is any problem in a girl coming round to visit a boy. Chances are the other mum will be wanting her DD to get to know more children anyway so will be pleased at the invitation.
If you don't see the parents you can give the teacher a note to put in her bookbag.
Of course the little girl will come to play with your son. Why wouldn't she? Yes, invite the mother too. We usually invite playdates for tea the first time because it can all be done quite quickly and easily. When we know other children and families better we tend to have lunch together and spend longer together.
The normal thing to ask the mother is "how is your daughter settling in at school? (If you're giving them tea/food) Is there anything that she can't eat?"
There is no need to ask her lots of questions in general and no need for her to ask you lots either. You can lay paper and felt tip pens out for the children to play with.
Thanks. I do not know her mum, I mean I have never spoken to her but I saw her when we pick up the children, so I know which one is her mum.
I am a bit nervous, because of my English. Do you think does it count? I mean who wants her daughter to play in a house where the people are not English (different culture, etc...)? Is it a negative thing? Or I should not worry about it?
The teacher told me that the girl and my son are good friends, so hope the gilr mentioned my son at home a coule of times.
Our daughter's best friend is Vietnamese. We have visited each other's families many times. One parent has quite good English the other doesn't. They're both hard to understand but the effort is worth it.
A lot of people would be pleased for their child to learn about a different culture. It is really good for children to experience different cultures and languages. It's not negative at all.
I can understand how you might feel nervous but please try not to be! I'd just say that your son would really like her daughter to come and play after school one day. Would that be OK and is there a day that would be convenient? Say that the mum is welcome to come too if she would like to. Some mums might want to come but others will enjoy having a couple of hours without their child to get things done.
If you are offering them some tea, ask if there is anything the girl (and her mother if she is coming) don't like to eat.
You can swap phone numbers and addresses and if the girl is coming on her own, arrange that you will collect her with your son after school and what time the mum will pick her daughter up.
Alternatively if there is something like a soft play area near you, maybe you could offer to take her daughter with your son. Again extend the invitation to the mum if she would like to come too!
I think it is lovely that you are encouraging your son to be more independent in dressing himself and cleaning his teeth. It sounds as if you had a great weekend!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Oh yes, Beavers is a great plan. Our group is very social and a great way for families to get to know each other. They do lots of different things.
rrbrigi. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Did your DS notice the change in the amount of work that you both did? I'm so glad that you have decided to give him his childhood back.
It's nerve wracking, isn't it, approaching parents? I would just say that the teacher told me how nicely they play together and that DS really would like to invite her round to play. There is a high chance that the mum will say yes. I've asked several parents and only one was a bit "funny" about it. Rest all said yes, and two have become firm play dates that DS sees regularly. And parents have become friends with me, which was a nice bonus.
Wow I was so touched to see what huge steps you have taken. That is amazing. Im sorry I didnt really take on board English being your second language and came across as harsh.
Can I say it wouldnt matter if English was your second language for play dates. lots of kids at my sons school have parents and children with English as a second language and have lot of play dates. I think most parents are delighted if their children are asked for a play date. Some mums want to come and some don't it's really hard to tell until you ask.
My son had a playdate with a girl and it didnt really flow and he wanted to wrestle and run around and she really didnt fancy it and wanted to go home! I got really stressed and dressed up entertaining them, I was exhausted by the end of it and should have called her mum to collect her! Boys and girls can be very different playing but your two sound like they will be just fine, just be prepared and dont take it personally. The second play date with a boy went well and they did a lot of playing by themselve which was wonderful and very liberating for me. Wow sounds like you are doing such lovely things, classes are a bit hit and miss! Kung Fu sounds brilliant. Good luck sounds fantastic what you are doing. Well done. Best wishes.
Beavers take them from 5.10 I think...might be worth getting him down on a waiting list now...
Sounds like you have had a fab weekend
Good luck on asking for playdate, you could always ask the teacher to help (ie pass a note on)....
OP your son is a lucky boy to have such a caring mother.
We all stress that we are not getting it right when it comes to parenting and there is no perfect way to bring a child up. my concern is this is what you are looking for and trying to achieve? I am not offering any advise because I think you need to find your own way to parent and be happy with it.
There are laid back parents who have children who rebel because they have so few rules and then there are children who rebel because they've had too many rules. You can't win. Instead you just do your best, relax and enjoy being a parent.
Thanks your advice. I have a couple of more questions, that might sound "silly", but these things do not come naturally from me, because I brought up in a different culture and I would like to do all the effort I can to make sure my son does not feel isolated and he can be part of this culture.
So yesterday I asked the girls mum, if she can come to play with Robin. (I am very proud of myself. I was so nervous, frightened and shy, but I did it.) The mum told me yes, of course. I figured it out that her daughter spoke about Robin a lot at home and she is as shy as my son. So at the end the mum told me she needs to ask her daughter but if her daughter is ok with it, she does not mind. The mum told me they can come next Monday (her daughter, a little sister and the mother all coming to our house). I have a bit of time to be prepared! But how? I am a bit nervous again, because the mum will be there and I do not want to do any silly mistakes.
Please give me some advice. I would like to know which subject we should chat, which food and drink should I offer to them? How nice should I be with her daughter? Usually children like me, and I am very kind with them. Sometimes hold the child hand or touch his head, etc. and I do not know if it is allowed here or not.
P.S.: Looking back, it was silly to be nervous about asking a play date. Now I think lots of mothers are waiting that someone go there and ask for a play date.
And sorry for the silly questions.
I wouldn't stress about it too much. Have some of your son's favourite toys out and have a project up your sleeve if they don't seem to be playing together that well: offer to bake some fairy cakes/jam tarts with them or get some paints and paper out?
Food: I only ever give fish fingers because they are the only thing that everyone eats (I've even had children turn down pizza ) with some peas or beans and a small treat afterwards (yogurt/biscuits or the cakes if you make them) and a bit of fruit.
Yes, of course you can touch children in the way you describe, no one would interpret it in any other way than kindness/protectiveness.
Regarding small talk with the other mother, the big topics are: how your children are settling in at school; where they went to nursery and how they got along there; whether you work/are planning to go back to work; when you moved to the area and, in your case, when you moved to the UK and your own background. I much prefer it when parents drop and run but, if she does want to come along too, then she will probably be prepared to be quite chatty.
Well done for overcoming your shyness and asking about the play date!
Don't worry too much about it. Lalalonglegs gives some great advice!
Your questions are not silly!! By asking them, you have found the courage to do something you were nervous about and to help your son too! You are a lovely mum to care so much about helping your son integrate and make friends!
If your son is not used to children coming to your home to play, it might be worth explaining to him beforehand that when the little girl is there he should share his toys and let her ( and her little sister) play with the things she wants to. You could explain that they are still his toys and the little girl won't take them home with her, but just while she is at your house, he should be kind and share them. From what you have said about your son, he sounds like a caring child anyway and the two of them are obviously good at playing together at school so it shouldn't be a problem, but if it is a new experience for your son it might be worth explaining!
Well done with your new-found confidence and do let us know how the play date goes!
If you can bake then do bake a cake. That always goes down well. Don't put nuts in it. Have instant coffee, a small bag of blended tea from the supermarket like PG Tips (chose a small bag in case you don't drink it yourself.) Also choose a small bag of nice tea like Earl Grey (once again in case you don't drink it yourself.) Then you can offer a small range of teas. Have a small jar of instant coffee, something relatively nice like Nescafe. In case the mum likes coffee. Or have nicer coffee if you normally have that. But don't buy nice coffee especially. (By nice I mean filter coffee. It's not necessary unless you normally use it.) If you know how to make scones then of course make some too. Scones are normally eaten with clotted cream and raspberry jam. But it's not necessary. It's just nice. But scones and a cake is probably a bit much. (Maybe make scones next time.) Also have fresh milk and while sugar available. Most people in England don't have lemon in their tea so I wouldn't offer it.
Chat about simple things, how her daughter is getting on at school. Nice places to visit for a day out in the area, local museums, nice places to eat in the area with your children, the local park and so on. (If she wants to have a conversation about nuclear physics or the atom bomb I'm sure she'll let you know.)
Don't pay too much attention to the younger child. Of course be nice and smile and talk to her but don't touch her or pick her up.
I hope that helps.
Thanks. Your answers really help me a lot.
One more things. Usually this play dates are straight after school? Or they will go home and come later to play? I am just asking, because usually I go to pick up my son to the school by car and her mum comes on foot. Do you think should I go on foot on Monday? We live probably the same distance from the school as the mum and the girl. Or should I offer a lift for them?
We do play dates at the weekend. There's too much to do after school.
Hi you sound as if you are doing really well, it took me a while to get into playdates. I would ask the mother which she would prefer, bear in mind that you would need car seats though if you drive. Might be easier to walk - plus then you get to see the girl and your son play on the way.
For a first time I often bake (or you could buy) some little cakes but 'forget' to decorate them - I find that some icing sugar and a few sweet is great for the first time, I generally let them do two - one to eat straight away and one for pudding/ to take home - have a few extra in case they want one for daddy.
After that I usually let them go off and play together. At that age I would let the older ones get on and play together, while you have a few younger toys out for the sister, then you and the mother can sit down for a cup of tea/coffee.
She won't mind if you say that you sometimes find it hard to understand how things work here - don't criticise (you don't seem to on here) but feel free to question things, she could be very useful for helping you negotiate the playground politics.
I was a little surprised when dd2's best friend was a boy
especially as she ignored boys as if they were a different species before school but it really isn't a problem, they are so similar, when I see them talk and play it is like looking at a couple who have been together for 50 years. Her mother is probably just pleased that he is a nice boy and they enjoy playing together.
can you ask him what he would like to do? paint, play footy, b with friends?
I wouldn't worry about organising too much. Suggest your son shows his friend some of his toys - they will naturally find something they want to play with together. Also other children's bedrooms are always fascinating
As others have said, have a couple of things up your sleeve (simple crafts, just pull out the Lego box) for if they do seem to run out of ideas.
Depending on the age of the little sister you might want to make sure there is something suitable for her to play with.
I'd offer the mum a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit/cake. I'd suggest talking about the school and how your children are settling in. Maybe ask her where she lives and talk about the area? Or if all fails, you can mention the weather
Hi Rrbrigi it sounds like you've made lots of progress in bringing some balance back to your son's life as a result of ideas from this thread. I'd agree with most posters that 1.5hrs is far too much. My DS1 is 6 and in yr1. He's a bright boy and I'm probably on the pushy end of the parenting scale. He could read well before he went to school. We do 10-15min of reading a night, normally his school book on 2 days a week when it's been changed and otherwise something we choose from his own books or the library, and we also read a chapter of a story to him at bedtime. He also does 10 min a day of Komodo, which is an online maths program. In yr1 he gets suggested homework for the half term linked to the topic they are studying at school and we try to do one piece each weekend, which usually takes less than half an hour. He prefers to do the maths based ones but I try to encourage him to do the art/crafty ones too. So we're doing less than half an hour a day on top of his school day, and I think that's enough. I suspect your son's anxiety about getting things right is partly because you've put such a lot of emphasis on academic achievement and he's recognised how important it is to you that he does well at school.
To increase confidence it's great for them to be trying new things - the local leisure centres often have taster sessions in school holidays where they can try a new activity. It's fine to try something like drama and decide it's not for him, it's a case of finding a group activities he likes and is good at.
You say he's a little behind physically. Can he swim? Ride a bike? Scoot?
Independence-wise I'd encourage him to do as much of his personal care as possible for himself (choose clothes, get dressed, brush teeth, put dirty clothes in laundry, put clean folded clothes away, tidy his bedroom) and also give him a few little jobs that are his responsibility - my son has to keep the toilets stocked with spare loo rolls and feed the dog. They also love to help with grown up tasks - could he help you choose what to have for dinner, write a list, go shopping for ingredients and do whatever he safely can of the preparation? They are so proud of themself when everyone thanks them for cooking!
Good luck with your playdate - hope it's the start of a friendship for your little boy and for you.
I think you sound lovely, and I'm sure the play date will go well.
Just ask the Mum what works best for her. Ours generally tend to be straight from school. If you walk, can she walk back to hers afterwards?
I think the best thing is to be relaxed about it - cup of tea/coffee for the Mum, and biscuits, snack and drink for the children when they get in (head off any post school slump ). Are you offering tea as well - sometimes children stay for tea, and sometimes it is just playing for an hour or so.
I really think you can be completely honest about this. Just tell the Mum you haven't had many play dates, and want to check what works best for her.
Hi Rribrigi, how did the playdate go?
Not yet, because of the weather. The mother spoke to her daughter and she would like my son to go to her house, so we will go to the playdate this Friday to the girl's house.