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AIBU ask school to place DS with his best friend when they start in Sept? (PFB alert)

(84 Posts)
Stickwithit Wed 11-May-11 12:19:50

My DS starts primary school in September. He has developed a close friendship with a boy who lives in our street- will call him John. They attend playgroup together (John goes every day, my DS goes twice a week). I am also friends with John’s parents. We often share the playgroup ‘run’ between us and they play at each other's houses a lot.

They generally get on really well. I know John comes out of his shell on the days that my DS attends preschool. They tend to be stuck together like glue when they are there.

I think in general they are good for each other but the negative side is that if one of them cannot sit with the other they sometimes get upset. Also although DS is the more confident of the two in new situations, once they settle in he tends to follow John’s lead and perhaps does not get the opportunity to do things his way, as he seems to want to be exactly like John. I have had chats to my DS about everyone being friends and that although John is his ‘special’ friend he may not always be able to sit with him etc..

I feel they would settle into school more easily if they were in the same class. I am tempted to contact the school somehow to request that they are put together (will double check that John’s parents agree). I accept that arranging classes must be a difficult task for teachers and I am quite prepared to be overridden by the teachers if they do not feel my request is reasonable or practical.

However, I am not sure if this is me being ridiculously PFB?! I know DS (and John) will be heartbroken if on their first day they are separated. I feel that I would be letting DS and John down if I don’t at least make the teachers aware if their close friendship. However, I realise there might be some benefit to separating them in terms of making new friends and developing as individuals.

So two AIBU really! Firstly, AIBU to think they would benefit from being together? Secondly AIBU to contact the school and ask that they consider placing them together (goodness knows how I will do this- by email maybe)?

Also an apology for the ‘trivialness’ of this post. It must seem ridiculous to experienced mums with DC at school. I am going to need to toughen up!!

Acanthus Wed 11-May-11 12:22:06

You are!

It won't matter, they will still see each other in the playground. And he will make other friends, that's all part of starting school. Leave it alone and don't worry, he'll be fine.

mumblechum1 Wed 11-May-11 12:23:21

tbh they would probably be better off left to their own devices in terms of choosing friends. They will, from thesound of it, play together at break etc anyway but I think they should both be allowed to do their own thing.

We moved 300 miles the week before ds started primary so he knew no one but immediately made friends, one of whom he still sees 12 years later.

I really wouldn't push the same class thing if I were you.

When my DS started primary school we were told we could ask if there was a particular kid they wanted in the same class - of course they cant accommdate everyone but yeah, we were given the option to ask and if they could they did!

I wasnt overly bothered to be honest, at this young age kids adapt amazingly well and your DS will form other friendships anyway - the little girl we asked my DS to be paired with (the only kid going to the school he knew) - well, they are still mates but they move in completely different circles.

So, YANBU to want this but rest assured, if it doesnt happen your DS will still be fine smile

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 11-May-11 12:25:48

YANBU to want to, but I think YWBU if you did. Neither of them are likely to extend their friendship groups if they rely on each other too much. DD started at a new school this year (She is 10 tomorrow) and made friends quickly.
In her last school she was very upset to be split up from her BFF hmm. She still saw BFF at break and lunch times.

DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 11-May-11 12:26:04

Firstly: YABU. From what you have said, they would both be able to develop more as individuals if they were not together all the time. Besides, one of them will be first to make other friends and then the other will feel left out. Better for them to mix a bit first, they will still see each other at playtime.

Secondly: YABU. I would hope that the school would not do this a they would never get classes sorted if every parent made a specia; request. Also, if they were put together at your request, you would feel awful if one of them decided he didn't want to play with the other and you had forced them together.

Let the school decide and what will be will be.

letsblowthistacostand Wed 11-May-11 12:26:49

I think most schools ask if there your child has any friends they'd like to be in the same class with. Don't think you're being PFB at all, of course he'd like to be with his friend!!

chicletteeth Wed 11-May-11 12:28:23


I mean really?

diddl Wed 11-May-11 12:29:04

TBH, it sounds as if your son might benefit from not beibg in the same class.

And as they live close by, there´s surely plenty of chance to still see each other out of school?

cuteboots Wed 11-May-11 12:31:43

my little boy started with a few close mates as they all went to pre school together. The school also tried to ensure at least a few of them were in the same class. He has however kept a few of these but made new ones along the way. It will be fine...

diddl Wed 11-May-11 12:32:02

Pressed before I´d finishedblush

That said, over here, (Germany), we could request three friends we would like in the same class.

Generally they are put into a class according to this (although I doubt it´s priority), and where they live as most children walk to school.

chicletteeth Wed 11-May-11 12:32:28

Just be thankful you're not (in all likelihood, although you may well live round the corner from me) sending your boy to my sons school - the headteacher would give you a withering stare before diving into explanations of how not to be a helicopter parent even at this young age!

He will make new friends, my DS1 knew nobody in his class, he had 4 good friends by the end of the 3rd day.

wigglesrock Wed 11-May-11 12:38:17

Here in NI, when your child starts primary school, you are asked if the child went to nursery school with anyone else starting. If you think this is bad, just wait until they start falling out with their friends grin

Blu Wed 11-May-11 12:38:54

Leave it to fate!

Starting Reception is a v anxious time for us parents, but truly, if he is happy and confident at playgroup he will settle quickly into school, and may even settle all the better for quickly making MORE friends.

DS was in R with a child from his nursery, I was delighted because it gave me peace of mind, he would know someone. In fact it was a pain - the other child was more clingy and got jealous when DS was friendly with other, new children.

Just leave well alone and let him make his own friendship decisions - it will stand him in good stead!

MumblingRagDoll Wed 11-May-11 12:39:55

YANBU! We mentioned to DDs potential new school that she had a friend in the same street....this was last year when she was going to begin year 2 in a new school. They were accomodating.

thebeansmum Wed 11-May-11 12:40:25

YANBU, of course, some schools (including my dcs) will allow people to specifically request any preferences before starting in Reception. However, I would suggest, especially with your comment about your ds being more confident than 'John', that you don't do it. Kids change. They will be around lots of new, fun, same-age kids and generally want to 'play the field' a bit, widen their circle of friends, play new games. It's a lovely feeling when the invites for tea start coming in - you will meet other parents and let your ds choose kids to invite kids back. If John gets jealous, clingy and attention seeking, this natural course of events may not go as they normally would and your ds will end up frustrated. I know he's your PFB and I remember this happening to my sister's dd in reception and it was awful - almost hiding from the John and Mum jealousy issue when your ds wants Jim to come for tea! I know, I know - it might not happen this way, they may be best-friends-forever but it's worth thinking twice and resist temptation to use John as a comfort-blanket, when I don't think your son needs it!

wigglesrock Wed 11-May-11 12:41:09

Sorry meant to add, we actually moved house the summer before dd started primary school so she knew no-one. She was absolutely fine, no problems at all.

wannaBe Wed 11-May-11 12:41:56

I think people underestimate just how fluid friendships are at this age tbh.

I remember when my ds went into reception having a conversation with another mum who was convinced her dd and her best friend would be best friends for ever. TThey had previously been inseparable, yet the friendship had fizzled out by the end of the first term.

op - your ds and this other child will play together at breaktimes, and if the friendship is a lasting one then it will stand the test of seperation. But in the meantime it's never a good thing for children to be too dependent on one another - they have to broaden their horizons

Stickwithit Wed 11-May-11 12:42:54

Thank you all for your responses. Good old mumsnet, I feel a bit calmer about this now. Having read the responses the general picture is that its fair enough to hope that they are put together. However, actually requesting it is a step too far.

As I said in my OP I am dreading the tears if they are not together on their first day. However, I know they would get used to it and there could even be some benefits to being separated.

I haven't heard of helicopter parenting but I can imagine what it means. I do suffer from PFB syndrome but I am conscious of it and do make a big effort to hold back and relax. Obviously I need more practice.

chicletteeth Wed 11-May-11 12:43:13

I just don't get the need to do this! I really don't!

What are you afraid of? That he won't meet anybody else?

He may well find better friends than John and want to play with them.

If there's one thing you really can't do when your kids get older is engineer their friendships, they play with who they want to play with (unless there is a big fuck in the playground and they all fall out)

chicletteeth Wed 11-May-11 12:43:55

ruck that should quite obviously be!

Oh god, touch-typing too fast again


DingDongMerrilyOutOfSeason Wed 11-May-11 12:45:30

chicletteeth A big ruck in the playground? Or WTF did you go to school? grin

Stickwithit Wed 11-May-11 12:47:59

Sorry my last sentence sounded a bit over-defensive and I didn't mean it to sound that way!! Thanks again to everyone for your understanding responses its great to know that DS will probably make new friends easily at school.

I think I may need to chat to him about making new friends- or maybe that would be PFB and I should leave him to it!!

thebeansmum Wed 11-May-11 12:49:14

OOOhhh harsh, chicletteeth!! OP is just a nervous new reception mum! Never had a child start school! She's probably worried about EVERYTHING right now as well as the friends thing? You're either a super-relaxed parent or you've forgotten how it feels, give her a break! Sheesh!

CoteDAzur Wed 11-May-11 12:49:58

What is with the exclamation marks, people?

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