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3 year old girls - AIBU or is this normal?

(12 Posts)
beabea81 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:49:22

My dd is 3 next month, she's been friends with 2 other little girls since they were all babies, when us mums met at a baby group, but where the other 2 are a bit older than her (by 7 & 8 months) she has always been slightly the odd one out, three's a crowd kind of thing.

When they were younger it was just because they were both walking, talking before her, playing with toys that she wasn't able to grasp yet etc, not a big deal just developmental really.

But now they're older and all at pre school together things have changed and dd tells me they are "mean" to her - saying she can't play with them / won't let her have toys / don't want to sit next to her / they run away pretending she's a scary monster in the playground etc. I have witnessed a few of these things myself around them on playdates, most recently the 2 little girls saying to my dd when she tried to join in "no go away she's MY friend not yours" and hiding & running away from her. The other two my mums are always busy with their new babies and because I'm not I end up the one supervising the 3 girls, so this has mostly gone un-noticed by my friends so far. When she is with just one of them on their own they play fine together and act like good friends!

AIBU to be getting concerned about this? Or is this just normal for 3 year old girls and she just has to tough it out? I don't want it to start denting my dd's confidence, she happily plays with lots of other kids at pre school, I'm encouraging her to move away from the other two and make new friends, and she is, but last week she said one of the two little girls started coming over and butting her out, and getting other kids to join in this "game" where my dd is the monster & they all run away from her screaming - I've seen this in action myself at a party & my poor dd bless her really does think it's a game & complies by being the monster! They will all be going to school together and I'm worried my dd is becoming the target of this behaviour for the future.

She is generally a happy, bright, confident little girl, we have other groups of friends outside of pre school who she plays well with & nobody gets excluded - is it just a pre schol thing? AIBU / over-reacting to be concerned by it??

Jess03 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:55:27

My dd is 3 and we definitely get all of this, but I've observed it's a two way street, one day x isn't her friend, the next day they are having a lovely time. The parents should be reinforcing that it's not nice to exclude anyone and we don't approve. We ask dd daily whether people were kind to her and if she was kind to them and react appropriately. I'd try and get the other parents to observe it if you can.

KellyElly Wed 05-Mar-14 12:39:35

My DD is four and this behaviour seems pretty common at her pre school.

Feminine Wed 05-Mar-14 12:44:39

some little girls can be mean.

I would try to see if you can nip it in the bud a bit? I'm not sure how, but...I have seen one child singled out in groups (of girls)

It is an easy trap for the kids to fall in to.

Giving the one child a 'role' they are not that happy with.

My youngest is 5, it still happens now. If these children are going to be around for a while, it would be prudent to keep a look out wink


winterhat Wed 05-Mar-14 13:08:20

Have a word with the keyworker at pre-school. If they know about your concerns they can help.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Mar-14 13:17:13

It is quite normal for one to be singled out when three are playing together but that doesn't mean it's OK.

When you're supervising them you can tell them in positive terms how you would like them to include her. You can also ask the pre-school staff to look out for it and help them understand how someone feels when they do this to them as well as giving your DD strategies to challenge or avoid them as appropriate.

I wouldn't bother saying anything to their mothers as it is just likely to cause bad feeling but you might be able to give them opportunities to see it for themselves, perhaps by taking over one of the babies for a bit so they can have a turn supervising the older ones.

Thumbwitch Wed 05-Mar-14 13:26:57

Sounds fairly normal to me. DS1 came up against 2 or 3 little girls like this at playgroup (so they would have been 3-4) - he's a friendly little soul, play with anyone but they closed ranks on him and told him he couldn't play with them, even when they let their own little brothers play with them (which they didn't often).

No point in talking to their mothers; but yes, talk to the staff.

SunnyRandall Wed 05-Mar-14 13:29:05

Sounds normal but obv can be upsetting when it's your little one on the receiving end.

I tried to do what I could to encourage other friendships - playdates/meet ups at playground etc but really they kind of have to work out how to deal with these kind of situations.

I would speak to your dds key person though.

My dd is 5 and ds 7 and there are v similar situations still quite regularly unfortunately.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Wed 05-Mar-14 13:47:01

My son is one of three toddler boys at the cm's. He is always telling me that X is his best friend and Y is very naughty. They play superheroes all the time and Y always has to be the baddie. I worry that Y is getting excluded and always talk to my son about Y's positive qualities. I suggest different superheroes Y should be instead of a baddie all the time. DS and X are 3, Y is 2. This kind of thing worries me a lot, I hate the thought of little children feeling left out! I guess I would talk to the teacher and see if she can encourage more inclusive play?

Smokedsalmonbagel Wed 05-Mar-14 14:18:18

This happened to my DS when he was 3 or 4 with some friends. Luckily they weren't at playgroup together.

One thing I would say is do individual playdates with them. It really started to annoy me the wa. He was treated.

Long story but we are no longer ffriend's with them.

beabea81 Wed 05-Mar-14 16:41:13

Thanks for your suggestions : ) Yes I will speak to her key worker at pre school & just ask her to be aware of it in case it keeps happening.

I can't believe this all starts so early: ( I do remember it at school when I was like 7 but my dd isn't even 3 yet! I'm encouraging her to play with others at pre school & make new friends, not a lot else I can do other than talking to the other mums & making a deal of it, which I don't want to do, but might lay off the triple play dates for a while : )

Minshu Wed 05-Mar-14 17:35:06

Sadly normal. I was very disappointed when I found this type of behaviour started so young hmm

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