To be worried about DS and his party(31 Posts)
DS is in reception, one of the youngest in his class and if i'm being honest young for his age too. I have overheard a few of the kids calling him a baby (quite innocently tbh) but it worries me. He is very small and he still talks very babyish and cries easily. My older DD 8 is autistic but my DS is very different. He isn't where he should be academically but I really do feel it is because he young for his age. He can write his name and is starting to read a little bit.
DD is never invited to parties but my DS has been invited to 6 this year although mainly by girls. I thought this was a good sign he is doing well socially although I did observe at the last party he seemed very much on the periphery of the group. He was doing all the running trying to get people to play with him - he was desperate to play with the boys but they did not seem very interested in him. Last week was called into school to watch him being presented with an award. They said he was being rewarded for being so kind (apparently he is lovely with a little girl who has quite a lot of disabilities),they said he is a wonderful friend, lots of the children like him because he was so fun to be around etc ... I was thrilled to bits watching it.
However, he comes home and says children are not playing with him, 2 boys that he wants to play with run away from him when he tries to talk to them, he says one boy is evil to him as he accused him of lying
I wanted to give him a party in August. He says he would like a party but only wants to invite his 2 cousins and dd's one close friend. I asked who he plays with at school - he says nobody. I have asked which friends he wants to invite from school and he can't name anybody. Advice as I am perplexed?
Let him have his party and invite who he wants. He is still very little and I do believe being the youngest makes a difference.
Don't worry. He sounds absolutely fab and you're bound to be more worried because of DD having ASD.
He's still very young for having special friends. Many don't until year 1 or even 2....just let him have his cousins....and DD's one close friend. I PROMISE you that in a couple of years, he will present you with a list and you'll wish there were less of them!
I would have a chat with his teacher about the reality of his friendship situation. The truth probably lies somewhere in between the assembly version and his.
August parties are difficult...people often don't show up because it's the holiday s and they're away or forget. A family party or day out could be best. Or organize an early one before the holidays.
he is very young...my twins started school the day before their 5th birthday and they could only write their names and read a tiny bit at that point, but that was 5 years ago with 2 term entry. He sounds lovely and I hopeiy works out.
Yep agree with all that. It's all fluid at this age and no one really makes firm mature friends until they are older.
Let him choose the guests and don't worry. He will be fine.
It can't be that bad if he's being asked to parties. Clearly the other children don't dislike him, even if he's not in a bestie situation. You know, he'll probably change and mature quite a lot over the summer - is this a decision you can leave aside for six weeks or so and revisit closer to the time?
I'd let him do it his way. He sounds lovely. He's still very young and relationships change all the time in the playground.
I would talk to his teacher about all this, and as part of that ask her who he plays with most, so that you can invite maybe 2 or 3 of the school classmates (including the girl with disabilities he seems close to?)to the party. That way it's still small but you have a few school connections to build on. Kids often hanker after the bigger/popular kids to play with even if they have very different interests and wouldn't actually be the best choice of friends so I would encourage him to build up his friendships with others not necessarily the two boys he talks about. Finally, I would have the party in September just after school goes back - one mum in DS's reception class did this and put (5th birthday) on the invite. It means you're more likely to get people, and also your DS will be that bit older.
Firstly fantastic news about his award. You have a kind sensitive beautiful little boy there,
Okay he plays better with the girls. No harm in that. I always played better with the boys. Still do get on better with the opposite gender.
I also think you do need to take into account that he is an August baby. Therefore one of if not the youngest in the class. Some children will be almost a whole year older. Very vast difference. I really do think they start them too early in school. In some places they don't start till their 6/7.
He only wants a few people at his party, nothing wrong with that. Just make it a little tea party, and hopefully the weather will be nice you could have it in the garden.
However about the boys being mean to him. That does not sit comfortably with me. I mean you can't with the best will in the world force children to be friends and play together, but meaness is another thing entirely. I would go in and
Speak to the teacher should you have any concerns.
About your dd not getting invited to parties. I really feel for you on that one. That's clique patents for you though.
About his academic work. Easier said thAn done but please do not worry too much that he is a little behind at 4 years old.
I know we'll don't really know them personally just know off them who struggled all their primary junior school life but blossomed as soon as they got into secondary education obtained 7A* and is now a Doctor.
Thanks for replies so far. He is a kind hearted child. He often gets upset if he thinks people are mean about DD (sadly and it's not her fault but she doesn't seem to care about him at all) I wanted to have a soft play party for him mainly for school friends in the hope it may build some friendships for him. No idea what to do now.
Iliveinalighthouse... thanks for your lovely post.
My DS3 was similar, a June baby, very young for his age, called babyish by his peers. He has DS2 who has ASD, so I have always worried. He was mothered by some of the older girls but never hit it off with the boys in his class until juniors. He then seemed to 'catch up' with their emotional development. He's now nearly 13 and many of his peers have leapt ahead again reaching puberty and adult height when DS3 is very small and still 'young' for his age. In secondary, he's happy enough as there are enough like minded boys for him to hang around with. I know he's quirky but nothing that would ever be DXed.
Basically, so long as he's happy at school, I'd just be keeping an eye on it. Maybe invite someone suitable home for tea, but be aware that friendships among boys are very fluid at this age. Is he interested in football? All 3 of mine never were which limited their friends to those who didn't play football constantly.
Perhaps next year he'll find some friends among the new YR children? They may be more on his developmental level and impressed by his Y1 status?
I would ask the teacher which kids he plays with and then invite a few more on top. Sometimes a party can consolidate friendships (though a play date might be better). Soft play is good, not too stressful for you and they all just run about a bit.
Loads of kids don't have established friendship groups at this age, but a party might make your son feel special. Good luck , he sounds lovely.
I would go for either July or September for a soft play class party, you could have cousins over for tea on his actual birthday. If you don't have the cash to invite everyone then ask the teachers to help with a list. Ours have always been very obliging and it is part of reception to help them develop the social relationships. I generally say to them that we are inviting no more than x number of children. Dc has mentioned a b and c, is there anyone else who they play with regularly that I might have overlooked.
He sounds lovely. We only ever have 2 friends round for tea and a family outing for both of mine. Dd11 has ASD, dyspraxia and basically has only started getting friends this year. Ds8 has friends but is very anxious and can only really cope woth 2 friends around the house.
As a dinnerlady I have definitely observed that children, boys or girls either like rough wrestling type games or the don't. 'Rougher' boys often won't play with more sensitive children because they cry more easily and get them into trouble! We just try and encourage them to play with children who like similar games, whether boys or girls.
Really wouldn't try for a big August party this year involving school friends. You will get a v poor turnout. Have the smaller party he has asked forand make it fun. Build up friendships with a few playdates in yr 1. Try for a July party at the end of yr 1 (checking with the teacher about other birthdays to avoid a clash or to enable you to arrange a joint party).
Good luck. He is only little and his friendship situation should improve as he gets older.
I also advice not to have an August party. My son is August born and after very stressful parties of no shows, I now wait till September.
What about some play dates to help him make friends with other boys?
I'm in a similar situation so watching this thread! Daughter's 5th birthday is last week of August but I'm expecting our second child in first week of Sept so can't really do the big 'invite the whole class at the start of term' deal I would do otherwise.
She does really want a party though...
She also often comes home saying she played with no-one / no-one talked to her / they ran off halfway through playing etc. I was really worried but gentle questioning about specific kids (oh yeah I played with x) seems to show that they say that in the same way they say they did 'nothing' all day long. I wouldn't necessarily take what he's saying as gospel - asking the teacher will give you a more accurate idea of his situation.
Chatting with other mums, this does seem to be a thing the kids all say at some point. We then naturally worry but I think we're probably projecting adult fears of exclusion onto 4/5 yr old who see things very differently.
Could you have a small party with a few kids you know he likes? Bearing in mind that holidays mean attendance will be down anyway...
So if the 2 boys don't want to play with him he needs to find someone else. Does he need to play with boys? Why can't he be friends with the little girl that he has been a good friend to?
Your boy sounds lovely.
My youngest was similar and struggled with close friendships throughtout primary school. It worried me a lot. He was always playing but felt he had no real best friends, though the school felt differently. He was also easily upset and always seemed to get rejected
He's blossomed in high school and has a broad social circle, and always fights the corner of the underdog. Maybe thats the result of having struggled a bit in his younger years. He's very kind and emathic in a way his older, more popular brother isn't. I wish he hadn't struggled so much ehen he was younger but its shaped him into a lovely young man.
I know this doesn't help you now, but things will improve.
As for the party, go with what he wants.
*empathic. Or is it empathetic? Anyway, you know what i mean.
Congratulations to him for his award! Very cool.
I would arrange a meeting with his teacher to get to the bottom of things. Explain what he told you, and how it contradicts what was said at the ceremony.
I think TendonQueen has it spot on, although I would maybe opt for an end of term party in July.
FWIW we went to several soft play parties towards the end of nursery & during reception & they were hellish - probably better kept for next year imho.
Your boy sounds lovely btw & don't worry about friendships with girls - my DD is in Yr 5 and 3 of her 4 closest friends are boys!
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