To bribe children with legoland to be ds friends?(49 Posts)
Never had a solid best friend as a child myself and I struggled a lot with being lonely at school. I liked learning but it made school very difficult for me.
Ds 5th birthday coming up in a few months and he's just like me at that age. Will play next to a child but not with them. Apparently he has been encouraged to and he's doing really well so I would like to solidify a few friendships with his birthday party. I wasn't sure whether a big party with the whole class and the kids from his childminder would be good or if I could find out who his good friends are, befriend the parents and take a very small group to legoland with some tickets I already have. Sounds like bribery to me but I really would like to encourage friendship as best I can for ds sake even if it's one friend that goes with us. (Ds only child so no siblings to play with either).
What do you think your son would enjoy most? After all, this is about him and his childhood not you.
I wouldn't let my five year olds go to legoland with a stranger sorry.
Don't recommend legoland. Too full on. Do the party you want and then playdates.
Sounds like a bad idea to me, it will be hard to supervise them, there'll be tears if someone doesn't get to go on a ride they want to and it has potential for the group to split and someone to be left out.
I reckon a smallish party with games everyone can join in with would be better for cementing friendships.
If you're going to take them to Legoland, do it because he wants to not in the hope he will make friends. It would be a nice birthday celebration though.
He's still fairly young so hang in there, there's plenty of time for him to make friends. My DD was an only child - she played easily with my friends children, but sat on the bench for the first year at school so didn't integrate. Run forward 10 years and she has lots of genuine friends who are lovely.
Does he find larger groups harder? I'd be more inclined to just take one friend otherwise you might find he's still not really involved with the group whereas 1-1 its easier. Or individual play dates as said.
I wouldn't let my 5yo go to legoland for a birthday (unless maybe they were the only one invited and you were going with your dh/dw) as I think it's hard to supervise more than one child there at that age, they need 1-1 with an adult.
He's only 4 years old.
Try not to get too involved on the basis of your own unhappy childhood.
He'll make firm friends when he's ready and you can invite them round to play.
As for the birthday, I don't know many parents who would send their 4/5 year olds off with a stranger for the day, to a big theme park.
I would do a party for friends that he likes so I could meet the parents and also get phone numbers. After that invite the kids around individually with the parents. At five children generally will do a party or first play date (at least) with the parents there.
As for Legoland either take your son with family or if you and him hit it off with a parent/child arrange a trip with you and another parent and child in a few months time.
You can't force it.
DS1 has ASD and very intelligent, at 5 he was reading the hobbit and obsessed with space and science while his peers were only just starting to read and playing superheroes. They are all now 10 and he has a couple of good friends who also like science, learning etc.
These aren't the boys who I did play dates with in reception so you can never tell who they will gel with.
DS doesn't do sports at all - football etc and one of his friends went to the rugby for his birthday but didn't invite DS as knew he wouldn't enjoy it so invited him round for a separate birthday play date to bug hunt and toast marshmallows.
You can teach play skills, get down on the floor with your child and model good skills such as sharing and instigating play, 1-1 play dates were always better than groups.
My mother used to do this and it was agonising for everyone involved.
Legoland would be a nightmare with a small group of young children. Lots of the rides are 2 seater, so need 1:1 adult:child to go on (especially at that age). We've found it difficult recently with our 3 dc (so 2 adults:3 children) because of the level of supervision needed - our eldest has SN, so has to be 1:1, our youngest is 4 so again has to be 1:1 on rides, and it is only in the last year that our middle one has been tall enough to ride alone on a lot of the rides - she's 9 now! So unless you are considering taking enough adults to adequately and safely supervise, forget legoland. It won't work for the rides (although there is still a LOT to do other than rides, with all the playgrounds, shows etc)
I'd invite maybe 4 or 5 round for a party at home. It's much more relaxed then. Just have some activities for them to do to keep it going.
But taking a bunch of 5 year olds out can be hellish. And for my quiet one it would be really overwhelming.
been there done that (not legoland but similarly expensive full on party). it didnt work. yes the kids had a great time but we still never received any party invites or play dates on the back of it. and you'll be even more sad and pissed off.
I would do the party, contrary to some experiences on here, we did parties when we moved when my dd was about 5/6 and it really helped, she did get a couple of invites back over the next year, and more importantly I got to meet the parents which is hard when you are working and make sure that any and every opportunity was taken up, including playdates.
I also agree, don't project your fears onto your son, he sounds like he's doing fine and you can't make him have friends, it has to be a natural organic process, all you can do is provide him with opportunities to have them and if you have a party, then follow up with a couple of playdates with the children he gets on with best, you will have done that.
I also wouldn't let my 4-5yr old go to legoland with someone I didn't know.
Your son sounds fine, it's really normal behaviour at that age, I'm not sure why your turning it into an issue.
Also, playing independently is a natural developmental stage, having best friends and playing games together comes over time, and many children don't move to this in Reception, others love it from early on.
It's a good idea, but 4/5 is too young. 7/8 or older would be a better age for taking 2-3 friends on a 'big' trip. Do something your DS likes at this age (soft play, small tea party at home, themed party etc). Also organise some 1-1 playdates with kids he likes throughout the year.
You can't force a friendship. At this age they flitter from best friend today to somebody else tomorrow.
I would invite children on a 1-1 basis for playdates and do a party depending on what you son likes. At this age we had lots of classparties, as most parents stay it is a great opportunity to meet others and exchange numbers (esp. if you work and rely on childcare of pick-up/drop off).
Legoland: two things: I can't imagine any parent letting a 4/5 year old go with a virtual stranger. Legoland is a nightmare at the best of times and the restrictions mean most children at that age can't go anywhere on there own. We took a good friend (we know her since DD and she met at nursery) for a day to Chessington, both have been there before but it is like watching like a hawk to see where they are up to. I wouldn't take a child I hardly know, never a small group.
In your mind you're giving a child a fantastic trip to LEGO land. In the child's mind, they've no idea who's paying plus in a few days they will have forgotten and gravitate towards the children they were drawn to anyway.
You absolutely cannot buy the friendship of a 5yo. It is not possible. He has to find his own way/find likeminded children.
Added to which there's no way I would have allowed another parent to take my dc to LEGO land aged 5.
What I did with ds was to invite all the boys for a football party.
He has similar issue than your child, football is liked by almost every boy at that age so it gave ds the opportunity to spend a good day, have people there for his B'day and make him look 'cool' to his friends.
The aim though was to be sure someone would be there for the party rather than ciment a relationship.
If you want to strengthen the friendship, I woul take your ds lead. You might want him to have friends but he might not feel confident yet for a 1-1 play date. Ask him what he wants to do and be clear that the option is there. If he wants a child to come over, he will tell you.
Please try not to project your own experience onto him. It's a very subconscious thing, but he will pick up on it and it will affect him.
They say the most popular, well-rounded children have other stuff on outside of school. So I would focus on him joining wee clubs and activities, and organising playdates.
He'll be fine and is completely normal, so try not to worry too much!
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