My 5 year old prefers adult company to childrens'(21 Posts)
Hi everyone, this is my first thread on here as I usually find advice without having to post but can't really find anything today....
My daughter is five next week and her teacher has mentioned a couple of times that she hasn't yet become a member of any friendship groups within her class as she prefers to play alone. She said she often encourages her to join the groups to play but when she turns around she has left the group again.
She has always preferred adult company (she thinks she's 45) and this has rang true in school as she is trying to spend more time with teachers etc than her peers. Her teacher assures me she not unhappy and I don't get that vibe from her either and she will often chat about other kids in her class to me when she comes home. She is certainly not shy, I would say very outgoing and funny but mainly with adults.
I thought this would be something she grew out of when she started Reception but obviously not. Has anyone else had this issue? What can I do to resolve it? Thanks x
Is she an only child? (not judging - i'm one!)
Is there any child from her class you could ask round for a play date at all? Does she strike up friendships at soft play ever?
Does she have any siblings?
I would organise lots of one to one play dates with people her class. Also get her involved with outside activities with people of her own age.
I can understand her desires!
If she's happy, why do you want to change her?
I was the same. I still am (most of my friends are significantly older than I am and I get on best with people of my parents' generation). I think a lot of it had to do with being an only child. I was just more accustomed to adult company. It was never really an issue though. I did have friends at school, more as I got older. I got married without any particular difficulties in that department. I must admit I still don't enjoy children's company which is a bit of an issue given that I have children myself but apart from that I can't say it's really had much of an effect on my life. Someone once mentioned that it can be a sign of ASD (hopefully someone more knowledgeable can come along to explain that one) but as for me it wasn't related to ASD, it's just the way that I am. I think that it's mostly because I was an only child-is your daughter an only child? It may help if you arrange regular play dates with a child similar in age maybe?
I think she will grow out it as times goes on and she starts to become more familiar with the other children. Reminds me of DS's best friend at 4yrs also an only, who upon being asked by his mum, 'how was nursery today darling'? would repond, 'O the children! the children made sooo much noise!' . I think he though he was one of the adults .
Yes she is an only child and myself and her Dad are separated. She has cousins who she sees most days and plays with them non stop but no siblings at home.
Her teacher did mention a little girl who she is friendly with and my daughter has mentioned this girl too (she's also in her dance class) so yes, I'll maybe invite her round for a play date after half term and see if that helps.
My daughter used to say exactly the same about the children making too much noise LOL! Like i say....45 in the head LOL
Please do make sure you do whatever you can to get her lots of social interaction with people her own age. Adults will always make allowances for children who haven't yet learnt social skills, other children won't, so with other children she will start developing good interpersonal skills. And if your own interpersonal skills are good, actively teach her. Interpersonal skills are required in the vast majority of jobs nowadays. It's so easy to get into a spiral whereby your own skills aren't keeping up with others, they begin to exclude you, you lose the opportunity to learn, you get farther behind, they exclude you more....
Some kids are just like that, my reception teacher was very concerned about me because while I was the best at reading I was friends with one girl, and even then would sometimes prefer to be by myself at playtime. Even now I am happy with a few friends and very happy in my own company. It's just a quirk of my personality.
My DD was very like this - she wouldn't really play with other children but would happily hold a full conversation with an adult.
She has been going to nursery 3 days a week since September and the difference in her is amazing. She now has several 'best friends' and will actively play with others children instead of just alongside them.
It will maybe just take a little while longer for your DD to settle in, and then she will start making friends
I was the same. I found other children tedious and talked to teachers and midday supervisors. I'm an elder child.
I'm afraid that at other children's parties I made a beeline for the nearest bookshelf and wouldn't join in. I didn't grow out of it either.
My 3yr old DS is showing signs of this. He's an only child too.
I am an only child as well and have always got on well with and made friends with people of older generations.
However I am also very very at ease socially and enjoy the company of my own generation enormously. At age 10 I begged to be sent to boarding school because I was "bored" at home.
So now I (smugly!) think i have benefited from the best of both experiences...being an only child (and accustomed to hanging out with adults) and being at boarding school throughout secondary school.
Anyway, I wouldnt worry too much about, especially if she is happy in her own skin (it sounds like she is!) and doesnt obviously alienate or irritate others (it doesnt sound like thats the case either). Her behaviour now does not preclude her seeking out close friends her own age further down the line (especially as she approaches teenagerhood)
I was exactly the same, OP.
I've always loathed the company as children from as far back as I can remember. I distinctly remember being at nursery and standing in a group of kids thinking how noisy and boring they were. I always felt like I didn't belong. Not in a bad way - I wasn't ever sad about that at all. I can only describe it as being like seeing relatives that you visit twice a year- it's okay but you're not fully integrated and you're really counting down until you can be somewhere else. For me the somewhere else was either at home or at school but on my own.
I was really happy playing at play times on my own. Teachers used to try and get me to play with the other children but I genuinely didn't want to. It used to actually really upset me when teachers/dinner ladies used to almost force me to play with other children as it used to make me feel like there was something wrong with me for wanting to be on my own.
I guess I grew out of it to some extent when I was about 13 but I still would always choose to stay at home by myself with a good book or go to Tesco with my mum than hang out with a bunch of teenage girls.
I was an only child.
Now as an adult, I still loathe the company of children. I don't have many "friends". I mean I have people who I meet up with for coffee but I know these people through work and I'm not particularly invested in our relationships. I mean if they didn't bother to contact me for a few months I wouldn't be bothered, I wouldn't miss them. I'm quite anti-social in that way but I'm also quite outgoing and sociable when I'm put in a social situation. I'm completely happy with how my relationships/friends have been and are now.
Sorry for the massive rant all about myself but I so recognised myself in your OP. Please don't medicalise or problematise your DD wanting to be alone if she's happy.
I was the youngest in the family by a significant margin. Some of the older people that my parents were friends with had quite a "children should be seen and not heard" mentality. None of them had young children, they were either adults or child free, so I was used to polite adult company. I often gravitated towards older children at school. I never felt the need to be hemmed in to a tight group of friends of the same age.
Sometimes it can be indicative of an issue. Sometimes it's just the way a person is.
Gently encouraging a friendship is a good idea. It can take a while for school friendships to develop. DS had to find his place in a cohort with a large proportion from school nursery. He got on with everyone, but the real friendships came together and in y1.
My DD is similar - she doesn't like larger groups of children as its all too noisy and chaotic. She prefers adults because they don't call her names, push her, or play power games about who is best friends with who with her.
TBH I can't really disagree...the adults she hangs out with are far more respectful and sensitive in their interactions with her than other children are.
This was my dd - only child - nursery and reception preferred adult company. She was good with kids but even on a play date would come after a while to ask for time out on her own. Year3 she has great friends but also can take it or leave it - she has no time for playground politics - see it as a positive age is happy with herself as I am sure yours is. Unless she is unhappy don't force it.
I find it odd so many people talking about 3 and 4 year olds as “only children”? Surely most 3yr olds who are oldest don’t have speaking siblings at home yet anyway?
How can there be so much difference in social skills between an only at 3/4 and one with a young baby sibling?
One of mine was like this as a small child (one of five, so very much not an only child). Now 17 and hasn't changed a bit...
@museumum they have to learn interpersonal skills even with no soeaking siblings-sharing, not pushing, anticipating wants. They also get less adult attention so are used to seeking stimulus elsewhere. They also get more accustomed to the less pleasant things that children do like making noise, snatching toys, vying for adult attention, being generally irritating etc. It's no different to putting a childless adult into a nursery room. If you aren't used to being around small children it can be a rude shock, even if you are one yourself.
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