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making friends

(10 Posts)
fattybum Thu 25-Nov-10 16:40:27

it just seems so bloody easy for everyone else. I dont really have any friends and now ds1 is struggling. He's 4 and just started school. Its not so much he's struggling, just i cant trust him to behave well if we have playdates. He's pretty good in other peoples houses, but can be difficult at ours eg wont always share, starts to show off a bit. Also, the two times someone has walked our way after school, he has run off and not stopped when told to. He's not always like this, just when around other kids around. I know im a bit paranoid about him due to my lack of confidence and because i dont know many other children. I just feel like im failing him! Please help me?

fattybum Thu 25-Nov-10 17:53:02

bump please!

strandedatseasonsgreetings Thu 25-Nov-10 17:57:24

Hi - he's pretty young still, I think a lot of boys of that age don't have "friends". You say you don't have any friends - are you projecting your own fears about yourself onto your son?

Not sharing, showing off, all very normal for his age!

Can you organise more one-one-one playdates for him? It sounds like you both need a boost of confidence (are you on your own? Is he an only child?)

Sorry not much help - it might help to have more information about you though.

fattybum Thu 25-Nov-10 18:09:18

my partner thinks i am projecting my fears, so i probably am. My biggest worry for my kids (i also have ds2) is that they will end up lonely and friendless like me. Whenever i hear other mums talking about playdates etc i just feel useless. I find it really hard to know what is typical child behaviour because i dont know others, therefore im probably hard on ds1. We have a playdate at mine on monday which im dreading! I always feel like people are judging me/ds1

strandedatseasonsgreetings Thu 25-Nov-10 18:19:29

Ok, first of all - why do you think they are judging you? Do they say stuff or is it in your mind? And even if they do judge you, do you care?

They key is to be open and friendly with everyone. Don't dismiss any potential friends, but also don't try and get in with any clique. That way disappointment and rejection lies. If you are like this, eventually you will meet like-minded people who can become proper friends. But don't be desperate, let it happen naturally.

Are you very shy? Do you approach people? If you see someone you know do you smile and say hello or put your head down? You should always say hello, how are you, perhaps show an interest in something (their dc's - always a good place to start). But don't feel you have to be their best mate.

As for your ds's, whatever you do don't make them feel that they have to make friends. This will happen naturally - it is totally natural for children to make friends on their own.

Why are you dreading the playdate?

I hope what I am saying makes sense. I am happy to help more if you like, although I have to go out in about 15 minutes.

fattybum Thu 25-Nov-10 18:33:25

they dont usually say stuff, i am very paranoid. If ds1 has a tantrum or runs off, i feel like they are thinking im a crap mum, not in control and that my dc are badly behaved. I am pretty friendly, dont appear shy but have very low self esteem, so constantly feel inferior. Having no friends just confirms that im crap. Im dreading the playdate because it could be a disaster/ds1 might play up and i cant control that. Thankyou for responding, i do appreciate it.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Thu 25-Nov-10 18:43:35

Right well first of all everybody's children play up on playdates sometimes. It's totally normal. So if he does, no-one will think you are a crap mum.

Secondly you need to work on not feeling inferior. I can only give you the advice that I would have liked to have been given myself a few years ago which is that it really doesn't matter what other's think of you - just be true to yourself. If you are the person you are and stay relaxed and friendly to everyone you will attract friendships. Not everyone will want to be your friend but then you don't need everyone to be your friend.

Do you meet one-on-one with mums? How old is your other ds? I met loads of people through playgroups etc, although I realise these can be fairly daunting.

How about getting onto the school PTA or something? Helping to organise something or being involved with something is another great way to get to know people in a relaxed enviroment.

I have to go in a moment but please keep posting if you want. I would be interested to hear how the playdate goes - I think you are building it up in your mind to be something more than it is. It should be fun!

It can all be a bit difficult.
Can you try and think of the playdate as a fun time for you ds, but not as a reflection of you in any way? Because, as stranded points out, all dc play up on playdates sometimes.
My ds usually plays up especially when he's with other kids, at the beginning anyway. Once he's got over the novelty of having someone over, he calms down a bit.

As for you, I'd second the suggestion of getting involved with something schoolsih, as this will give you a chance to get to know some of the other parents without it being a head-on social situation.

It can be hard, I do sympathise.

Emile68 Thu 25-Nov-10 22:11:02

Hello - I have the same issues as you, I think there are a few of us like this. I look at all the other people in the playground arranging playdates and going off together and wonder what I'm doing wrong. I jump down my DD's throat if she isn't accommodating on a play date, yet the few we've had the DCs that came have probably been just as badly behaved, if not worse. I think more confident people just brush it over better. All 4 year olds have behaviour things -they are still learning. Mine is exactly the same - sometimes won't share, runs off, shows off. A friend I've known since antenatal classes has a dd who seems to have lots of friends - yet left at a party recently her behaviour was really bad - was pushing other children, not playing games, piled 15 biscuits on her plate. Her mum is always telling me how beautifully behaved she is. So to some extent, I think the image we project about our DCs might be an issue. I am really trying to arrange playdates, mostly with people I've known before school started, but always feel they don't really want to come (my low self esteem I guess). I have volunteered for the Xmas fete and hope to get to know some mums I don't know. But am really dreading it. I think it will get easier. We had two years at pre-school and I felt really happy by the end - knew lots of mums and my DD had lots of friends. But feel we've had to start again since starting reception. Sorry - hope I haven't made you feel more miserable. But just to say you're not alone. My DH always says to play the long game - be yourself and eventually friends will come. You sound lovely by the way.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Thu 25-Nov-10 22:57:48

Emile68 - your dh is very wise smile It's hard at the beginning but making friends is not a race.

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