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Does anyone think their child may be being bullied at nursery/preschool?

(6 Posts)
Mouth Wed 17-Aug-11 11:34:21

My 3.9yo DS has never really liked nursery school. He goes 3 days per week and has since he was one. He used to cry but has not cried for ages when going in. Sometimes he does seem to enjoy nursery and it does benefit him in some ways. However, when I arrive to pick him up, he always seems very relieved. he doesn't really have any friends as such, although sometimes he joins in with the general running around type games. He's only been invited to one party in 3 years and I get the feeling that some of the other children push him about a bit (I know it has happened once) and that he is looked upon as 'different'. Am I being paranoid? I don't think a change of nursery would help. How can I teach him to be more self confident?

SenoritaViva Wed 17-Aug-11 12:17:50

I would arrange for a child to come and play, ask him if there's anyone he'd like to invite. Children often 'cope' much better at making friends when it is only them, there are too many distractions and others around in a large group.

He may be a little more slow socially (nothing to worry about but some children can have more natural social skills than others), I'd speak to the nursery and ask them what they think, what have they observed etc. What they are planning to do to integrate him more. Also, what does your son like doing best? Do the nursery ever do this kind of activity? They should be working with you on this.

Mouth Wed 17-Aug-11 12:30:21

Thanks for the advice Senorita. A while ago I asked if he'd like to invite anyone from nursery and he said 'no' as if I were completely mad to even suggest it!

I think he is slow socially compared to other children. Recently, he seems to be paying attention a bit more to other children, copying what they are doing and even asking names and ages at playparks etc, but that's about as far as it goes. Other friends we have with children visit occassionally and sometimes he warms up and plays with them a bit but usually not much. Maybe I'll ask about inviting someone from nursery again and see how he feels.

A while ago I mentioned the bullying concern at nursery and they said they had not noticed it but said that he is more of an observer than a joiner-in. I was a bit like this as a child where large groups were concerned and didn't really 'click' into group type friendships until I was about 6/7. I always had cousins to play with when I was younger but he doesn't have this. I think my concerns are that if he is quiet and withdrawn, he may be picked on when he starts school - especially as a boy. And this might start a vicius circle.

Activity-wise, he likes most things - running around outdoors, messy play, reading, etc

I do have a niggling concern that he may possibly be on the autistic spectrum (but only just) because of some of his behaviour, but this seems to come and go - and so it's all just very confusing!! Again, mentioned this at nursery and two members of staff pulled faces that expressed a lot of doubt about this but said they weren't experts and another said 'possibly but it would only be very borderline'.

Trying to do the best thing for children is HARD...

SenoritaViva Wed 17-Aug-11 13:04:41

Yes, him being an observer makes a lot of sense so don't worry about it.

What I'd do then is to ask the nursery if there are any other children his age who are similar. I'd then organise to meet them at the park so the kids can get on with their own stuff but play alongside each other (rather than together). It might get them started. Also, expect that he will only play alongside for now. DD is now 4 but there are lots of characters in her class, quite a few like this, it is not uncommon but the waiting for everything to just 'click' can be frustrating as a parent. You just want them to fit in and be happy but try to remember that your DS might be happy with things you might not be (e.g. doesn't give two hoots about not having any friends!)

Mouth Wed 17-Aug-11 13:30:00

Thanks again. Yes, finding a similar child could be an idea. I will ask at nursery. There are quite a lot of big, rowdy boys in his particular group, so that probably doesn't help. Lots of them are starting school in September though so there may be a new feel to the group with more younger ones and girls...

I guess it is just a matter of time and waiting to see how he gets on. I probably shouldn't worry and pay as much attention as I do.

How is your DD with her class mates? Has she changed over time?

plinkplonk Wed 17-Aug-11 17:30:32

My dd has a great bunch of friends at nursery but it is only now (just before they all start school) that we are starting to set up playdates with nursery friends. Fourth birthdays seem to be when this starts ime. So I wouldn't think that the number of party invites etc is a clue to how your son socialises.

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