Five year old son. Always in the peripheral(6 Posts)
My son is a lovely boy, very bright,imaginative, kind natured and confident. He has his demanding moments at home but those are rare and usually attributed to tiredness or illness. He started reception in September and is on track academically. Prior to starting school he was always ahead of milestones,very early to talk,very explorative and very sociable. Obviously we're very proud parents. Since he has started school we've noticed that he is always on the peripheral of social groups/he never really becomes part of a solid group of friends. Already the other kids seem so much more 'streetwise'. He's starting to lose confidence in himself and we are perhaps stupidly worrying about whether he is what we once referred to as a sociable geek..or is this now indicative of something much more. Asperger's perhaps but he doesn't present so obviously as the usual Aspie kids..
He's also been on the receiving end of what we can only describe as bullying behaviour by another child in his class.. (Which we are dealing with positively with class teacher)
I worry maybe we are overthinking this and perhaps he needs some more play dates with other kids, to widen his social circle and his confidence.
Advice and handholding please
he's very young, and not all children are at the centre of social groups - I have a dd (now 7) who is like this, and seriously, I think it bothers me far more than it does her. She has a couple of friends, and gets on well with others in the class when doing activities etc, but isn't in one of the strong groups. The bullying issue needs to be tackle and it is most likely this that is affecting his social confidence and you need to be careful to ensure that he realises that he is not responsible for the bullying and that he is not defined by it. Some playdates might be the way to go - we didn't primarily because we both work.
What does he say about it? Who does he want to be friends with? Even the "street-wise" kids have very poor social skills and need a lot of support negotiating friendships
My son was like this. He was brilliant with adults whom he could have a conversation with about all sorts of things but not good with children. He used to spend every break and lunch time alone walking around the school field. I found it very upsetting but he seemed OK with it. More recently he has started to say that he was actually very unhappy when he was younger and hated having no friends.
I tried lots of out of school sociable activities like football rugby Cubs etc and he hated them all. He isn't sporty - maybe if your son is then this may be a way in to help him.
My son is now 11. Still very geeky and likes talking to adults but has just started senior school and is very very happy now. He has a good group of like minded friends who are, in some cases more eccentric than he is.
Year 6 was the turning point for him. I was really very very concerned about him going to high school and thought he would get eaten alive, the reality is that he has found his place and has settled more quickly than a lot of his old primary friends.
I attribute most of this to him being in the right high school, he has been the only one from his primary to go there but it's been the making of him. High school also has a larger group of peers so the chances of finding someone on his wavelength is better
Primary was very difficult for him. I don't know what else I could have done to help.
When he was younger - and years 2,3,4 and 5 were the hardest for him, I used to spend a lot of time talking to him about what he was interested in. Trying to keep up his self esteem. Even still it was difficult.
I suppose I'm saying that it won't last forever. There are lots of children who find primary friendships difficult but then flourish at high school.
I would try things like chess, find a sport he likes, and accept that you can't force some children into sociable activities no matter how hard you try.
My oldest is a 'follower' in her friendships. It took me a while to realise that she wasn't being walked all over, just that she isn't very dominant d she doesn't want to be. My youngest is the opposite. Whatever she is into that week, that's what her friends are playing. Having the two of them helped me to understand it I think.
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