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DS (5) in tears after playing with others

(9 Posts)
farmnannyneeded Mon 07-Mar-16 12:01:53

We moved to the countryside 8 months ago and since then our DS has spent less time playing with other children than before. Now, every time a child comes over (often visiting us for the weekend with their parents, but sometimes also just after an hour or so) he ends up in tears at the end of it, saying that he/she doesn't want to play what he wants to play. Partly it's tiredness, but he's also really upset, plus it's not nice for the other child, who's doing nothing wrong. This even happened this past weekend when the child who was here had happily been playing octonauts the whole time - definitely his choice. I'm afraid this won't make him very fun to play with and will make forming friendships harder when he goes to school in August. At the moment he goes to nursery every morning, where he does play with others, but not all that much. He's pretty unaware socially generally, much younger than his years. He has a baby brother and sister (11m) who he's lovely with. Any advice?

MattDillonsPants Mon 07-Mar-16 12:05:30

I think it's a pretty normal phase OP. Don't worry about it too much. Bother of my children had similar issues at that age and it went on to some extent past the age of 6-ish with some of their friends taking longer to come out of it.

Not ALL DC are this way....but some are. Just continue socialising him...and have activities on hand for when the free play doesn't work...painting or crafts or something more structured.

APlaceOnTheCouch Mon 07-Mar-16 12:10:27

No advice because I don't think there's anything wrong. If you can see it being related to tiredness then possibly intervene before it gets to the crying stage and suggest a new activity or sitting down to watch a cartoon - something to let him relax and recharge a little.

It's completely different at school because the play is structured and led so he won't be able to dominate but he'll also see that none of the DCs are dominating iyswim.

lazyleo Mon 07-Mar-16 13:13:19

Is it new children / friends from the new area you have moved to, or is it friends visiting from your old area he is struglling with? Is it just children or he is a bit like this with adults too? A lot may depend on whether he is nearer the 4 or 6 end of age 5 - it sounds like he has had a lot to deal with in the past few year / 18 months with the new baby arriving, poss any difficulties during your pregnancy (I know I struggled to lift my LO onto swings, slides etc when I was pregnant) and then a house / area move combined with settling into nursery (I'm assuming its in the new area rather than a previous one) and making new friendships.
That's a lot for grown ups to handle let alone a little boy. I think some extra hugs from his lovely mummy who has also had much to handle and obviously cares so much about him flowers

farmnannyneeded Mon 07-Mar-16 14:19:12

Thanks everyone, that is very reassuring and good advice. I'll try to stop worrying and give him a few extra cuddles when I can smile . lazyleo I wonder whether I am worried because he has had so much to deal with and I'm scared I've broken him confused I'll try to chill out!

lazyleo Mon 07-Mar-16 16:36:48

Oh farm nanny you haven't! I promise you, he's just processing everything and dealing with things the way he best can. I find with my 6 year old it's vital not to let her get too hungry or else it's carnage. The more you watch the more you'll see the indicators and then you'll more often be able to intervene ahead of time smile

APlaceOnTheCouch Mon 07-Mar-16 16:55:09

I find with my 6 year old it's vital not to let her get too hungry or else it's carnage

^^ This . If I catch DS just at the start of a temper tantrum, I say, 'You're getting angry what do you think is wrong?' And he answers, 'I'm tired or hungry' <in a very grumpy voice> grin It's so true that if he is overtired or grumpy then he's a nightmare!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 07-Mar-16 17:08:35

I agree with what's been said already. Plus home turf has something to do with part of it.
From DS's point of view here's someone his own age and size, ooh let's play - unfortunately they all have their own ideas.
If another child is the sort of passive playmate who readily falls in with what our child wants, great. Most of the time however they're all quite set on what they want to do!

Your little boy is frustrated and is open about it but we know it's not the end of the world.

farmnannyneeded Mon 07-Mar-16 18:19:28

Thanks everyone, it's good to get others' perspective and hear this is fairly normal. It's also true that last time his tears were just before dinner time so I'll try to intervene with food or a structured activity a bit earlier. To be honest, I'm so glad he's playing happily and out of my hair most times that I might be a bit too hands off.

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