Advanced search

Ds (3.0) has practically no interest in other children and only wants to hang out with adults

(16 Posts)
anotherdayyetanothernickname Wed 09-Jul-08 20:00:27

Further to a recent thread about ds's behaviour at nursery, I've been observing him and he really has practically no interest in other kids.

It's getting awkward as other kids want to play with him and he doesn't want to, so they go home feeling rejected I guess. The only thing he'll really do is where I instigate some kind of joint game that I'm involved in he'll play alongside the other child but sort of with me, sometimes laughing with them.

He seems really awkward around other kids, doesn't know how to relate to them, overreacts if they do something like lightly bump into him etc.

He is absolutely not shy or awkward with adults, although he can be quite clingy. At nursery he relates to the staff well but is clingy with them too really and just hovers by them or watches the other kids from afar.

He just seems to prefer adults.

To pre-empt comments - he is an only child and has been going to nursery part-time since he was 1 starting with 2 mornings a week, now 4.

violetsmile Wed 09-Jul-08 20:10:20

My sister was like this. Me and my brother never ever related to her as a child.

She only seemed to 'fit in' with adults and was only comfortable in adult company.

She hated play school and didn't relate to any of the children there, she just didn't seem to understand kids at all.

By the time she was 5 she had made a few close friends at school which got her through but she was always happiest pottering around with adults.

My theory is that children who are very adult engaged are just 'little adults' and are just intellegent and grown up.

I personally wouldn't worry too much.

violetsmile Wed 09-Jul-08 20:12:39

Just to reassure you, my sister is an amazingly well balanced and intellegent person!

She was fine at school and got more confident as she grew older. It just took time!

For what it's worth, she is one of my best friends now and is brilliant with my ds, whilst my brother I don't really relate to anymore!

floaty Wed 09-Jul-08 20:19:53

I had one of these,when he stared nursery he would avoid the other children eg if another child came into the play house he would leave it by the side door!He had very good speech and was an only one until 3.5 and he just found adults more interesting.Aged 14 he still gets on with with adults but also has a wide circle of friends his own age .

He definately found school easier than nursery as it was more structured ,I think he found the freedom and rumbustiousness of nursery quite perplexing after being at home with adults and having a lot of one to one attention even though we went to groups etc.He is and was even at that age though a good judge of charecter I clearly remember at about 3 we went to Tumbletots run by a lady who was more like sargeant major than a play leader ds was very quiet and quite clingy ,even though we had been to a different TT before .He got in the car and said quite solomly that he didn't much like that lady and he didn't think we should go again and we didn't because he was absolutely right !He is still a good judge and often I have to keep my mouth shut when he comments becaue he is very mature and unsightful about people.

So upshot is don't worry ,he will come round,I found one to one playdates useful ,on his own terratory he was better able to find common ground .Also I was lucky with nursery they were very happy to let him come round in his own time and also found ways that he could participate whilst still in his comfort zone.For example in paired activities or in helping the teacher with a special job,perhapp with another child so that they could develop a relationship.

BasementBear Wed 09-Jul-08 20:21:59

My DS2 (4.7) has never been keen on other children! He has a big brother (6) who he adores and plays well with, but he doesn't seem at all interested in playing with the others at his nursery. He is happy to be there and potters about doing his own thing. If we have DS1's friends over for playdates, he will observe for a bit and then join in, and is very keen to talk to the mums, but if there are other little ones around he doesn't want to play with them. Nursery staff don't seem bothered so I am trying not to be either smile.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Wed 09-Jul-08 20:43:57

Thanks all for your reassurance.

How do you deal with it when other kids WANT to play with them and look rejected when your dcs are/ were not interested? I find that really awkward.

Basement - that is very much like ds - he potters about at nursery and does join in some stuff but hates anything boisterous. tbh I find it reassuring that this sort of thing isn't the sole preserve of only children.

He looks at other kids like they are from another planet!

He doesn't seem to know what to talk about. His speech was a bit behind which won't have helped but in the last few months he has had a huge speech spurt and uses words like immediately, definitely and actually and that sort of thing.

I guess at least he doesn't seem to care whether he has friends or not - it's more me and other people's expectations that I worry about.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Thu 10-Jul-08 09:24:52

bumping for advice on how to actually help him see that kids can be fun and learn how to interact a little more...

3littlefrogs Thu 10-Jul-08 09:29:47

Ds1 was like this. He finally grew into himself at the age of about 8. He then regressed to toddlerhood (as they all do) between 15 and 17. He is now 19 and is well adjusted, popular, sociable, very intelligent and really quite nice. Give it time. (He loves partying - but until the age of about 6 or 7 he wouldn't go to any parties because he couldn't cope with the noise and the other children).

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 09:47:29

I don't think you can help him, because this is to do with social readiness - until he is ready, he can't be different.

I suggest you have a read of Libby Purves book 'How not to be a perfect mum' as there's a bit in there that explains so well how this is so normal - how many kids HATE a nursery class of their peers and much prefer older kids or adults.

I mean when you're 3 adults are so much more fun, they talk to you, they listen to you and if they're nice ones will join in your game....your peers are SO much less fun, they take things from you, want to play their own games, talk across you, boss you about, stamp on your foot - you get the picture!

Please don't worry about this so much - it's to do with development. He won't be like this forever. Just because he is like this now doesn't mean he'll be the same at school and have no friends!

And don't worry about other kids being rejected - they don't feel it as much as you think, I think you are projecting your embarrassment on to the situation!

bubblagirl Thu 10-Jul-08 09:50:13

has ds nursery expressed any worries could youa sk them if they have any worries

as with my ds everyone convinced me normal behaviour and found that he has HFA not saying your ds has this at all but may have social delay in interacting

i always think if you have any worries at all speak to them see what they think and just ask to be referred to child development team who can do an assessment

sounds pretty normal behaviour but always best to check it as earlier it is noticed earlier help and advise can be given may just need some help with showig how to interact it doesnt come normal to some children and this could then be put into place at nursery to encourage him

obviously not trying to say anything wrong with your ds i jsut know now even thoguh can sound normal and someone else did this and there ok with my ds was not the case and just think getting it checked would be best as help can be given sooner

anotherdayyetanothernickname Thu 10-Jul-08 10:47:17

Bubbla - I think that because he interacts so very well with adults they are not worried at nursery and just let him be. That said I wouldn't particularly trust his nursery to spot anything mild as it is quite busy in his room and he only goes part time.

I will probably have a chat to them about him to share understanding of what he does and doesn't seem to like so we have a dialogue going.

To be honest I'm a little concerned about getting him labeled at this age with something like social interaction delay (?) as I think there are too many labels given to children who in our day would just have been seen as shy, a bit quirky but who don't have a real condition such as HFA or ASD. Clearly those who do have a proper condition and who need help and support benefit greatly from being diagnosed - it's the ones who are a bit more 'borderline' who I worry about being labelled iyswim.

HONORIA - the way you describe 3 year olds is I'm sure how he sees it - you can tell.
Some kids just seem to bumble along and not really care if they get pushed into but ds is quite sensitive and the most considered, thinker of a 3 year old I've ever met.
He is quite a little worrier sometimes.

I will try and chill out - agree that some of it is me projecting my embarrassment and also
fears - I wasn't a popular child and was bullied so I worry ds will be the same!

BasementBear Thu 10-Jul-08 12:48:58

Glad you are getting lots of good advice. I have found that DS plays better at other people's houses or in the playground rather than when we invite anyone to ours - he is ok at sharing but hates it if another child sits on his bed and we have to hide his special toys first in case anyone dared to play with them! Maybe try a few playdates at playground / softplay where the kids tend to run around and play a bit more independently, so he gets used to having interaction with others but doesn't feel the pressure to actually "play with" them like he might at home. You might then be able to see who he seems most comfortable with and take it from there.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Thu 10-Jul-08 13:29:38

Lol Basement - add to that that he worries that visiting children are going to break things and makes me hide some of his dad's stuff away as a consequence and it's a bundle of laughs!

I do stick to one on one play dates where possible and he does seem slightly better at someone else's house although even then he prefers me to sit with him rather than hanging out with the other child.

BasementBear Fri 11-Jul-08 10:42:57

Yesterday we had a playdate in the park after school, with DS1, DS2, DS1's friend and little brother (they all go to same school). DS2 as usual stayed by my side or demanded that I play with him while the others all ran off and played together. I feel so envious of the mums who are able to just sit and chat while their DCs run about. Eventually, after we had played a bit and had snacks etc, he did join in with the others and was having fun, but of course by that time it was getting late and we had to go home.

3littlefrogs Fri 11-Jul-08 11:34:01

He is only 3. Give him time - 3 is still a baby IMO.

HonoriaGlossop Fri 11-Jul-08 12:29:44

basement, don't worry, that time WILL come! It seems like it never will I'm sure but you'd be surprised. My ds was a very clingy child and just like yours for wanting not to play with other kids his age. Would sit on my lap for most of a playdate...3littlefrogs is right, he's still a baby really.

My ds is now five and as soon as we set foot inside his cousins house for a playdate, he tells me to go away, and asks if he can sleep there!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: