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First day back at school for DS (4.5) and mummy not coping! How oh how do I help him to integrate? (sorry, long)

(6 Posts)
worriermum Wed 13-Aug-08 07:47:32

It's not that the morning went badly. It's just that when I left the school most of the children were settling down to play with each other and my DS was by himself, staring impassively about. It brought up all my concerns about a behaviour pattern I have noticed: he doesn't easily join in, or invite others to join him. He can play cooperatively - after a while- in the course of a long playdate, but the standard playground stuff of "wanna play" or joining games seems a bit of a foreign language to him.

I'm quite gregarious, so I feel puzzled and frustrated that he should be like this. But I am feeling lonely and isolated in a strange country with a very busy, absent DP so perhaps he is just mirroring what I am feeling about the world right now? (it must be all my fault....)

What do I do, how do I help him to change this? I'm terrified that I am watching the beginning of a lonely school career. Advice and experiences very, very welcome. Please help me to get this into perspective and to stay calm and constructive for my DS.

worriermum Wed 13-Aug-08 09:14:20

sorry, that's "inteRgrate"...actually, a cunningly disguised bump grin

worriermum Wed 13-Aug-08 09:14:25

sorry, that's "inteRgrate"...actually, a cunningly disguised bump grin

OiMum Wed 13-Aug-08 09:26:32

I am unlikely to be of any use here but I remember that I was exactly the same at school- the idea of actually opening my mouth to others frightened the life out of me and I would just flat out refuse to do it. Kids are kids though and after a week or so at my new school I was friends with most of the kids and actually able to communicate without the need to wet myself.

If you're all new there do they have a 'buddy' system at the school where they can pair him up with a known socialite?! Have you spoken to the teachers about it?

Remember how adaptable these little people are though- it may be painful to watch at first but I bet within no time he'll have made a best mate and will be happy as Larry. And he doens't need to have a gaggle of friends as long as he's connecting with someone.

I should imagine he feels just as lost as you do at the moment but they're resiliant social butterflies so give him time and a little bit of encouragement and he'll be away. Maybe identifying kids he is getting along with and making sure he spends time with them outside of school would be good too?

Sorry you're having such a crap time and sorry this probably isn't of any real use!

AMumInScotland Wed 13-Aug-08 10:01:18

Do you think he is unhappy not joining in, and would really love to if he only knew how? Or is he one of the "observers" in life, who is happy with his own company and enjoys watching the hurly-burly without feeling any desire to be part of it?

I think you need to separate your feelings (lonely and isolated) from his. You may be right that he is feeling the same, or you might be projecting your own concerns onto him.

Maybe ask him how school was, what he did etc, and try to judge his reactions on his terms - "impassive" doesn't sound upset to me. You could also speak to the teacher and see how she thinks he is settling - she'll perhaps be able to judge over the course of the day if he is getting on ok with others.

Playdates out of school with any he seems to like are also helpful to give him a chance to get to know individuals.

(BTW you were right with "integrate" first time!)

worriermum Fri 15-Aug-08 14:12:48

Sorry to vanish after posting: we've had extended power cuts that began just after I posted, and I've been out or busy every time we've had electricity. Great relief to back on Mumsnet!

Thank you both for your posts: I found them immensely sane and helpful. I so easily slip into worst imaginings, and it's really soothing to be reminded that things can settle and change. And that he is not me...

Thanks again.

(And thanks too for the spell check - no WONDER he's having integration trouble)

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