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Toddler Friendships

(5 Posts)
TheMags Thu 18-Dec-08 14:32:46

When should I start worrying that DS1 (aged 3.4) doesnt have any real friends? He goes to preschool and seems to play alongside other children but Ive noticed the other kids all seem to have a particular friend and he's beginning to get left out. I can also tell which kids are playing together from the mums talking outside preschool as mums who previously didn't talk are now talking about their children. This leads me to think he is also not being invited to parties by the other children.

I guess I am more worried because he's quite a high maintenance child and can be aggressive to other children. I had thought this was getting better and preschool dont seem to be having many problems but I worry he has developed a "label" so and its going to stick.

Am I just being an over-worried mum or should I be trying to do something? I do try and arrange play dates with children his age but it's difficult as he still has an afternoon nap and is at preschool 3 mornings a week so I only have a short window after nap time and tea. It's also difficult because we always run the risk of him turning aggressive towards the other children. I guess though he needs to mix to overcome the aggression as its all part of learning and sharing.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 18-Dec-08 14:43:01

Does he feel left out?

DS was well over that age before he singled out a child from pre-school whom he wanted to invite home.

He was playing with his younger sister, my friends children and cousins so I didn't see it a problem that he didn't have his own social circle.

ILikeToTickleSanta Thu 18-Dec-08 14:45:31

I wouldn't start worrying about it just yet. Do you perhaps have some friends with a similar aged child who you could all get together with as a family on weekends?

Do try to invite a potential friend over during the week too (ideally one with a mum you get along with!), it is good for your DS to slowly get used to the social interaction in his own space too.

Good luck. It will be so much easier when he is 5, hang in there!

TheMags Thu 18-Dec-08 21:32:53

Thanks for your replies.

He does have a younger brother of 20 months and they are just starting to play together albeit with sibling fighting inbetween so he does at least have someone to play with each day.

I think I will just persevere with the friends we do get together with and hope he starts making a few more preschool friends next year. I also hope that next year the aggression starts to wear off a bit as well as this would help enormously.

Roll on the summer - I never worried so much in the summer as we were always at the park and there were lots of different children to play with.

lingle Fri 19-Dec-08 19:17:33

Well, my DS2 is coming up to 3.4. He's on the SEN register for his late speech. The late speech is now coming on beautifully (he's still way behind average but showing every sign of moving forward fast - progress is daily).

BUT I've been referred to a paediatrician and the nursery manager has told me the main thing she's hoping for from my appointment is some support for additional programme for fostering social interactions. He blanks the other kids at nursery if they speak to him and moves away if they join in his games though he knows all their names and loves distributing things to them and (in his own way) asks to go to their houses.

Am a bit torn because, like othersideofthechannel's child, he does lovely parallel play and even cooperative play in play-date situations. He also has a terrific relationship with his big brother (6). my gut feeling is that a child who only learnt the word "yes" four weeks ago can be forgiven for not yet being able to answer back to eager 4-year-old girls who want to mother him!

What do you think? I usually post in special needs but need a sanity check! I know nursery is important but refuse to believe that his "nursery self" is somehow the "authentic" self.

Themags - my close friend has a son similar to yours. Mine is passive whereas hers can be aggressive but they are really flip sides of the same coin. We both run the risk of them being labelled - but we both have to figure out a plan so they don't eventually turn into what they might seem to be at nursery. If I were you, my number one strategy would be to get them outside or to soft play areas even though it's winter. As you say, the park is much better. Take them for a country walk with a friend? or to feed the ducks? anything rather than cooping them up in the sitting room together.

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