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DS aged 5.11 not got a "best friend" yet. Is this quite usual for boys that age?

(19 Posts)
TooMuchCaffeine Sat 12-Sep-09 10:27:48

DS - very bright, sociable, caring. He is our only child (but has an older step sister who he sees once a month and they get on brilliantly). However he does not seem to be attached to any particular child as a "best friend". He plays with lots of different people and seems happy at school, and has one girl who he plays with most days - but apart from that has not expressed any interest in any of the children in his class or at his other things that he does.

He does lots of activities outside school. At those classes (swimming, taekwondo and drama) the kids are busy doing whatever activity it is for the time they are there so there are less opportunities to chat, but at school with playtimes etc it is different. The boys seem to play with each other one day then argue and not like each other the next, so by the time you get to a point of asking the parent if so and so can come round to play, they have already fallen out! He goes to lots of parties, but again, no firm friendships seem to come of it. Also, all the boys that I think would be nice friends for him and whose mums I like - he doesn't like them in that way.

I worry about this a lot - although he has had a couple of the children in his class come round to play - one has just moved schools and the other is a girl and they just argue so much that it is more hassle than it's worth tbh (at this point in time DS says he "hates" her anyway). I just wish he had a little boy to play with and go out with occasionally. I worry that he is going to be on his own. He has no cousins his age as they are all in their 20's now. We are not from this town so don't really know lots of people either.

His 6th birthday party is coming up in a few weeks and we have decided to invite all the people whose party he has been to, plus a few other names of people he says he plays with. I was going to have the party at home but have decided on a soft play place in order to accomodate more children.

Am I worrying too much?

TooMuchCaffeine Sat 12-Sep-09 10:29:11

Also, to add, he seems to prefer older children and I wonder whether that might be the problem? He has always shunned children his own age. His half-sister is 10 and they get on brilliantly as I said.

Goblinchild Sat 12-Sep-09 10:38:22

*Primary school teacher hat on*
Truly, perfectly normal. He sounds a happy, socialised and confident little boy.
Just make sure that you keep an eye on things so that if he's not happy, you know about it.
Check with his teacher if you are worried, she'll have more of an idea about playground and class dynamics.

teamcullen Sat 12-Sep-09 10:56:36

I wouldnt worry about it. Children are often like this at this age and dont make firm friends until later on in school. Have you spoke to his teacher about who he plays with. They usually have a good idea of how well your DS is getting on socialy with others in his class.

Also the boys might be a bit boysterus for your DS if he doesnt like playing pushing and chasing games, which might explain why he is always falling out with them. Girls play in a more creative way wihout all the bravo. You shouldnt worry about him making best friends with a girl, they most probably just connect and enjoy the same things.

He is still learning social and interaction skills, at the moment if he doesnt agree with someone his only answer is "Im not your frined anymore" but as he gets older he will learn how to deal with situations better and will not fall out with everybody so much.

NoahAmin Sat 12-Sep-09 10:59:31

boys dont haev them for YEARS if at all imo

NanaNina Sat 12-Sep-09 11:12:18

Toomyuchcaffeine - yes yes and yes again - you are soooo worrying too much. Agree with other posters. Your little boy sounds fine and is clearly much loved which is the greatest protective factor you could give him if you see what I mean. This will help him to deal with whatever he comes across in life.

As the mother of 3 sons (all now adult) and now a grandparent of boys and girls,I don't think boys make "best friends" in the same way as little girls - I certainly saw this in my sons and see it with my g/children. I think boys like to do "herdy" things - run about together, kick balls etc etc though I know they are not all like this of course, just that's how it seems in general. Little boys aren't generally interested in finding out things about the kids they play with, they are more concentrating on the task in hand. Girls on the other hand chat with other girls about their lives and families and make "best friends" - do you remember this from your own childhood. There is a down side to this of course inthat little boys grow into men (bet you didn't realise that!) and they are generally not good at dealing with emotional aspects of life in the way that women are.

None of my sons or grandsons (betwen the ages of 4 and 11) had/have "best friends" while the opposite is true for my girl grandchildren. Boys tend to settle with a group of friends and I'm sure it will all sort itself out in time. Try to relax more about your little boy and his school days. I know it must be difficult as he does not have other children to play with at home but you certainly seem to compensate for this with all his out of school activities and he has his step sister and I'm sure you are right. He may gravitiate to older children because of this relationship.

Hope he enjoys his birthday party but please don't have expectations that a "best friend" will come from this -that isn't how it works.
You sound a lovely mom by the way if a touch over protective?

throckenholt Sat 12-Sep-09 11:15:52

I have 3 boys - an 8 year old and 2 6 year olds - none of them best friends, nor ever had so far.

TooMuchCaffeine Sat 12-Sep-09 11:19:13

I feel reassured by that thanks. He does keep playing with this one particular girl who like him is one of the eldest in the class and like him is very bright. My worry about him being friends with her is that her mother is not really all that friendly towards me even though she knows they are friends, so it is unlikely they will be playmates outside school. It's just that I see a lot of the other kids seem to be paired off - or maybe it just seems that way and it could be, as my DH says that this is more down to the parents than the children themselves.

The frustration for me is that at taekwondo this week he was playing, holding hands, running around and generally having fun with a boy who also happens to be in his class so the next day he said can X come to my party? Today I was running through the list and I said X's name and he said "No way do I want HIM there!" Appparently the very next day they were no longer friends. I find this very difficult to keep up with - the list changes every day!

Blackduck Sat 12-Sep-09 11:19:47

I'd say in Ds's year of 90 kids (year 2) there is only one best friendship amongst the boys (not mine....!). So I'd say totally normal.

Goblinchild Sat 12-Sep-09 11:24:47

One of the difficulties that some parents have trouble coming to terms with is that children often form relationships in a completely different way to them.
We still have mothers not talking to each other in the playground because daughters fell out a couple of years ago, daughters move on and they haven't.
Go with the flow and observe, it's very educational!

daftpunk Sat 12-Sep-09 11:33:47

my ds (age 9) does have a best friend, they have been best friends since reception, (although agree with noah that it's probably unusual)

i have encouraged it for the very reasons nananina mentions, boys arn't that great at talking about feelings etc, so anything i can do help my son form close relationships will help (hopefully)

you can't force it though, just relax and see what happens...could be he'll never have a best friend, just 3 or 4 good mates..which is fine smile

NoahAmin Sat 12-Sep-09 12:22:23

yes most men have a team of men they call on ime

TooMuchCaffeine Sat 12-Sep-09 12:29:52

Ok I'll try to relax about it. And I do feel encouraged that this is not an uncommon thing.
At 44 I am not going to have another child and I worry that he is lonely.
He won't play on his own at home, despite having a room and gardenful of toys and that makes it more frustrating for us because he wants our full attention most of the time - which is unrealistic, although lately he has been actively doing drawing and junk modelling on his own in the conservatory which I have set up as a kind of little "studio" for his messy art stuff.
Sometimes I can't believe how horrible some of these children can be to one another though and I often feel very annoyed about these love-hate relationships.

IdrisTheDragon Sat 12-Sep-09 12:31:59

DS is 5.9 and I'm not sure if he has a best friend or not. There are definitely people he plays with more than others.

DD is very nearly 4 and does have a best friend. It still surprises me tbh.

Lizzylou Sat 12-Sep-09 12:32:53

Toomuch, my DS1 is 5.5yrs old, he has a best friend since preschool, they are now at the same school. It is not without it's problems tbh, DS1 is content to just be friends with his BF, his BF is far more outgoing and sociable and has lots of friends so DS1 gets jealous and other boys seem to resent him being the very popular boy's BF.
I sort of wish for him that he just had a group of mates tbh

dogonpoints Sat 12-Sep-09 12:33:55

Perfectly usual for boys and girls

wannaBe Sat 12-Sep-09 12:41:50

my ds has had a best friend since preschool although he does have lots of other friends too. Opposite to you I was more concerned that having one best friend would make him too reliant on one friendship and would potentially alienate him from others, although this has turned out not to be the case.

I think that the reality is that whatever our children do, we as parents will always worry whether it's right for them/whether they'll be ok, when actually most children do work it out for themselves eventually.

cat64 Sat 12-Sep-09 12:52:09

Message withdrawn

TooMuchCaffeine Sat 12-Sep-09 14:23:05

DS is not usually alone at school either from what I have been told by his old teacher in reception, it's just having someone to hang out with out of school times, like on a Saturday afternoon or something. Or just to go to the park after school, or mess around in the garden. He is seldom home anyway as we take him to his various activities on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And I suspect this is true for lots of the other children as there are three others in his class that go to taekwondo, so perhaps there are just not that many opportunities to meet up, especially when you throw siblings into the mix.
Take this weekend for example - DH has just taken him to his taekwondo grading, then tomorrow I am taking him to a disco party he has been invited to - alright for some eh?

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