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How many and what type of playdates: 3 year old at nursery

(5 Posts)
sunam Mon 12-Oct-09 13:03:29

My 3 yr old DS2 has just started nursery. He's quite wobbly about going in and we've had a few tears although once he's in he's happy and comes out smiling. He's always been more mummy centric than his brother. He knows 2 children at the nursery already from my friendships with their mothers. My instinct is to take it very gently and not rush playdates with other children. He plays well with his 5 year old brother, and the couple of friends he had at childminder and the son of my closest friend. Around me at nursery, there are a goup of mothers who are all very involved, their children have constant playdates and they all seem to do lots of childcare swops (without accompanying the child) IFYSWIM. Will my son be at a real disadvantage if he his not doing playdates yet? Does it mean he is going to be at a real disadvantage in the classroom? I guess it plays on my own insecurities about being on the periphery of this very active group of mothers with children that seem very happy to be left and doing lots of activities. Apologies for rambling post, its my first.

lljkk Mon 12-Oct-09 13:35:53

I fully understand your anxieties. Plus I was a social misfit in primary school myself, so I am stupidly over-sensitive about such issues.

The short answer, ime, is that it really doesn't matter. They WILL make their own friends and get along fine in the long run. They may well get fewer invites, but the odds are very high that they won't notice or care.

FWIW, DC1 started school knowing almost nobody, eventually he developed a social life. I worked hard to establish a preschool social life for DC2 (because of how shy she was), and as a result she now (yr3) has very strong friendships, but is still rarely invited anywhere. DC3 (Yr1) has still never attended a playdate or a friend's birthday party. None of them perceive that they are missing (or have missed) out on anything.

FernieB Mon 12-Oct-09 13:38:51

All kids are different. At 3 I would not have let mine go on playdates without me. Go with your instincts - you know him best.

Don't worry about the 'mummy mafia' - there's a group like that at every school/nursery. You have your own friends and sound happy as you are - you don't have to be like any other mum, just be yourself.

sunam Mon 12-Oct-09 13:54:24

Really reassuring to hear from lljkk and FernieB. Nice to hear that not everyone is in the 'mafia'/busy group. I guess part of it is having courage of your own instincts and convictions. My older son was so different, very confident and comfortable separating and making friends so I am having to learn how to be a good Mummy to DS2.

Hulababy Mon 12-Oct-09 14:06:42

DD didn't really do any playdates without me at 3yo, and then it was at my friend's houses who had children. DD was always very sociable and confident in such situations, but I feel 3y is too young for most children to be left on their own, unless you know the parents well.

She is 7y now and from starting school at 4y5m she began p;aydates, on her own without me tagging along. She was erfectly fine and I felt that this was about the right time. She still enjoys lots of friends and playdates.

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