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No-one would play with me today!

(21 Posts)
Ellbell Tue 15-Feb-05 20:44:15

Not me... . DD1, who is 4yrs 9 months, came home today saying that no-one would play with her at playtime, and no-one would sit next to her at story time either. I just tried to dismiss it cheerfully (as in 'Oh well, I'm sure people will want to play with you tomorrow') but I'm more bothered by it than I probably ought to be... (Probably because I was very much 'left out' at school, due to being swotty, speccy, rubbish at sports and games and painfully shy!). Does this sound 'normal' to anyone else with children of this age? And if so, how do you deal with it? I am aware that (a) DD is prone to exaggerating (e.g. 'DD2 kept me awake *all night*' = DD2 chatted to me for 5 mins when I wanted to go to sleep!); and (b)kids of this age do blow hot and cold... DD's 'best friend' changes at least 3 times a week! I suppose I just wanted to hear that this has happened to other people with kids of this sort of age, really. BTW DD has been at school part-time since September, but here they don't go full-time till the term in which they are 5. She loves school and seems to be doing well, both socially and (insofar as they are doing academic stuff at this stage) 'academically'). Should I just ignore these sorts of incidents?

yoyo Tue 15-Feb-05 20:48:46

The school my daughters attend have introduced "buddy benches" (dreadful name I know). If any child has no-one to play with they sit on the bench and someone comes along to play. It seems to work really well. May be worth suggesting at PTA.

They do often exagerrate though and at that age do not really know how long they have been playing by themselves. Have a word with her teacher or the playground supervisors for a fuller picture.

Hope she has a better day tomorrow.

Fennel Tue 15-Feb-05 20:49:49

ellbell I think it is really normal. my dd1 is this age and says this sort of thing. and then I really worry that she's not making friends. but she is, it's just how 4 year olds are.

I am trying to encourage her to think how she can be nice to people so they might want to be her friend (ie not hitting them etc!). and tell her not to worry too much when the others are nasty. cos it does happen all the time unfortunately.

foxinsocks Tue 15-Feb-05 20:51:07

My dd must be almost the same age (5 in August) and for the first week in reception, I felt like crying every day as she came out and said that she sat on her own every break time. She said she asked people if she could play with them and they all said no. I was heartbroken. She also told me that certain girls (who she was friends with before) had told her that she couldn't be their friend.

Anyway, I happened to bump into one of the girl's mothers who told me her dd had said that my dd had said exactly the same thing to her! Also, at the parent's evening, her teacher told me that she was fine and although she was shy, was playing fine with the other children.

I would take what she says with a pinch of salt. I think you are right and when they say no-one has played with them, they maybe on their own for a few minutes and to them it feels like the whole break time (it's not that long anyway!).

My dd is very shy and finds the whole social thing a real chore. I think these type of children find reception quite a big effort! I'm giving dd lots of extra cuddles etc. and hopefully, she'll grow in confidence a bit.

SPARKLER1 Tue 15-Feb-05 20:51:33

My dd 5 1/2 does this too. She always comes home and says that no one wants to play with her at school and that xxxxxx isn't her friend anymore. Makes me feel terribly sad for her.

marthamoo Tue 15-Feb-05 20:51:44

It sounds familiar for girls, sad to say. They do seem more fickle and more likely to blow hot and cold than boys of the same age. My friend's dd (7) has run the whole gamut since starting school of being in with the in-crowd one second, out the next. And the "I'm not being your friend if you are friends with her" stuff. Her Mum did intervene and go in for a word with the teacher when it seemed to get more sinister and become bullying - one girl was ringleader and stopped all the girls in the class from talking to my friend's dd. The teacher responded very well and nipped it in the bud.

I wouldn't go in all guns blazing just yet - but keep listening to your dd and if she starts to seem unhappy then go in and have a word. You probably are projecting your own experiences and fears from being a child onto her - but we all do that. We want our children to be "better" than we were as kids - more popular, less shy etc. From what you say she sounds to be doing very well - so hopefully this is a one off incident and will have blown over by tomorrow.

Fennel Tue 15-Feb-05 20:55:45

one thing I do is invite her new friends home for tea and round to play quite a bit - it involves getting to know their parents at this age but I'm hoping it helps the friendships - it does seem to have worked for dd1, her friends all want to come round regularly now!

Wills Tue 15-Feb-05 20:58:15

Mine is 4 years 11 months and yep comes home from time to time saying the same thing. At first I was really worried, but then I talked to other mums and found that their children where saying exactly the same thing.

paolosgirl Tue 15-Feb-05 21:01:26

I am SO relieved to read this thread - dd had me in tears (in private, of course) last week, as 'no-one' wanted to play with her, and she'd spent the week sitting on the bench on her own at break and lunch.
I wrote a little note to her teacher just asking if everything was OK, and bless her, she phoned me at work to say that she hadn't been aware of any problem, that dd was a well liked little girl, but that she'd made a point of watching out for dd at break and lunch, and she was right in the middle of it all, playing away fine.
I think they all go through it, and I think little girls are more fickle than little boys when it comes to friendships.
I also recognise what you say about your own childhood - ditto here! I have to try and keep the panic in check when mine come out with these comments about having no friends. Try not to worry - I think it's a normal exageration of the days events

ChocolateGirl Tue 15-Feb-05 22:01:54

Ellbell, my boy will be five in July. He is in Reception and often says that he had no-one to play with at lunchtim or that he sat on his own to eat his lunch. It breaks my heart but... my friend's girl says the same thing (they are in the same year) and we suspect they do have friends to play with, it's just it sticks in their minds if they were on their own for a few minutes... If I question him it often comes out that actually he was playing with some boys and girls, but I do worry, especially as he has problems with his speech, and I can't always get to the bottom of what it is he's trying to say.

I am re-assured by your post, if that's any comfort, so I hope you will be re-assured by mine and others!

SPARKLER1 Tue 15-Feb-05 23:19:08

We are going to chat to dd's teacher next week at parents evening and hope he can shed some light on the situation.

Ellbell Wed 16-Feb-05 02:18:25

THANKS everyone. I've just come back on here before going to bed (yes, I do my marking/preparation horrifically late at night!) and am amazed by everyone's response. Sounds as if dd's experience today is totally normal and part of the usual 'girls will be girls' business of growing up. Obviously if she mentions it a lot and seems very upset, I'll investigate, but otherwise I'll try to make light of it. You've all really put my mind at rest.
While we're on the subject of 'girls will be girls'... Is anyone else's dd of this age HORRENDOUSLY 'holier-than-thou'? My dd is always reporting back on who has been naughty today, and occasionally has even pointed people out to me in the playground saying things like 'That's xxxx, she's really naughty'. Obviously I try to discourage this... but it's hard to tell her at this age that being 'oh-so-righteous' is not really the way to make friends and influence people!
Thanks again. Feeling much happier now.

Ellbell Wed 16-Feb-05 02:21:15

I meant that I was amazed (and pleased) to find so many replies, not that I was amazed that this is so common (I sort of felt that it was, but had no proof).
Sparkler1 - good luck for your chat with the teacher.

pinkwhistle Wed 16-Feb-05 05:22:52

I think they sometimes say it just to gauge your reaction. If they pick up the slightest anxiety then they will play on it to try to freak you out! Little angels...

A girl in ds's class (aged 5) was saying just this to her mum and she was really worried and upset. So one day she went to the school during break time and watched them for a while (unseen by her dd). She was of course right in the thick of things, playing and laughing and running around. Then that same afternoon after school, she once again reported having had no one to play with and being by herself all lunchtime!

I really think it's a girl thing. Ds has never said it but dd is always saying something about such and such was mean/wouldn't play with me/isn't my friend anymore. The next day they are best buddies again. Talk about fickle

Fennel Wed 16-Feb-05 09:15:05

ellbell, my dd1 - age 4 - is generally good and keen to please but her best friend is the naughtiest girl in the class from a "problem background" - mother in prison, drug addiction, best friend spent babyhood in care. so no, dd1 is the opposite of holier-than-thou she respects her friend who swears at the teachers (age 4!) and runs wild.

marialuisa Wed 16-Feb-05 09:29:24

Yes, DD is definitely "holier-than-thou", but I suspect this is our fault entirely. Most embarrassing moment was when one of her friends came to play, said friend is "challenging" in our book, whinges, tantrums, the list goes on. Anyway, her mum asked if X had behaved herself and i did the polite "oh, yes fine" and DD piped "except for when she pinched me, wouldn't share and stood on the table". I wanted the floor to swallow me up.
We've been doing her b'day invitations and as i say a name she says "well, I'll tell them that they can onlyy comne to my party if they behave".

Fennel Wed 16-Feb-05 09:35:37

my friend's dd, age 4, is very holier-than-thou and tells tales on the other kids on school to their parents and teachers. like you her mother is mortified! but it hasn't stopped the girl making friends with a boy who's always in trouble at school for being naughty - I don't think children take it all that seriously.

paolosgirl Wed 16-Feb-05 16:55:33

I have my very own little police force, ready to point out (in VERY loud voices)anyone who is smoking, not wearing their cycle helmets, walking their dogs and not picking up the poo. You name it, my holier-than-thou children will point it out .
Actually, a bit of public shame is probably what some of these people need (the naughty dog owners, that is)

Ellbell Wed 16-Feb-05 20:43:16

Paolosgirl... sounds like your dd and mine could be twins. Mine LOATHES smoking ('Mummy, mummy, look... that man's smoking a cigarette... Ugh, that's disgusting!'). Also, people who cross on pedestrian crossings without waiting for the green man come in for some loud criticism (one couple ended up apologising to me for setting a bad example).

I'm with you on the dog poo thing. I always long to pick it up and present it to them, saying 'I think you forgot this'... but I've never had the nerve to do it. We have a dog, which makes it get to me even more, cos when it's on the pavement outside our neighbours' houses I'm convinced they are going to think it's my dog.

Asked dd (hopefully casually) how school was today and she reeled off about 6 names of people she'd played with, so she obviously had a better day today.

Thanks again for all your reassurances.

Ellbell Wed 16-Feb-05 20:43:45

Paolosgirl... sounds like your dd and mine could be twins. Mine LOATHES smoking ('Mummy, mummy, look... that man's smoking a cigarette... Ugh, that's disgusting!'). Also, people who cross on pedestrian crossings without waiting for the green man come in for some loud criticism (one couple ended up apologising to me for setting a bad example).

I'm with you on the dog poo thing. I always long to pick it up and present it to them, saying 'I think you forgot this'... but I've never had the nerve to do it. We have a dog, which makes it get to me even more, cos when it's on the pavement outside our neighbours' houses I'm convinced they are going to think it's my dog.

Asked dd (hopefully casually) how school was today and she reeled off about 6 names of people she'd played with, so she obviously had a better day today.

Thanks again for all your reassurances.

Ellbell Wed 16-Feb-05 20:52:03

Ooops! Sorry for double-posting. Computer playing silly games.

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