My daughter is 6 1/2 and coming to the end of one.
On the face of it she is liked by very one in her class and she likes them. But she says she has no friends and is lonely.
She has always played best with older children. Older children we know can't believe she is only in year one. But because of this they expect her to be physically able to do the same things as them and she cannot.
no one in her class has the same interests as she does
I was going to talk to her new teacher in September about her friendships but I wanted to get some ideas on strategies that might work, indeed have been tried and tested.
Thanks for you help
My youngest (also very bright, and big for his age) was used to playing with his older siblings and their friends. He struggled to get on with his classmates in Reception. He did not know how to play with them, and would get very frustrated - as did they. One of the strategies that the school put in place was to assign half-a-dozen Y6 children to play with him. Every day a different pair would hang out in the infants' playground, keeping an eye out for my ds. If he was fine, they did nothing. But if he was isolated or struggling they would join in playing with him, welcoming other children into their games. This way they modelled appropriate behaviour, and also taught the children games.
It was an excellent intervention, very successful. Went on for just over half a term, and was repeated for a few weeks at the beginning of Y1, to help him settle into the new class.
My son has just left year 6 where he was one of the children who managed the infants play as TheyreMadITellYouMaa
At DS2's school, there were two roles for the years 5 and 6 children to do with KS1. They would either go to their playground in pairs one day a week and lead games, making sure to include anyone who seemed to be on their own. Or other Y6 children would be assigned a child with SEN and be responsible for making sure that child was involved in a game, even playing with them themselves.
It has worked very well. Y6 look a lot older than Y1 but the games aren't much different so its no hardship for them, especially as its only 1 day a week. The KS1 children have the benefit of role models they can relate to and the Y6 have the opportunity to show how responsible they can be. By way of extra encouragement, each week, the KS1 children would vote on the upper KS2 girl and boy who was the best friend to them.
As a side benefit, it also helped minimize bullying, as children are much more alert to it (and much more intolerant of it) than the playground supervisors. They had no problem reporting it to the teachers. (How things have changed from when I was at school!)
You could ask your school if it would be interested in doing something similar?
The other thing you can do is join something like potential plus and go to their meet-ups. Or find clubs for your child e.g. chess
I have found that as they have got older they have found it easier to make friends and have imaginary play. When they were younger it was harder for them to communicate to their peers what they wanted to do and also to negotiate the give and take of playing with peers as opposed to older children.
Do you think that her interests might become more mainstream as they get older (e.g. if she loves minecraft then by year 3 she should have plenty of peers to discuss it with), or are her interests very different from the other dc. How does she play with the other children on play dates when it is one on one?
One of the things I loved about home education is that groups of children of all ages would get together. From that dd learnt how to play with children the same age, older and younger and how to include them all in their play.
Girls around this age often want to play with slightly older girls. I think it is some kind of role model thing. Could your dd try and play with younger children as this will give her an appreciation of how to mix with not just older, but younger children as well?
Thanks for all the ideas.
I think the school do a very similar scheme to the one described. They have a good community spirit and bullying is virtually unheard of (not claiming it's perfect).
She actually gets on well with all ages and seems to know everyone in the school (all 450 of them). She plays games with the other children.
She is currently her class rep on the school council. And she goes to an after school club were she mixes with children from all age groups. And outside school she does swimming and dance classes.
But she doesnt have any close friends at school and I think she finds some of the games a bit boring.
I think yes eventually her interests will be similar to her class mates or at least the difference won't be so important. But at the moment the difference is just getting wider and upsetting her.
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