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"The other children won't play with me."

(32 Posts)
Quadrangle Sat 20-Oct-12 23:27:55

My daughter has been saying this a bit recently. sad Just wondering how to help her. She is in Year 1.

When she was in Reception she was very happy, she had a really good year. She had a best friend who was a boy with autism and she seemed to get on well with many other children in the class too. There weren't any children she had any problems with. Then at the end of reception they mixed the classes round and I noticed that all of the children she got on particularly well with except the best friend boy had been put in the other class.

I hoped that all would be fine and she would make new friends, but it doesn't seem to be going well and she is starting to say that the other children won't play with her. She sometimes plays with a girl in the year above (who also has autism) but she said she doesn't see her and her previous best friend on the playground so much now.

I asked her if she had ever sat on the buddy bench and she said she did but "No one came." sad (I cried my eyes out at that later when she was in bed.) I think part of the problem is that most of the friendships from last year were kept together when they mixed the classes and so they've just carried on as they were with no wish to make new friends. Also in her previous class i think that there were a lot of children who were her "cup of tea" but they all went into the other class so i think it is hard for her to fit in with the others this year.

I thought I would make an appointment with her teachers to discuss it, but not sure I will be able to say the bit about the buddy bench without bursting into tears! The teachers have been very happy with her. No behaviour problems and she regularly gets certificates for being "kind and helpful." Perhaps there is something about her that doesn't appeal to other children in her class. How do I help her?

Toughasoldboots Sat 20-Oct-12 23:47:14

I would definitely talk to her teacher about this. It sounds as if she is trying all routes available to her and she needs a bit of adult help.
It is very sad to think of her on the buddy bench and no one coming, so hopefully her teacher will help with strategies to stop this turning into a big problem.
Does she struggle socially in other ways have you noticed?

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:08:00

Thanks for replying. We've had a few kids from her class over to play in the past and she has gone back to them and it has gone well and they have played well. It's on the playground i think there is a problem this year.

If she goes to a disco style party and there is loud music on she doesn't like it at all and won't leave my side. (We went to a Rainbows disco tonight where the other children were having a whale of a time, but i ended up taking her home as she just wouldn't join in and was crying.) She is fine at other types of kids parties though so i think it is just the loud music which I can understand. (Think we will avoid discos for a while.)

I will make an appt to speak to the teacher. I might enquire about the possibility of her moving to the other class as I know a couple of girls in Y4 moved class last year.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 21-Oct-12 00:11:17

You nearly had me crying at the buddy bench so I can imagine how awful you felt, you poor thing. Every kid goes through something like this at some poInt and of course you can offer a bit of help. Talk to her teacher, see if there's any other kids she likes and then maybe try and chat to the mims and sort out some play time after school or invite someone back for tea or something. If the teacher is aware of it at least she/he can maybe encourage the kids to mix a bit more in class perhaps?

I'm sure it's just a temporary blip. Kids fall in and out of friendships all the time and little ones can be a bit shy about making new friends. I'm sure she'll be fine with a bit of gentle nudging in the right direction. Don't panic.

lisad123 Sun 21-Oct-12 00:11:29

I would talk to her teacher. Dd2 doesn't really have friends since she started reception but I don't think she cares (she has autism) but again loads of kids know each other from nursery.
I would normally say leave and see but if she is noticing herself, I would def talk to teacher.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 21-Oct-12 00:13:06

Mims? Mums...

plutocrap Sun 21-Oct-12 00:17:54

Why on earth did they mix up the groups? And in such a half-arsed way, too!

My DS had a hard start in Reception; I'll be furious if they bugger up any esprit de corps they achieve this year!

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:21:27

Thanks ladies. Ilovemydog - That's what I needed to hear i think about it being a temporary blip. It's easy to start thinking "my child will always be unpopular" when you are in the middle of it, but I'm sure as you say it is just a temporary thing. Will speak to the teacher lisad123. Her teachers (job share) are lovely ladies and they probably wouldn't bat an eyelid even if i did cry. (Will try not to.) They have kids of their own and i get the impression they have probably seen it all before and would know what it's like!

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:24:40

Plutocrap they do it every year in their school, I so wish they didn't! They said they do it so they have an even spread of attainment in each class.

Toughasoldboots Sun 21-Oct-12 00:26:28

Don't worry about crying, I have done it and I suspect they are quite used to it.
I said that I didn't care how well my dd was doing academically, I just wanted her to have friends. Lots of snivelling and tissues after that.

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:28:33

Were they able to help out Toughasoldboots? Hope things got better for your dd.

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:30:12

I think I will send the teachers an email with what i have said above, so i don't have to explain it all at the meeting and so they can maybe observe her a bit before it.

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:31:34

Off to bed in a bit, but thanks for your replies!

Toughasoldboots Sun 21-Oct-12 00:33:17

Well, it is a different situation really as dd2 turned out to have aspergers, but after a school move is much happier thanks.
I think I have probably cried at some point to all 3 dcs teachers though- I can't help it. Poor teachers.

Toughasoldboots Sun 21-Oct-12 00:34:16

Email is good idea, I use that a lot, much clearer and easier for everyone.
I hope things get sorted.

SilverCharm Sun 21-Oct-12 00:34:53

I think most kids have a phase of this...I know it's very hard but please take some comfort in knowing that it is normal and common....not nice at all to see but it will be ok.

My DD struggled and the teacher helped her a lot by introducing circle know "The Farmer in the Dell" and Oranges and Lemons type stuff...this helped my DD no end.

Helping DD to get on by giving her strategies is a good she actively joining in? Asking to join in?

parachutesarefab Sun 21-Oct-12 00:36:47

Definitely talk to her teachers, and don't worry if you do cry - they'd be more concerned if you didn't care about your DD.

I've known a few cases where children have reported never having anyone to play with, or not being allowed to join in, and when mums have 'happened' to walk past the playground at lunchtime have seen them happily playing in a group. Not that they've been lying, just that the problems have only been some of the time, not all the time. Fingers crossed it's not as bad as you're thinking, and that the blip is overcome quickly.

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 00:41:00

I need a dog so I've got an excuse to walk past the school playground regularly parachutes! smile
Thanks SilverCharm - that does help a lot.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 21-Oct-12 00:43:26

Glad to help. smile

Also when I went in to explain to dd1's teacher, at the start of term, that DMil had just died and could she keep an eye on dd1 in case she got upset, I burst into tears and had to be led to a quiet office. I felt such a prat but she was lovely. Although she probably thinks I'm a bit of a flake. Dd1 has been absolutely fine.

sparklekitty Sun 21-Oct-12 13:19:30

just to add, I'm a teacher and often have parents in that end up in tears so please don't worry about that. I would definitely go and talk to them, it may be they could set up a circle of friends or move where she is sat in class so she is near children more her cup of tea (then transfer these friendships to the playground)

It will be solvable if you talk to the school about it xx

SilverCharm Sun 21-Oct-12 13:23:01

Yes they moved my DD to a table where there were 2 little girls who were very sociable and confident but who did not have one special friend....they soon dragged my DD along with them! She has now got a good friend and some other more casual ones...she's 8.

ItalianForSnow Sun 21-Oct-12 17:12:55

Don't worry about the tears, it seems to be part of my repertoire of communication techniques with my children's teachers. I am always baffled when other mums describe the teachers as fierce or stand offish, they are always so lovely with me.

My strategy worked bwahaha.

Quadrangle Sun 21-Oct-12 21:05:33

Thank you all. Will try and update once I've spoken to the school.

mudipig Sun 21-Oct-12 23:14:07

Our school mixes and matches them up every year too. Three years down the line, i think it helps (although I never thought I'd say that). It stops groups forming which exclude others and forces them to develop social skills. It's very easy for a shy one to hide behind a more dominant one for years. Forcing them apart, enables the shy one to try their social skills on others. New groups form, friendships develop and their social circle expands.

Having said that - I think they all go through a phase of this. I would definitely recommend seeing the teacher. Ours are very proactive about finding ways of including everybody and encouraging friendships. Sometimes this is as simple as sitting them next to each other for a large part of the day. We've also had a sort of direct interaction in the playground whereby a TA will take 6 dc who seem to be out on a limb and instigate a game with them at playtime.

I would ask the teacher whom you think might be her cup of tea. Then invite them round to play by leaving a note in their bookbag for their mum. This is a really good way of helping them to make friends. It gives them a bit 1:1 time and allows them to develop a relationship when there are no other competing factors.

Don't think your dd is the only one. Mine's in year 2 and I don't think I know of many parents who haven't had a phase like this to try and resolve.

Oh and I have cried in front of a teacher. Mine was being targetted by a girl and I had to go in and tell the teacher. I think they do understand and actually it shows what a caring parent you are.

Quadrangle Mon 22-Oct-12 09:32:06

Thanks mudipig. I actually wouldn't mind if they mixed the children every year, but it is done just the once and then they are with the same children until they go to high school! If it was every year it would encourage them to mix more and would help their social skills and if a particular class didn't work too well for a child, it would only be for one year. The problem with this is that a lot of friendships were kept together so there's been no need for the children to make new friendships. In fact my elder dd in Y4 was kept with her best friend when they mixed the classes and she has clung to her ever since! So although I don't have to worry about her not having friends, it probably hasn't been that great for her social skills! Thanks for your suggestions. Will definitely be following them.

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