Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Feel guilty because DS has no friends

(16 Posts)
IWillOnlyEatBeans Sat 03-Nov-12 20:47:35

DS is 2.8 and he doesn't have any friends.

We recently moved to a new area and although I have met some nice people with children a similar age, I don't see them very regularly and not outside of the groups we go to.

DS goes to a little playschool for two sessions per week, we also go to swimming lessons, toddler dance (!) and a music class. We live closer to my family now so he sees a lot of his grandparents, aunts and two (older) cousins.

DS talks about a couple of the children at his playschool, but doesn't really seem to get much out of interacting with other children yet and the playschool leaders report that he spends most of the sessions with them rather than playing alongside/with the other children.

I keep thinking about his 3rd birthday party and feeling really guilty that he doesn't have a little group of friends for me to invite round to tea.

So I was just wondering if being a bit friendless is ok at DS's age? He is perfectly happy, I just feel so guilty (although pregnancy horones might well be playing a part - I am 33 weeks preg with no2).

Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated...

Shakey1500 Sat 03-Nov-12 20:51:51

It's really fine at this age smile

He seems to have lots of interaction with other children and they don't really play "with" each other at that age. More alongside, as you've mentioned. Why not invite some of the playgroup friends to a little party? Some of the Mum's may jump at the chance of their own children expanding their social circle as it were? Or take some cakes etc into the playgroup around the date and do it that way?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 03-Nov-12 20:53:48

I think it's fairly normal. Could you invite a few of the children from pkayschool?

QTPie Sat 03-Nov-12 21:06:57

I hope it is normal... my DS is 2 years 9 months. He doesn't go to preschool/nursery yet, but does do various toddler/gym/swimming sessions and we have regular NCT sessions. He tends to play by himself and is not "social" (although kisses babies and flirts with the mums!).

I am not worried (yet!) smile

LingDiLong Sat 03-Nov-12 21:22:50

Oh gosh yes, really normal. My older 2 didn't have 'friends' as such at that age. My youngest kind of does at the age of 2.5 years but that's only because I childmind so she spends a LOT of time with other kids. Even so she only calls one of them her 'friend'.

Sounds like he has a lovely time with lots of socialising - no wonder he's happy!

VonHerrBurton Sun 04-Nov-12 13:13:45

Do any of them really have 'friends' at that age? My ds (10) socialised with cousins, my friends' dc and whoever he happened to be in nursery with on his particular days.

I thought this thread was going to be really sad and about a lovely 8 yo, or similar, with his face pressed up against the window watching boys all play out and he's not invited sad

Please don't worry. Once they start school you will be desperate for some peace and a house free of dirty football boots and loud kids!

Dededum Sun 04-Nov-12 13:18:55

My DS2 had no friends at 2, he used to follow other boys around at play group, nor did he talk to anyone. After a few months the play group leader mentioned he didn't talk and suggested that I asked another boy over and slowly he unwound.

At 9 he is a very popular boy with a few close friendships, including the boy I first asked over, and an extended friendship group.

Taking ones time is a good trait.

greenbananas Sun 04-Nov-12 13:49:04

I am going to go against the grain here, and say that it is important for children this age to have friends - by which I mean children that they see lots of times and can develop individual personal relationships with.

Having said that, you should certainly NOT be feeling guilty about this - you have moved to a new area, and it sounds like you are doing loads already to make sure that your DS sees plenty of children his own age.

Children this age do not just do 'parallel play' like some of the books say they do. They are able to develop specific games that they play with particular children, and to remember about other children's likes and dislikes. We are lucky that DS had a group of close friends at this age, and I was constantly amazed by the different ways that different combinations of children interacted with each other. I have also seen lovely relationships developing between the various children who come to my house (I am a childminder).

I think this will sort itself out in time, especially if you carry on taking our DS to all those classes and playschool. If you can work up the courage to arrange meet-ups with other mums, then so much the better. Don't worry too much. A lot of the way you feel may well just be pregnancy hormones - and the 3rd birthday party is not a problem at all - your DS is far too young to feel deprived by not having a 'proper' party and will be just as happy if you arrange a family day out for him instead.

greenbananas Sun 04-Nov-12 14:01:04

I want to add that seeing lots of his older cousins is likely to be really, really good for your DS. It's great that you have moved to be closer to your family. Children of your DS's age do love to be around older children, and can learn a lot from interacting with them - and if they are family they are likely to be around for his whole life. I understand that you are worried, but think that your situation is actually quite positive smile

VonHerrBurton Sun 04-Nov-12 14:18:51

Apart from those mentioned in my previous post (cousins and friends' dc) my ds who is now 10, does not see any of the dc he did when he was 2! Not one! The nursery he was in is very close to the school we were planning on applying to but changed our minds when the time came, so when he started school he didn't know one person.

He made friends easily and quickly in YR and his friendship group in school is the same as it was in that first year. He also has many out of school friends borne from similar sporting interests.

So green , there are different ways of securing long term friendships than ensuring a group of 2yos know eachother well. Although I'm sure the way your dc interact is just as valid!

greenbananas Sun 04-Nov-12 14:25:32

VonHerr yes - and I know that some of DS's friends will be long-term, while some may move from the area or drift away. The skills are important - but as I said in my previous post, I don't think the OP has anything to worry about at this stage.

AngelDog Sun 04-Nov-12 21:24:49

Well, you'd guess that I'd say it was normal. wink

DS doesn't have friends. He does have a circle of children he sees on a regular basis. I know who I'd be inviting to his birthday party if I were bothering with having one but I know that he'd far rather be playing at home with just me than having any of those children visit, and would spend half the party asking me to make them go away.

He is getting increasingly confident at interacting with adults though.

naturalbaby Sun 04-Nov-12 21:27:25

Ds1 didn't have any friends until he started nursery at 3, now he has a best friend who he calls '___ who love me'. His friend even has a sibling just the right age to be best friends with ds2!

Ds1 went through a phase around this age of really wanted to interact and make friends with other kids, then seemed to go off the idea and then it all fell into place at nursery.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Mon 05-Nov-12 10:32:34

Thanks for all your replies and reassurance.
waves hello to AngelDog - I hope your DS1 is starting to settle down a bit since the arrival of his baby brother?

I guess by the time he turns 3, DS will have been at playschool for a while longer so might have started to bond a bit more with the other children. I should probably start making more of an effort with the other mums. The one girl he talks about is looked after by her grandparents during the day. Maybe that's a good place to start...

greenbananas DS really enjoys playing with his older cousins (they are 6 and 8) - mainly I guess because they play more like adults than like toddlers - they know how to take turns, are more predictable and listen to him when he talks. He always seems more confident after we have spent time with them, I just wish it lasted!

AngelDog Mon 05-Nov-12 19:56:23

Thanks, IWill - DS1 is sooo much calmer. He's eating better & sleeping better - last night he slept through for the first time in months, and for 12 hours - he normally only manages 10.5. shock We all feel much more cheerful. smile

IWillOnlyEatBeans Mon 05-Nov-12 21:34:12

Hooray! smile
I'm so pleased that everything is settling down.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: