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Over friendly 4 year old(9 Posts)
DD is a young 4 year old (end June birthday) and has just started reception, which she loves. She’s a very sociable and loving child, always looking to make new friends. She was always extremely popular at nursery so I didn’t have any concerns about her starting school.
The problem is she’s a bit too friendly. She shares a table with two girls she went to nursery with so isn’t used to keeping her distance from them (and isn’t expected to do so now) and before and after school
I see her being too tactile and trying to touch them and hold hands. The other girls flinch away. She also tries to talk to them too much and they walk away.
I find this very triggering since I didn’t have an easy time at school and I am petrified she will have the same experiences as me, which have affected my whole life.
I’m hesitant to ask her to modify her behaviour as I don’t want to to become self conscious but I suggested to her gently that she doesn’t touch other children, using covid as a handy excuse. But this clearly confused her as it’s contradictory to what she has been told previously.
Any advice for how to deal with this, even if it’s just ‘leave her to work it out for herself’? She’s such a sweet little person and it’s making me sick with worry. I have been dreading drop off and pick up and feel that I need to whisk her away quickly to avoid the situation so it’s turning it all into a negative time for me too
I think you do need to start talking to her, and remind when necessary, that she shouldn't be trying to hug/hold hands/touch other children without permission. Some people don't like it and that's something she needs to start learning now. As for her talking too much, does she do that at home, too? You can talk to her about the importance of being a good listener.
I really wouldn't worry too much. She's still very young and still has a lot to learn about reading social cues, which is totally normal.
Actually you make a really good point about being aware of people not wanting to be touched. We are actually very careful at home not to hug / kiss etc without consent so I’ll talk to her about that explicitly.
Yes she’s very talkative and not always great with listening, which is something we are trying to improve. She’s just a child with a lot of energy - and I struggle with this a bit as an introvert. She’s just started gymnastics lessons, which I am hoping will help with this.
Thanks for your input!
I agree with the pp about explaining that not everyone likes to be touched - try and relate it to a direct example for dd, so is there a relative who she's not always keen to hug, you could come at it from that angle?
She is very young though and I'm sure she will learn my DS is also in reception but he's 6 months older than your DD, he has a friend who is very tactile and always has been (they were in the school's nursery class together last year) and DS is less so, and I've witnessed friend being a bit too full on for DS' liking on occasion. It doesn't put DS off the friend as he likes him, thinks he's silly/hilarious etc etc. I think he just tells him he doesn't like xyz and friend probably stops eventually!
I had a chat with her this evening at bedtime and said that in the same way that sometimes she doesn’t want me to hug her, sometimes her friends don’t want to be touched. I also said that at school it’s not really appropriate to try to hold hands and things all the time. I felt like I was kicking a puppy but she seemed to take it on the chin.
@tempnamechange98765 you’ve made me feel a lot better. I’m probably projecting my own anxieties onto her but I saw her friend shrug her off and started panicking that she was being rejected and left out and I couldn’t bear it.
I do that too, also projecting my own anxieties. I can't bear the thought of my baby being left out!
But we have to keep it inside and not worry too much easier said than done eh!
@tempnamechange98765 I thought it would be a few years before I started worrying about things like this!
Mine’s the opposite and wouldn’t even say hello to other kids in the playground for two terms, but I think it takes time to sort out the ‘norms’ in any new situation, give her time.
@Brown76 you’re right about working out what the norms are. When I spoke to her this evening she said ‘So it’s different to nursery’. Which was good I guess because she was obviously processing and understanding what I said
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