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Reception problems - friends and tummy aches ..

(7 Posts)
drumbeg Wed 29-Jun-11 14:32:54

Hello all

I?ve a little boy who has just turned 5. He started reception last year and until recently has been having a great time. His teachers are very pleased with how he is doing and we?ve just had a great end of year report.

There are two problems, possibly related to each other, and I?d really welcome people?s thoughts.

The first is that for the last few weeks he has talked a lot about having a tummy ache. There is clearly something not quite right, as he seemed very constipated, so we took him to the doctor who prescribed something that is helping a little. He seems particularly bothered by it after he has eaten. It?s still not right so we?re going to take him back to the doctor tomorrow.

The second problem is that he seems to be having some problems at school with his friends, nearly all of whom are girls. Recently he?s talked about them not wanting to play with him and that he doesn?t have any friends any more. I?ve tried to get him to talk about it but it?s really hard as I?m sure you all know to get a sense of what is happening. It?s possible he?s a bit too forceful about wanting to play ?his? games so I?ve talked to him about taking turns, but I don?t know if that has made much difference. One of his teachers commented on the fact that he is on his own a lot in the playground, even though he is very confident inside, so I?m also wondering whether he finds the whole playground thing a bit overwhelming (although this wasn?t something that seemed to bother him when he started). The connection between all this and his tummy is that his teachers say his tummy aches often become most prominent when its time to go outside to play.

As well as being worried for him, it hits a couple of nerves for me and my partner. He is looked after in the week by his dad who feels that he?s let him down by not getting into the whole play date thing after school. I?m more sociable, but I?m not around much in the week. And I'm really worried about his tummyaches and how best to respond to them - I don?t want him to think we don't believe him, but I don't want to encourage him to use them as a way of avoiding things he doesn't want to do.

Any thoughts people have, or similar experiences, would be really welcome. Is this just something he needs to go through as he learns about friendship, or is there anything more we can do to help him? I?m wondering whether we should be making a deliberate attempt to broaden out his friends to include more boys (although it seems a bit sad to be engineering things so much)? We?ve got a end of term interview thing coming up so I?ll talk to his teachers as well, as what he is describing seems so at odds with the happy confident boy they describe in their report. I'd also like to talk more about what goes on in the playground and how aware they are of that.

Thanks all.

drumbeg Wed 29-Jun-11 14:34:18

Sorry about the weird question marks in this message - they should be apostrophes, don't know how that happened!

frostymomma Wed 29-Jun-11 17:35:54

DD (nearly 4) has used tummy aches (and leg aches, finger aches, anything else aches) as an excuse to not do things that she doesn't want to do, so I can empathise with not knowing how to handle it.

We have first of all tried to resolve the whatever-ache by kissing it better, putting a plaster on, etc so that she knows that it's on the mend (whether it was made up or not). Then I try to ask other questions to get her to talk about other things that may be bothering her, friends being a common thread, eg. who did you play with today/how did you feel when that happened/why do you think xx doesn't want to be your best friend any more? A bit of reassurance and guidance can often help. Alternatively, I'd try to distract her by doing something she enjoys, so she doesn't ponder on the negatives. She has usually forgotten about the tummy ache fairly instantaneously.

I would definitely chat to the teacher, maybe not wait til the parents evening. They have probably come across this loads before and can put your mind at rest and come up with possible solutions.

I know it may seem like over-engineering the situation with arranging play dates for new friends, but I try to do it anyway. DD gets so excited if she has a friend for tea (whether she plays with them already at school or not!) - it makes the slight awkwardness setting it up in the first place worthwhile.

Whatever route you take, hope it sorts itsself soon. You've already got the GP involved, so it sounds like you've covered that off. Good luck.

drumbeg Thu 30-Jun-11 15:14:08

Thanks. My husband took him back to the doctor today and he seems pretty sure its constipation! We're seeing his teacher on Monday and will chat to her then. I think there is something odd going on with friends etc, but that his tummy problems are making a bit more fragile and less robust than he would be normally.

What are others experiences about boys and girls at that age and the point at which they stop wanting to play with each other at school?

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 30-Jun-11 21:14:18

Could be constipation but my ds went through something very similar last autumn, suddenly complaining of tummy ache, went on for about 3 weeks, he had quite a lot of time off, I finally sat down and asked him about his friends at school, we spoke about things casually and he mentioned that one of the girls had been hitting him in the playground and it made him feel bad. I spoke to his teacher and he has been fine ever since.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 30-Jun-11 21:14:36

Could be constipation but my ds went through something very similar last autumn, suddenly complaining of tummy ache, went on for about 3 weeks, he had quite a lot of time off, I finally sat down and asked him about his friends at school, we spoke about things casually and he mentioned that one of the girls had been hitting him in the playground and it made him feel bad. I spoke to his teacher and he has been fine ever since.

Bramshott Thu 30-Jun-11 21:49:24

Is he drinking enough water in school? Dehydration can be a major cause of constipation. Hope he perks up soon.

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