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How do you teach your dc to recognise friendship?

(7 Posts)
someoneoutthere Tue 18-Oct-11 09:43:06

I posted this thread about two hours ago, but it disappeared. So apologies if it's duplicated.

DD (4.6) started reception this september and has settled in well. She is a very confident, social child who is very forward and will greet anybody with a hello and will strike a conversation even with a stranger (appropriate conversation about what is going on). I guess she is sometimes overfriendly, for want of a better word 'on your face'. We have a ds who has asd, so we were so happy for her to be social that we never thought about teaching her not to strike up a conversation with strangers, or take clue about when she is not wanted (if she was talking to somebody who clearly did not want, we said to her that she should just say bye and move on as we were busy). I have been noticing lately that at the school gate, she runs towards other children in her class to say hello and talk about what they are doing. Couple of times I noticed that a group of three girls were teasing her for her and telling one another to move away from her. In fact, one time there was a boy who shouted at her for running to him to say hello. I was not sure how to react as I have expected their parents to tell them to be polite as I would have done. This is bothering me.

Dh says we should just leave her to deal with it, understand that not everybody is her friend and understand when she is not wanted. DD has not had much opportunities to socialise before starting school, we moved to a different country when she was little away from all the family and friends and with all DS's issues, I found it to be easier for her to stay home whilst I did all the work with ds. I am not worried that she is not making friends, she clearly has made few friends and has been asked to go onto play dates and birthday parties. I just want to teach her how to deal with these type of situations or understand when she is not wanted (as she was following the girls around despite they were laughing and moving away from her before I pulled her away). She has no SN by the way, she is just a bit over excited at meeting her classmates and comes across as very over friendly. She is also gifted in that she is at least 2/3 years ahead of her peers academically in every subjects and is not shy about it. She will be the first one to volunteer for any activities and will put her hands up for answering the teacher. I am guessing this is not helping her either in that all her peers seem to be so quiet and still finding their ways.

Chandon Tue 18-Oct-11 10:36:26

Sounds a bit like my DS. He had a habit of hugging people he loved (mostly other boys in his class) and telling them he LOVED them.

He got rejected a fair bit, but seems to take that in his stride. As it didn't worry him, it didn't worry me (though I cringed to watch it some times).

He is just bright and affectionate and outgoing, and now that he is almost 7, he has calmed down a bit with the hugs. He still talks to anyone about anything, and most people seem to think it is sweet. Some people/kids have no time, and then he just wanders off.

I am glad we did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm. When he was born, he burst into this world at high speed (crazy quick labour) and has loved life from the start. It's who he is, and it's not a bad thing.

Your girl will gradually learn from her peers, but will hopefully keep her joyfulness!

PastSellByDate Fri 21-Oct-11 11:42:36

Hi Someoneoutthere

My DD1 is often hugged (well squeezed) by a Y1 girl who clearly adores her and my DD2 often chats away to kids about things they aren't that interested in (finding a penny, a lost tooth, etc...). I think the hard bit as a parent is to realise kids do this all the time.

With DD1, I'm telling her this is a phase for the girl from Y1 and to be nice. Her Mum has apologised about it (my DD1 accidently knocked her over trying to leave the school grounds one day when we were late to drop DH at the train station. We had asked the girl to let go and I was heading out the gate, so my DD1 just ran and the girl fell backwards. We felt awful, but it was an accident and we really did have to go to get the train.). Over the weeks, it has got less and less but we've made a point of making sure the girl knows DD1 is still a friend and always happy to have a gentle hug. We've encouraged DD1 to thank her when it is a gentle hug.

With DD2 (Y2) she's always chatted away to anyone who will listen. She's happy and bubbly and frankly we don't want to change her. You may find that the girls moving away from your DD and laughing are actually enjoying the attention - it's a behaviour which has now become a game. I'm not sure why the boy shouted at her - but maybe having someone rush up is annoying for him - perhaps encourage your DD not to greet him so enthusiastically next time.

It will work itself out. However, at home you can remind your daughter to respect people's space. Discouraging her from being friendly and ready to say a jolly Hello isn't really what you want. It sounds like she's a lovely girl. So your DH may be right - let her work things out - but perhaps you can encourage her gently and gradually to start to respect people's space and save her hello's for people who return the greeting with as much enthusiasm!

It is a phase - so keep telling yourself - this will pass. You'll miss her openness and her enthusiasm to say hello when it's gone, so make the most of it whilst it is her. Those teenage grunt years where you can barely get a word out of them are coming to us all.

tiger66 Fri 21-Oct-11 13:28:26

I don't know the answer to it but as an adult I think that I sometimes can't understand others when they seem to be not interested in conversation and excitement. Sometimes I feel that other people aren't bothered to talk to me or my ds but have had to learn not to take this personally. Both my ds and myself love talking to people and being with others. My ds has always been very exciteable to see his friends and will generally strike up conversation with others. I can't offer advice to him when they don't seem to want to communicate back but I think that it actually comes to thinking that maybe they are a little bit more mature with communication skills than some other children who don't know how to have conversations or deal with people being excited to see them.

I think that as long as your dd has lots of love at home and conversations she will learn to ignore the others. try not to make a big deal of it.

afussyphase Fri 21-Oct-11 14:48:14

I think I was like your DD and it did hurt me socially, and actually I think I went from being eager to talk to everyone about everything, and not shy of raising my hand/ being advanced etc, to being overall kind of afraid of rejection. I think the effects are still with me today. At the same time I agree with everyone who says your DD sounds lovely and you shouldn't quash her enthusiasm! But I really wish that my mum, or someone, LONG before I was 9yo, had told me to watch for how others were responding to what I was saying and doing. In the end, another child - sibling of someone in my class when I was very rejected by my classmates - just flat out told me what people were saying about me, and then I changed my behaviour. But by the time that group had started to accept me, a year or more had gone by, and that's a long, formative time at the age of 9!

someoneoutthere Fri 21-Oct-11 17:22:32

Thank you everyone. I have started telling her to calm down a bit and talk with less enthusiasm, but she says ok mummy, but then forgets when she sees somebody from her class. I am trying to read some social stories about personal space and friendship. She is a clever girl and I am hoping that she will soon get the idea.

CallMeACynicBut Fri 21-Oct-11 17:34:07

Might also be worth mentioning the issue to her teacher. I have a DC who has somewhat similar issues with "pragmatic language", specifically, adapting what he says and how according to the reactions of other people. He gets some help with this from the special needs teacher. He's older, though - perhaps your DC will just catch on as she grows up. FWIW, we're also a family with some ASD genes around, but he is not diagnosably on the spectrum. May well not be coincidence.

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