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DD doesn't have any friends at school, plays alone

(15 Posts)
HappyHippie Thu 11-Oct-12 10:27:10

This is, I'm sure, one of everyone's worst fears when we leave our little ones at school... that they'll be wandering alone with no-one to play. DD told her dad yesterday that she didn't have any friends and that all the other kids played without her. I know the course has just begun (she's in reception and many of the children know each other from previous year at nursery), but I worry she is being left aside. Also, because she doesn't speak English as a first language (she can understand it and speak some, though, but she has a "funny" accent) I think she might have more difficulties making friends. But she's usually quite sociable in the playground... I don't know, does anyone have tips on what to do? Would it be a good idea to speak with her teachers about it?


RillaBlythe Thu 11-Oct-12 10:31:22

My DD (just started reception) says the same.

I'd talk to the teacher so you can get a clearer picture of what's going on.

RillaBlythe Thu 11-Oct-12 10:33:15

Sorry that was a bit brief & sounded a bit ominous! I just mean generally reception children exaggerate - 'nobody played with me at all!' can mean there was a brief period of time where they were on their own. Or perhaps her usual friend was off yesterday. Ask the teacher if she has observed anything & can keep an eye out. If she is lonely at lunchtime regularly perhaps teacher can encourage friendships in the classroom that will transfer.

MerylStrop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:40:31

yes, talk to the teacher and find out what their perception is and see if they have any perceptions

at DDs school the Year 5s&6s have a rota of being infant playground "buddies" and go and get anyone who looks a bit left out involved.

DD was a bit like this in the last year of nursery school - as the teacher said "she's not a follower" so she wasn't that keen on joining in other people's games, so we have talked about being a bit more flexible about what the games are doing well now in yr 1, can still be a bit stand offish

also, I did a bit of engineering and invited people round for tea. Getting them to play on their own is often a good start to playing in a group

Sokmonsta Thu 11-Oct-12 10:41:36

Dd comes home saying she doesn't have any friends too. She only did the last term at preschool and many children had been there the whole year so had 'best' friends. I didn't quite believe her as on the walk too/from school there would often be children shrieking her name.

Ask her who she sat next to in class/at lunch. I found this was a great opening for dd as I'd get 'i sat next to X, we did....' Or what games did you play at break time - 'I played tag with Y' or 'I didn't play with anyone, I went on the trim trail'

As there is possibly a language barrier, speaking to teacher to find out what's going on is a good idea. If there's a particular child dd seems to know best, maybe invite them to tea to encourage her English along. I'm not saying only speak English until she gets the hang of it better, but widen her scope to speak her second language

maebyfunke Thu 11-Oct-12 10:43:05

My DD1 told me the same thing when she started in reception, I was heart broken. I spoke to her teacher who said she was one of the most popular children in the class and always had someone to play with - she just didn't want to discuss it with me!

PastSellByDate Thu 11-Oct-12 11:41:11

Hi HappyHippie:

As the others have said - talk to the teacher and sound him/ her out about how your DD behaves at play time.

Several things may help. Try pointing out things she can play on/ with - with or without other children. Some schools have bikes or scooters for playtime especially for reception children. There may be a hop scotch grid. There may be a climbing frame or slide. If she starts playing with these - she can then invite others to join in.

Try also to remember that during reception - children are moving from playing alongside each other (and not really engaging with each other) to playing with each other.

Finally - try to encourage her to be proactive. Has she invited children to join in play with her? It may be that she's waiting to be invited and the children she wants to play with are waiting to be asked to play. Bear in mind that all the Class R children are new at this.

You DDs English and her social skills will improve throughout this year - one way you can help is to arrange play dates, have her join clubs (rainbows, dance, after school clubs, etc...) and invite a lot of her classmates to a birthday party (great ice breaker - and also helps you meet other parents. Doesn't have to be anything fancy - a friend (Mexican national & her German husband) hired a church hall, cooked a bunch of amazing traditional mexican and German dishes and had a pinata and party games. It was fab!).

Hang in there - I'm sure it will all turn out well.

HappyHippie Thu 11-Oct-12 12:52:38

Thanks for all the comments! I'll speak to the teacher

rrbrigi Thu 11-Oct-12 13:53:16


My DS started reception too and his first language is not English. He speaks a bit "funny" English. My son has 3 friends. I think the biggest problem, when they play and DS should communicate with them he is not quick enough, because he still think what did they ask, how to answer etc. The teacher told me as soon as his English will be fluent there won't be any problem with socializing with other children. They need time to learn English. Perhaps in her class there are other children whose first language is not English? She can start to make friendship with them, because they are going through on the same.

Hope everything goes right for her.

kateecass Thu 11-Oct-12 20:40:14

Definitely speak to the teacher. My DS used to say this a lot and it obviously really worried me. He never was really one to go into what he did at school..still isn't but if questioned further he'd say I played with so and so and so and so. Last year I went into school to listen to reading and I could watch him playing at break times. He'd play with lots of children and still when I got home would tell me he'd play with no-one. My DD says it too sometimes (she has started reception) but I don't think for one minute it's true!

gabsid Thu 11-Oct-12 21:29:46

DD (just turned 4 and in pre-school) has started saying that too. I find she has changed in the last couple of weeks. She always found someone to play with, she seemed to quite naturally engage and share a game. Lately, she has turned very shy again (she was when very young) and says she hasn't played with anyone, and that she wanted to but they didn't. Also, she used to tell other children off loudly if they did something she didn't like, and now she lets it happen and then starts to cry?

I am aware that they change emotionally at that time but I hope she will bounce back.

denise77 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:28:25


My Dd would also come home saying she had no one to play with the whole day it's awful for you to imagine that she is now in year 1 and has friends its still early days they are all still getting to know each other
With regards to English not being her first language the problem we had was that my Dd was not of the same colour as everyone else and this was pointed out in her first week and several times after comments like I don't like brown I don't like you because you are brown heartbreaking for us to listen to her tell us these things in the end I went into the school and spoke to her class about where Dh and I where from took loads of things from home for them to feel had a photos so they could see where we came from . Dd loved it it boosted her self esteem - so maybe an option if hurtful comments are made about her accent. But definitely approach her teacher and good luck

Kewcumber Thu 11-Oct-12 22:32:56

My DS used to say he played with no-one and talked to no-one in reception and did nothing. Then I started volunteering for an hour a week. That wasn't exactly how it was in reality!

But yes speak to the teacher - but even so many children take more than a few weeks to settle into reception. Not speaking English wouldn't be a big issue in our school, there are routinely children starting without any english at all and it never seems to hold them back in the medium term though I know some schools are probably different.

nancy75 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:34:11

We had problems when dd started school, my advice is invite everyone and anyone home for tea/ to play. She Won't get on with everyone but she will make some friends. If it makes you feel better I was regularly close to tears worrying about Dds lack of friends, she has just gone into year 3 and now has loads of friends and is really happy at school.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 08:45:38

Agree with the others...this age, they exagerrate terribly! One mum at our reception had similar worries and has arranged a whole class playdate at the soft play centre over half term....she just asked all the Mums and Dads if they could bring the DC and then they'll all get to see one another....also, this is a good chance for you to get to know the other parents and to maybe arrange some playdates for DD.

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