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Anyone else's reception child not made any friends yet?

(15 Posts)
freetrait Wed 02-Oct-13 20:41:21

She sounds normal. My 4 year old is only just making it out into the playground in time to play- she was so slow eating her dinner it was lining up time by the time she got out! Just recently she is getting faster and said, "Mummy, guess what, it wasn't lining up time when I finished my lunch!". She invariably says she plays by herself or doesn't say who she played with, but I know that she is quite sociable, although she will play with whoever is around and is certainly very fluid in who is her "friend".

Lunchtime can be quite tricky for YRs. Our school has started a buddy system with Y5s, think that has helped a bit. Also they do organise various games and activities and have equipment to play with.

12345Floris Wed 02-Oct-13 13:38:32

Really? After barely two weeks at school and most of those part time, Reception children are supposed to be establishing friendships already?

From what I've read friendship is an entirely fluid and fickle thing, at least until Year 3.

Then again, my opinion is that 4 is too young to start school anyway.

olaybiscuitbarrel Wed 02-Oct-13 13:15:10

Just want to say thanks for all the supportive and constructive replies.
I will be patient! She has talked about playing with other reception children a few times now, although still some playing on her own too.
I'm planning to invite one child she has mentioned to play after school.
You have it so right AmandaP - it's very hard having to let her go off into the big, hard world and sort things outf themselves!

PastSellByDate Fri 27-Sep-13 09:51:41

Hi olaybiscuitbarrel

I have been there with both DD1 & DD2 (now Y6 & Y4 - and more from the point of trying to get 'names' - which neither really managed until around Christmas Year R). I think you should try to accept they're so young that many are still playing alongside each other, rather than being 'friends'.

Friendship is a gradual thing that relies on shared experience, similar likes/ dislikes and requires a good deal of time to come about.

My advice is see this as a slow process and one which truly won't settle out until late Year 1, even Year 2.

Things to help things along:

Play dates (invite a child over at the weekend or arrange to meet in the park, etc...).

Birthday parties (doesn't have to be extravagant - but throw a birthday party - kids are happy playing old fashioned party games, watching a movie and eating pizza).

Encouraging your DC to share, play nicely and include others.

The single most important thing you can do is smile & say hello in the mornings. If you're the friendly parent who's pleasant to talk to, odds are other parents will form a good impression and that will feed into your child being invited to things.

It's very early days - you're DC has only been in school for about a month - so please don't make any judgements about their success or failure in making friends (especially if they're a new 4 year old).

Try to encourage your child to see many children as friends rather than plum for just one specific BFF. Our DD2 has a great friend who's been her BFF since YR, but her family will be moving away in a few months - DD2 is absolutely devastated, but I have been trying to prepare her for the fact that this is coming and ensuring that she says can see that she has many other friends to play with in her class & outside school.


lottieandmia Fri 27-Sep-13 00:40:36

Same situation here with my reception aged dd3 - she goes looking for her sister at lunchtime (who is in year 5).

RiversideMum Thu 26-Sep-13 20:03:59

It's not uncommon for children to play alongside others rather than with them at this age.

Jellyandjam Thu 26-Sep-13 18:54:08

My little boy has just started Reception and tells me he plays with his sister or he says he plays with no one. This last week though he has mentioned a couple of children to me. It is sad to think of them on their own but I am sure they will all make friends once they are settled in and get to know each other a bit more.

louby44 Thu 26-Sep-13 18:39:54

Loads of kids say that and it's often not true! They all play together in little groups and move between friends throughout the day.

I've had 2 parents come in to say "he says he hasn't got any friends" which I have just shaken my head at and put them straight.

No they may not have a 'best' friend but they've only been in school for 4 weeks. It's good to have lots of friends and I always tell my class that!

BlackMogul Thu 26-Sep-13 15:42:29

My children played the games organised by the midday supervisor when they started. They took a little while to make friends, but sometimes you have to be proactive and invite children round to tea. In a week or so, see if she can name a child she would like to come and build from there. She will be ok.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Wed 25-Sep-13 16:43:03

DD1 doesn't have any real friends yet. She mentioned a child who she knew from pre-school, plus a boy she sits next to (they have a set seat for certain activities, like changing for PE, so they always sit next to each other) but no actual friends. I think that's pretty normal a few weeks in.

It's so hard isn't it? I find I just want to smooth off all the world's corners and rough edges for her, but obviously some things they jsut have to figure out in their own time. Speak to someone if it is upsetting her though - DD1 doesn't seem upset by it.

JustOneMoreBite Wed 25-Sep-13 13:55:22

No advice, I'm afraid, but I'm in the same boat. Your DD sounds very similar to mine in terms of not liking big groups and doing better in a more structured environment. She's definitely enjoying school and is happy to go but she's not keen on the rough and tumble of the playground at lunchtime. Doesn't really seem to know many names yet, either.

I was always pretty rubbish at making real friends (I tended to just get 'taken on' by one of the more extrovert girls), so it does make me anxious that she might struggle, too. Just keep trying to remind myself that it's very early days and that she is not me! She did have a couple of good pals at preschool so I'm hopeful that she'll soon find someone on her wavelength.

olaybiscuitbarrel Wed 25-Sep-13 13:48:13

Thanks, I needed a bit of reassurance! I had assumed there would be a bit more support for them at lunchtime, but perhaps I will need to ask for it.
She's really enjoying the classroom side of things and I don't want lunchtimes to spoil it for her. Tbh I find the playground quite intimidating at morning drop off and I'm pretty socially confident!

Periwinkle007 Wed 25-Sep-13 13:47:21

quite normal at this stage of the term. I would probably just mention it to the teacher/TA/supervisor that she says she is scared at lunchtime and has been playing on her own.

there could be a few things happened, 1) she was on her own for about 30 seconds but she remembers that because it felt scary, 2) she genuinely has been on her own but most schools try and make sure that doesn't happen by lunchtime supervisors or older children helping them find someone to play with and 3) she has been absolutely fine but is just telling you whatever she wants to tell you (horrible to say it but children can start to erm fabricate the truth a little at this age - mine has)

don't worry about it, it is still very early days, just be reassuring to her that lunchtimes are fun and enjoyable and mention it to the staff.

onetiredmummy Wed 25-Sep-13 13:35:38

I have ds2 in reception & he doesn't have any special friends yet either. Don't get stressed, at 4 I think they all generally all play together & friendship groups don't form yet. The boys all run around in a giant herd & the girls go & play in the house & they all play with whoever is there at the time. DS2 plays by himself as well, I think that they are still parallel playing like they did at nursery, so playing side by side with individual games rather than sharing games.

DS2 can barely tell me the name of his classmates! He knows there's 3 Connors but that's about it smile

If you want to be proactive then try asking her teacher if a dinner lady can help if she is scared. Some schools run lunchtime clubs for children who find it hard to socialise e.g. if a reception child hasn't attended nursery then they need to get used to the idea of communal playtimes gradually. Ask her teacher who she plays with.

Don't worry, your DD will not reach year 1 with no friends. Its still early & they are still settling & its very unlikely that she will be left out at the minute brew

olaybiscuitbarrel Wed 25-Sep-13 12:58:17

Dd started reception this term and although she seems happy enough, she hasn't made friends with anyone yet.
She says she plays with a child she already knowsat lunchtime (who is in yr1) but once or twice she has said she played on her own.

She's always struggled in big groups and unstructured situations but is fine in small groups. She says she is scared all the time at lunchtime.

I'm so sad for her and worried that all the other kids will have formed their friendship groups soon and she'll be left out.

Anyone else been in the same boat? Any advice?

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