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How important is it to help your child socially?

(10 Posts)
everyusernameisinuse Thu 18-Dec-14 18:35:18

DD is in reception and is not doing too well mixing with other children. She is running around with the children but on the outside of the group. We are having her assessed for this and other reasons.

I am not good socially myself and find it hard to talk to the other parents although I do try. I imagine the parents that make friends will arrange to have each other's children over to play - and this will create a bond amongst their children? If we're not as involved my DD will suffer surely?

There is very few children near where we live. She spends a lot of time playing with her little brother.

In the end do children end up choosing their own friends or are these early friendships really important

Hedgehogsbuzz1 Thu 18-Dec-14 18:59:07

Are you concerned she might have Aspergers? Is she empathic and able to read the emotions of others?

MaryWestmacott Thu 18-Dec-14 19:30:07

If she's struggling, can you try to help a little? Perhaps ask if there's anyone she would like to ask round to play, then see if you can catch the mum (or email/ text if you have class contact details) and ask their dc over. For first play dates, the parents normally come too, which should help if you can't transport 2 reception dcs and your ds.

Alternatively ask if they want to meet at a central location like a park one Saturday morning (or over the holidays).

It is hard if you aren't a socially confident person yourself, but this might help her to have other children in a "1 to 1" situation, and a lot of the other mums will be just as shy!

MaryWestmacott Thu 18-Dec-14 19:32:43

Oh and I'd love to have play date requests over the Christmas holidays, no idea what I'm going to do with reception aged ds for half the holidays! (His preschool was in a nursery so only closed Christmas Eve until 2nd jan, and I found that hard enough to fill last year)

ChristmasJumperWearer Thu 18-Dec-14 19:38:09

In Reception year, I found with my DD it was very important to a) have play dates and invite the parents to stay and b) for her to attend as many parties as possible and for me to stay and get to know the other parents. It helped a lot.

I'm also shy/awkward socially, so had to put on my brave girl pants to do it, but yes, it did help. We also held a big birthday party for her and invited as many people as we could.

Storytown Thu 18-Dec-14 19:48:48

My DS1 was similar in reception and the staff caused me a lot of worry by highlighting his "not forming relationships" as an issue.

In hindsight, it was that he was very strong willed about what he wanted to do. So, he was happy to pay with anyone who would play his game but if no-one did, he was happy it play on his own.

By 8/9 yo he had a group of 6/7 boys he was closer to but no special friend as such.

Now at 13 he is absolutely thriving socially. A large group, not one of the "in crowd" by any means but seems to be popular with kids from all groups and several people who consider him to be their best friend while he insists he like all his friends the same. The strong willed thing still applies and he will not be lead into mischief by friends - he can make his own but it's never because someone told him to IYSWIM.

If the school are concerned listen but sometimes I think their assessments are based on whether the child is ticking the box for "normal" which really means average and after all, all children are different.

I was working so unable to do much in the way of playdates, although as he got older we were pretty much open house for the local kids at weekends. He thrived best in very small group extra curricular clubs like tennis and swimming. (was rubbish at tennis but the small group and slightly shy young coach were great for him socially)

fatterface Thu 18-Dec-14 19:51:31

I don't know any of the parents in DS's reception class really, and am rarely there to pick up and drop off. He's had one kid round to tea so far and that is someone he has chosen as a friend rather than someone whose mum I know.

BackforGood Thu 18-Dec-14 20:00:31

I think you are asking 2 different questions - you make the point about your dd having an assessment because of her not interacting with other children well. If she has social interaction difficulties then she will most likely benefit from being taught skills specifically, which might not come about through having someone round to play.

OTOH, if you are asking 'Do only the dc who's parents are available to host other children round to play all the time make friends' then the answer is definitely no. dc make their own friendships at school.

TrisMas Thu 18-Dec-14 21:30:51

I arranged lots of playdates for dd in reception and I also made some good friends through doing it. I did it because I was worried about dd making friends. She is now friends with everyone and liked by everyone but doesn't have a best friend. On occasion she will play on her own but is perfectly happy to do so and it's actually her own choice.

One thing I quickly observed both with dd and others, is that even if playdates are arranged, when they're back jn school they won't necessarily play with those children even though they seemed to play well when they were on their own. They will play with who they want to. I still worry about dd because I am very social and like to have friends around me. But dd isn't me. She is strong-willed and comfortable in her own skin, she doesn't have to be surrounded by people and can always find a friend to play with if she wants to.

Your dc will get there, it just may take a little time. If she's happy though, don't worry.

Hoppinggreen Thu 18-Dec-14 21:54:39

I networked my arse off to help DD when she was in reception as she refused to play with anyone apart from her preschool friend.
She's now in year 5 and has a good group of friends but she did need help and gentle pushing " how about we invite x to tea" or socialising with groups of mums and children.
My DS is in year 1 and has needed no help at all.

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