5yo - ideas for more social interaction?(6 Posts)
Ds is in reception in a very lovely but small prep school (dh a teacher in seniors so minimal fees for us). We've just had his report and as we already knew, he's absolutely thriving academically. He loves his lessons especially specialist art / ICT / forest school and the extended maths lessons he has. But, they put about how he is often found socially isolated in free play and should be encouraged to make more attempts at joining in even if it's a game he doesn't like / should be given lots of opportunities for social interaction etc.
Their class is 8 children....(bit of a blip year - all others are 15-20) and this is what has concerned me mainly that in a small class, there isn't the opportunity to find a like minded friend. I don't know if it's that or whether he just knows what he wants to do and only plays games he's interested in. He's an only child so quite independent in his play. He sometimes says he doesn't have anyone to play with or doesn't like anyone but then the next day he's playing made up freeze / monster / ghost games with the other boys. I don't know if a normal primary in a class of 30 would be better socially...but he wouldn't get the same academic experience...what's more important.....?
Anyway, I'm also trying to find some other clubs he could go to where there is more social interaction. He goes to swimming and rugby but they are so physical, there is no time to chat! I want to arrange some play dates after Xmas but we are in a totally rubbish tiny rental while we sell our house that I'm ashamed to bring people back here!
The report is quite 'academic brilliant - socially not' that I'm worrying about aspergers now....
Beavers next year.
Look for notices at local church halls and libraries about what might be on
Kids don't worry about the size of the house. Don't let that stop play dates.
My ds had same problem at that age. He is a only child, so he was used to getting his own way.
Sometimes he said he had nobody to play with. I asked him why, and he said he wanted play X, but everybody wanted to play Y. And he didn't ask to join in. He wasn't good at sharing/taking turns/compromise because he didn't have to at home.
He learned the lessen gradually, and now he can play nicely with others.
Yes see about getting him on a waiting list for beavers. They start at 6.
It may well sort itself out when another class below comes and adds to circle of potential friends. DD is in a small private school and they play with children in other classes.
He's one term into YR and he only has 7 kids to choose from. Cut him some slack! Hopefully the forest school etc is building self confidence.
My eldest didn't really click with anyone in her YR class, but thankfully in a year group of 90 she has now found some very like minded friends. I can't really conceive of having such a small group but it obviously does work for some. Presumably he will mix with other years too, and Y1 onwards that will include younger ones which might help.
I think you need to be realistic about him making friendships at age 5 in out of school activities. An hour a week of anything is not enough. Mine have only really made out of school friendships through gym squad (6 hours' training a week) and family friends we see regularly. Also, activities where a lot of the others know each other from school can be quite challenging socially. I was the only girl in my brownie pack who didn't go to the local school, ditto at ballet, and personally I found that quite difficult. Hopefully your DS won't be in that situation, but I would be wary of pinning your hopes on out of school activities, it's not always that easy. He is still very little.
Please don't worry about the size of the house. Kids may say it's small but IME it's not judgemental at 5. Equally, though, he is on the young side for the whole bringing friend home for tea thing.
Dd2 had a similar issue at Reception and her class was 20 girls.
She seemed happier to play with the older kids - her sister's friends. And, like your son, was rather advanced academically. In addition, she decided she was a tomboy...
So - she just didn't want to join princess games that most girls wanted to play. She want unhappy, however, so I let her be.
Now she is in Y1 and things have improved somewhat. She did find a couple of less-"girly" playmates. And made friends with girls from other classes.
If your son OK with the situation -I'd let it be. If he is not quite - I'd try some sort of play dates. If you can't bring them to your house - take them to the park / out for pizza, or something like that.
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