Popularity - or lack of...(16 Posts)
My dd is in reception and at parent's eve last night the teacher mentioned that she has no close group of friends like the other girls do and that she prefers interacting with teachers than peers. At lunchtime she sometimes plays with others and sometimes on her own - she seems happy with both. She is not particularly shy but is an only child, if that makes a difference. A lot of the boys and girls in her class talk about 'marrying' so and so but nobody ever mentions my daughter. Does this mean my dd is destined to be unpopular?! She is happy and this is the main thing but... I don't want her to become unhappy.
My ds was similar at that age. Only child, preferred interaction with adults than children. But like your dd, he was happy to go to school.
I think it was quite difficult for him to interact with children because he didn't understand the dynamics between children at first. Also he has a quite quirky personality and was mentally mature for his age.
It took a while, but he has lots of children now in yr4.
Its a young age, lots of children take time to make friends, as long as she's happy I wouldn't worry.
Some of the kids will probably already know other children from nursery etc so will have ready made friends. They won't necessarily be making new ones.
You could ask the school what they do to encourage children to play with each other and not leave others out (most schools have games etc for reception age kids to encourage playing with others or they mix up 'partners' in class time so kids get to know each other).
Incidentally, at recent parent/teacher meetings at dd's school a few of the children had those sort of comments from the teacher - none of them are only children. My (only) child didn't receive such comments. Very likely then, being an only child makes no difference at all.
IME, inviting children to the house didn't do so much, since he was still in charge at his own house, like he had choice of toys, etc. What worked better is go to parks with other children. He had to learn to do whatever others wanted to do. And I can keep an eye on whats going on, so I can give him advice about how he should be interacting with others, etc.
Weather is getting better, so maybe you can ask some parents to go to the park together after school?
Actually, he met his current best friend at the park, played together, and became best friend ever since. They didn't even talk to each other even though they were in the same class for over a year.
Ah honey try not to worry. My little girl was exactly like this. Broke my heart that she was on her own at lunchtimes but the school were amazing and initiated groups for her to play with, maybe you could request that the lunchtime monitors do this for your little girl? Mine is now very happy and much more confident and popular just a year on, though she still prefers her own company sometimes which is really good I think xx
Perfectly normal. Lots of children that age prefer 'playing alongside' others to playing with them. Or so a mixture of both. And it's NOTHING to do with being an only child. It's good that the teacher has noticed it as she will presumably set up some opportunities for play with others for your daughter and encourage her but really - it's perfectly normal behaviour at that age.
Uhm, not sure about generalization of nothing to do with only child.
I think it would affect some child. It did to mine. He was always center of attention, no sibling competition, surrounded by adults, etc.
I am not saying it will be true for all the "only child" , but I think it's true sometimes being an only child can be a cause of friendship issues.
Anyways, at this age, parental involvement is a huge factor, ime. You can make lots of opportunities for your dd to interact with others.
But I also think it's great that she can be happily entertained on her own. Same with my ds, now he enjoys friendship, but also enjoys time on his own.
My DS was similar at that age, now 14 he still doesn't really have many friends. He is quite happy, has never had any problems with friendships/ bullying, but he is naturally a bit of a loner. Several teachers tried very kindly to set him up with other kids , which didn't really work & he never wanted any children round after school ( & not surprisingly got very few invitations, which he generally refused anyway) it's just the way he is. He's sport obsessed and does loads of sports clubs and competitions. It used to really worry me but now I'm much less concerned. We can't all be social butterflies.
Milk, your ds sounds really cool. I hope my ds turns out like yours when older.
If your DD is happy, I would try not to worry.
But, at the same time, I would probably invite one child (at once!) for a playdate and, again, try not to worry if this wasn't reciprocated, see if there are school clubs available to her at lunchtime and after school where she might find a soul mate and, also, get her to do a "social" activity after school. Something like Rainbows perhaps.
I think leeds2 is right, it's a good idea to try some social things too, after all some DCs just need a bit of encouraging and help. I tried lots of things with my DS when he was in ks1, and a bit older too. I didn't give up entirely until he was at secondary!
My dd is in year one, she had a "best friend" in reception and other friends but there was no interaction outside school much, class parties didn't happen and play dates weren't a thing.
Fast forward to year one and she's in a lovely little group of close friends, there have been numerous parties and play dates and friendships seem much more established.
Last years best friend is still in her group of friends but dd has a new best friend ( for now! ) and seems a lot more settled.
Reception is very much like you have described for many children, my friend has a dd in my dd's class and just prefers to drift about or play alone, despite my dd inviting her to do things.
I really wouldn't worry too much op, they grow up so much between reception and year one and are still only finding their feet now and who they feel comfortable with.
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