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"Mummy I dont' want to go to school, I'm shy. There are too many children and I don't know who will be my friend....."

(17 Posts)
neolara Tue 16-Sep-08 22:59:30

"......and if I talk to them they might not like me."

My gorgeous, sparky just four year old, said that to me yesterday. She had apparantly spend her first full day at school wandering around vacantly all by herself. She also told me that she hadn't talked to anyone all day.

I could have sat down and wept for her.

She is great one on one with other children. She's funny and lively and has great social skills, but in a big group she freezes. She assumes the others won't like her and opts out.

She had a crap time in nursery last year when she joined a class which had already firmly established friendship groups. She was the only one who knew no-one. On the first day when I went in to nursery with her for one hour, she tried to initiate on at least four occasions. Each time she was told to go away. No-one let her join in, and no-one asked her to play with her. I pretty sure this pattern was played out day after day and after a while I think she gave up trying. I think she learned that if she tried to initiate she would be rejected. Outside of nursery, (e.g. in the park, when meeting new kids at houses etc) she continued to socalise without any difficulty. Now the problem seems to have transferred to school. I suppose it's the same classroom environment.

Any ideas on how I can help my lovely girl?

Mamazon Tue 16-Sep-08 23:11:26

oh that is so sad.

I think i would speak to the teacher and inform her that this is how Dd feels. she can then hopefully help integrate her with teh otehr hildren. im sure there is another child in the class that is just as lonely.

strummer Tue 16-Sep-08 23:18:12

When was her birthday?
If it was not long ago could you not organise a tea party, (not as in a birthday party more tea!) with a few games and ask some girls over.

edam Tue 16-Sep-08 23:21:39

Do speak to the teacher - it is quite possible that he or she will be amazed and give you a long list of children your dd has played with. They don't always report events fully and accurately to adult standards!

And if she is finding it a bit tricky, talking to the teacher will help. The school should be doing a lot of work with new reception children on socialising anyway, which will be a big help to any who are struggling to find their feet.

toomanyballs Tue 16-Sep-08 23:27:25

In my DSs school all the little ones get assigned older buddies that make sure they are ok and play with them if they want them to. Also there are play ground friends that wear yellow bands and any child with no one to play with can go up to and be assured a friendly playtime. I presumed all schools did a version of this.

toomanyballs Tue 16-Sep-08 23:30:14

I agree with edam. My DS was always coming home saying he had an awful day at school due to one event. It took alot of prying and what happened that was good? questions to stop him focusing on the few bad minutes.

Butkin Wed 17-Sep-08 14:19:38

Firstly she probably interacts more than she lets on. They just remember the lonely bits not the bits where they were with others.

However you could ask about a "friendship bench" if you've got similar at her school. This is where children on their own can sit and other kids by themselves can then sit down and talk to them.

powpow Wed 17-Sep-08 14:52:19

she's very young. does she have to be in school this early? could you defer a year and home educate and maybe when she is a bit older and more sure of herself you can put her back in?
maybe that's not an option for you, but i am a firm believer that children start formal education far too early in this country.
good luck.

Rhubarb Wed 17-Sep-08 14:55:49

Find out from the teacher if there is another little girl similar to yours. Then seek out the mum and ask that girl round to play.

Let your dd take in something she likes, such as a favourite teddy or a little toy.

Perhaps the teacher could give her a little job to do during playtime so she's not wandering about on her own?

The teacher should really talk to you about her, try and get to know her and encourage her to get involved in small groups. If she isn't then she's not doing her job properly.

MascaraOHara Wed 17-Sep-08 14:57:38

bless her heart, she sounds a bit like my dd in her personality (although we didn't experience the same issues)

can you have a word with the teacher? arrange for a child to come round for tea maybe.

Also do you have a 'buddy bench' at the school, I talked a lot about to dd how the buddy bench was fine and if dd was lonely she should sit there and someone would play with her.

That said, there is a big emphasise on how important the 'buddy bench' is at dd's school.

She sounds so much like my dd, I really hope to hear a happy update in months to come smile

MascaraOHara Wed 17-Sep-08 14:58:26

sorry xposts with others

onwardandupward Wed 17-Sep-08 18:39:33

"Outside of nursery, (e.g. in the park, when meeting new kids at houses etc) she continued to socalise without any difficulty. Now the problem seems to have transferred to school. I suppose it's the same classroom environment.

Any ideas on how I can help my lovely girl? "

Well,

Either the classroom environment needs to alter in some way to be more welcoming

or

Your child needs to change in some way to tackle the classroom environment with ease and happiness

or

You need to take your child out of the classroom environment until you and she reckon she is ready for it.

Sam100 Wed 17-Sep-08 18:45:50

My DD1 was just like this when she started school - and went through it twice as she moved schools after 1 term as we moved house!

We did a bit of role play so that she could practice chatting to others - I tried to get her to imagine that the other person was shy too and what she might say to them.

Then when she had been there a couple of weeks I asked her to pick one child that she would like to invite home for tea and point them out at pick up time so we could arrange it with the parent. This was a bit hit and miss as one of the first girls she picked went to after school club and we could not track down her mum but eventually we got there!

littlerach Wed 17-Sep-08 18:48:17

Dd1 said similar to me after a week or so of school.

The teacher was supportive and asked dd1 to choose one friend to play with at break time, then she was more confident about speaking to people.

She is now 7 and fine!

Twiglett Wed 17-Sep-08 18:49:48

speak to teacher ... small children lie embellish the truth in order to manipulate make you feel bad for making them go to school.

It takes time to settle

There is a book on Amazon that has been recommended if she really does have a problem forming friendship bonds www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316917303/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

Twiglett Wed 17-Sep-08 18:50:23

Don't over-react in the first 3 or 4 weeks

neolara Wed 17-Sep-08 20:14:20

Thanks all for your suggestions. You have spoken wisely!

Today was apparantly better. My DD said she played with some kids and she has been asked out on a playdate by one of the girls in her class.

The teacher is fab. It is his first teaching post but he has already said that he is going to put my DD in a variety of different groups with particular children who he thinks she might get on with. He's been giving me daily updates.

I think the friendship bench / buddies is a great idea but I don't think the do it at DD's school. I may suggest it in the future.

So I'm going to stop worrying for the moment and try to have a bit more faith in my DD. She is a great kid so I'm pretty sure that given a bit of time others will see that too.

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