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DD struggling to make friends having just started in reception

(18 Posts)
MrsBrollyhook Fri 02-Oct-09 22:41:49

Does anyone have an experience of their child finding it hard to interact with the other children? DD is a one of the youngest and is very shy, plus didn't know any of the children in her class well (only met oner a few times) before starting.

At first she wasn't talking to the teacher or classroom assistant, but that's starting to improve. But the teacher and my husband and I are worried about her not making friends. She plays on her own and doesn't talk to her classmates.

I have one play date lined up for next week, plus she is going to a party with most of the class on Sun. Any experiences/suggestions would be great, really starting to worry about her.

Thanks x

lexcat Sat 03-Oct-09 09:09:02

How's your dd feeling if she's shy maybe she happy playing on her own till she's found her feet and more confident to make new friends.

I was a very shy child and I would take time to make friends, in new groups I would often play on my own till I got to know the group and would make friends then.

bluejeans Sat 03-Oct-09 09:12:34

Can you ask the teacher to pair her up with a 'buddy' or two? this worked when my DD was at nursery aged 4 and too shy to mix with the other children who mostly knew each other already

chachachachacha Sat 03-Oct-09 09:18:54

its still early days so try not too worry too much. its a good sign that she wants to go to the party and it'll give you a chance to observe her outside the home and classroom.

Could the teacher set her up with a buddy for breaktimes and during play sessions?

does she have any little friends that she plays with outside school?

chachachachacha Sat 03-Oct-09 09:19:23


LynetteScavo Sat 03-Oct-09 09:23:03

Wow..sounds like you are doing a great job, having lined up a play date...and she has a party invitation too!

I think you jsut have to give these things time.

My DD, who has just started reception, is quite happy to interact with other children, but certainly hasn't made any what I'd call "friends" yet, and is still choosing to stay close to the one boy she knows from nursery.

I hope your DD enjoys the party.

roundabout1 Sat 03-Oct-09 13:59:37

Hi Your dd sounds just like mine, she's an aug baby & is the youngest in the class. She doesn't have any friends at the school & to make things worse her friends are a few weeks younger so not even in school yet. She has started to settle much more this week even though she is very quiet & shy. She has two girls that she plays with most days so I would say she is gradually getting there. Good on you for setting up a playdate. My dd went to a classmates party in the 2nd week of term & although she didn't have the best of times it did seem to work for bonding them together iykwim.

forehead Sat 03-Oct-09 15:24:11

Op don't worry, it takes time . When my dd was in reception , i was really concerned, because she did not appear to have any friends. During the second term she became close to other girls in her class and now has eight 'best' friends. Most children are trying to find their feet in reception and at that age they tend to play alongside each other, rather than play with any specific child.

MrsBrollyhook Sat 03-Oct-09 20:06:05

Thanks for all your replies, it's good to hear other children are in a similar situation. I suppose most of her class seem so confident because you tend to notice the outgoing ones!

lexcat - she does seem happy in her own company and takes a while to suss people out. Having started talking to the adults is the first step I suppose.

bluejeans/chachachachacha - A buddy could be an idea, but as she tends not to talk back to children I think they might get fed up of trying!

roundabout1/LynetteScavo - it's reasurring to hear your 2 also don't have "best friends" yet. My DD's not alone!!

forehead - I thought it was quite common to still be playing alongside other children, but the teacher saying she's "really worried about how DD's settling" made me worry.

I suppose as long as we pursue a few friendships and she's not unhappy playing mostly alone I shouldn't worry desperately. Also the teaching assistant is going to be playing some games with some of the shy children this week to encourage more conversation, so hopefully that'll help too.

Thanks everyone for making me worry a little less!

merrymonsters Sun 04-Oct-09 15:28:32

My nephew did not speak to his classmates for the first few months of school. The teacher told my sister that DN needed outside help, including psychologists. It turned out that he had glue-ear and couldn't hear very well. He's had grommets put in and he's now interacting with the other children more. He's always been quite shy but his hearing was a major factor in his lack of interaction with the other children.

So I'd get her hearing checked.

Corriewatcher Sun 04-Oct-09 22:42:47

When my DD was in reception, she didn't know anyone initially either and didn't talk to anyone for most of the first term - she didn't start talking to her teacher until half way into the second! But you would never know it now. She is in Year 2, has a great group of friends and is full of confidence.

One of the best things I did to help was to organise a birthday party for her and invite all the class. She was born in January, so not too far into the school year. But I was worried that, as she was so quiet, no-one would ever think to invite her to their parties. So I sent out invites in November to everyone. And everyone then invited her back to theirs. A bit sneaky I know, but the social interaction of parties really helped. One tip about parties is to maybe get there right at the start - my DD found it really intimidating to walk into a party room full of children.

I also invited loads of children on playdates. There were some which didn't really work out, but there was one playdate where DD really clicked with the girl and things just got much better after that.

Hope that helps

MrsBrollyhook Mon 05-Oct-09 12:12:01

Corriewatcher - it really helps to hear your daughter's experience.
Went to a birthday party yesterday and DD joined in with games etc., but not easy to talk to/play with others in a big group. Did discover that a couple of other girls really love dogs, as DD does, so she's talking in some pics of her walking her grandparents' dog and particularly wants to show them to these girls! Hopefully a common interest could help!

I think I'll just keep going with parties, playdates and sending things into school. She'll get there eventually!

hotpotato11 Mon 05-Oct-09 13:24:57

Oh its very early days yet.Lots of the more diffident children prefer just to hang back and observe to begin with.As she gets more confidenta about talking at school she will draw in other children.

MrsBrollyhook Mon 05-Oct-09 14:42:34

I thought it was early days too - until the teacher told me she was worried! She didn't really bother with the children at pre-school either, so think she's just going to take longer than most children.

hotpotato11 Mon 05-Oct-09 22:43:21

Some children just do like their own company best and that's fine.That's just how they are.It only becomes a problem if they want to play with othere and can't access that.

hormonalmum Tue 06-Oct-09 12:30:23

Just a thought but what about having a little party - (maybe Halloween if it is your thing) and ask her if she would like to have 3 people from her class over for a couple of games and a "spooky" tea / lunch.

MrsBrollyhook Tue 06-Oct-09 15:10:41

A little party would be a good idea, might have to think of another excuse than Halloween as DD not keen on dressing up (she's not awkward in every way!), plus the whole class are going to a little boys birthday/Halloween party.

But a little tea party is a good plan. Thanks.

fimrie Tue 06-Oct-09 16:53:50

My son's reception teacher said that it is very common for chidren to play on their own at this age. My son is quite outgoing but also doesn't seem to have made any friends yet, so I don't think it is too unusual by any means.

Hope the tea party goes well!

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