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I don't understand Children's friendships at all

(6 Posts)
ragged Thu 22-Sep-11 12:21:30

Does this just sound normal? It's never quite what I expect, and now I'm thinking I just don't have the right expectations. What do you think?

11yo DS: considers himself to have "mates". Has virtually no contact with said "mates" outside of scheduled stuff (like school, one club). Nobody seems keen on him (never gets phone calls & very few invites) Has a long list of "mates" he will invite to forthcoming birthday party, at least.

9yo DD: has "many" friends at school who are desperately important to her. Only one ever makes any effort to invite her to things. Same friend phones, calls around and invites DD frequently. DD does not consider this person her very best mate but always says yes to her invites. DD has one friend she rarely sees (lives far away, no joint clubs or school) but they are glued at the hip when they meet up. That's the only one of any of DC's friendships that I kind of understand.

7yo DS: I consider him to have no friends. Never invited to anything. He thinks he has loads of friends. At lunch time always eats and plays with only one other child (or so he says), whose parents are unfriendly (to both me and DS). This other boy never says hello if he passes DS in the road (may vaguely smile at DS's greetings, at least).

Is that just normal? I worry about the 7yo DS not having friends, but now wonder if I shouldn't. I was bullied badly as a kid, by the way, so have no objective reference from my own childhood. DH was actively discouraged by his parents from socialising outside the family/school hours so he can't say.

TheProvincialLady Thu 22-Sep-11 12:24:33

I don't know if it's normal as my DC are much younger, but it sounds like you are worried about your boys especially and you would get a balanced view from their teacher, surely?

buzzskillington Thu 22-Sep-11 12:25:20

The 7 year old's friend may just be shy - I know some children that barely acknowledge each other when they're out of school, but play together in school.

As long as your children seem happy, I wouldn't worry too much.

mrsruffallo Thu 22-Sep-11 12:25:30

Sounds normal to me. Parents could be very busy, hence the lack of invitations home. We really don't know what children get up to at school, or how their friendships work, but as long as they seem happy I wouldn't worry about it.

jesuswhatnext Thu 22-Sep-11 12:27:00

at the ages you have given it sounds fairly normal to me - dont forget also that boys and girls have HUGE differences in the way they interact, girls being far more intense, ime, boys just like mates who play football/x box etc, they dont tend to share 'deep' friendships in the way girls do.

ragged Thu 22-Sep-11 18:33:15

Thanks for replies...I am not sure about Boy-girl difference argument. My boys had other lads they were "in love" with, effectively, at about y1 age. Never stop talking about the other boy, always wanting to invite them around. But DSs never had anybody in love with them (seems unfair). And DD seems oblivious to the friend who is gaga about her (in spite of some understandable social engineering to try to encourage less closeness by the friend's mother).

Guess I just want them all to come good in the end smile.

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