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Children's friends....is this normal?

(20 Posts)
Clockface Fri 17-Oct-08 14:51:22

Just wanted to bounce this off you...Sorry, it's long and rambling. blush

Ds (aged 4.5 y o) is in reception and loves playing with all the other children there. One little boy whom my ds enjoys playing with lives close to us, so recently I asked his mum if the little boy would lke to come for dinner one day at ours. This seemed to throw the mum into confusion and she explained that she wasn't sure if he could come, because he alreay has an arrangement with two other little boys in the reception class, and they all go to each others' houses reguarly. So she didn't want to upset the apple cart, or something. She said "Oooh I don't know, I'll have to ask my husband" so I said don't worry, if you can't that's fine, and left it there.

Afterwards I was wondering if this is normal for mums to set up friendships for their dc with a few children, and then close the books? I guess that when I started thinking about it I realised that I'd had the same ting with dd when she was in reception; she liked the other dc, they liked her, it was just that they already had their friends sorted out and it happened not to be her. (We live in a different part of the catchment area to the other dc in her class, so they all knew each other before they started school).

When dd (my older child) was little I went to a few playgroups etc, and mixed and mingled with all sorts of mums / dc. Now I'm wondering if by not latching on to a particular group (which isn't my nature, I'm too extrovert and always notice the mum in the corner of the playgroup / at the school gate with no-one to talk to) I have messed up my dcs' chance of friendships outside of school. I have got a few good friends with dc (though not at my dc's school) and we see them regularly, although we are v. inclusive and invite all sorts of other mums along too. But I want my dc to have school friends too. Is this normal? Or did I just choose the wrong school?

It's all a bit Darwinian to me though. Survival of the fittest and all that. Thoughts...?

ninah Fri 17-Oct-08 14:55:33

they sound too sad for words ... life saver for me was another mum who'd just moved back from New Z and therefore had lived outside the village, can be cliquey here too, don't want to be part of that. As long as dc are happy with other children at school forgo the would-be exclusive playdates - don't go there!

Dropdeadfred Fri 17-Oct-08 14:55:34

soon enough children will make their own choices about friends, despite their mum's best laid plans. they sound weird to me!!

Clockface Fri 17-Oct-08 14:57:09

So it's not like this everywhere, then?

wessexgirl Fri 17-Oct-08 14:58:31

I think there's an element of this at dd's school - there's a group of 3 girls that dd is friendly with, but their mums are a tight-knit trio and for this reason dd stays on the margins of their group and socialises more with others.

However, they are only 4. Tbh, I think if the other mums expect their dc to stick to the 'approved' friendship group for much longer, they are in for a rude awakening. Children pick their own friends once they are at school, and so they should - the friendship group they start Year R with will probably not be the one they end Year 6 with.

'I'll have to ask my husband' was very fobby-offy though. Bit rude, I think.

MamaG Fri 17-Oct-08 14:58:37

How very odd

As ddf said, soon they'll make their own friends and will insist that htey don't want Tarquin over for tea 'cos he's a wuss

Bumblelion Fri 17-Oct-08 14:59:14

It could be that, like me, that mum has a 'childcare' arrangement with the other mum(s).

I work part-time and have 3 children (nearly 16 (out of the equation), nearly 12 and (very) nearly 7 (next Friday).

When my middle child was at playgroup I got friendly with another mum. When the children started nursery, my son and the other boy went to the same nursery and then school.

Now, nearly 8 years on, her son comes to my house after school two days a week (while she is at work and I am at home) and she has my two younger children one afternoon after school (her day off, I work).

Rather than pay for breakfast club, she also takes my youngest to school for me two days a week.

Now the boys are in high school, they are in different schools, so she does not take her (and my son) to primary school before dropping off my youngest. I drop my son to school on my way to my friend's house to drop off my youngest daughter.

All this means is that my son has 2 days free when he can invite any other friend home (now that he is getting older, it normally means they meet at the park).

SmileandWave Fri 17-Oct-08 15:00:10

Sounds a bit mad. I'd jump at the chance for my kids to go to someones for tea, whoever they were, and so would most of the other mums I know.

Not a bit like yours here.

MrsMattie Fri 17-Oct-08 15:00:54

How weird. 'Sorry, my DC already has enough friends', basically? What a very strange attitude.

And 'have to ask my husband'. Why? Is she mentally incapacitated?

NorbertDentressangle Fri 17-Oct-08 15:00:55

That mum does sound a little odd to me.

DD has a best friend -they are now nearly 9 but became firm best friends from nursery days age 2/3.

However this does not stop them from inviting other friends to play. DD has even had friends to play that are from a different year at school or have only just joined the school last term.

She doesn't exclude anyone because of her best friend and vice versa (and I certainly wouldn't be concerned that by having someone else to play would put bestfriend or bestfriends Mums nose out of joint IYSWIM)

Clockface Fri 17-Oct-08 15:02:40

It could be that, Bumblelion. Although as the mum was explaining to me, she asked her dc's teachers who he played with at school, and set up the friendships based on that.

My ds changes his mind every week who is NBF is, so he wouldn't be much use asking! grin

NorbertDentressangle Fri 17-Oct-08 15:03:21

Just to clarify, when I say

"and I certainly wouldn't be concerned that by having someone else to play would put bestfriend or bestfriends Mums nose out of joint IYSWIM"

I don't mean that I don't give a stuff about how they might feel, I mean that I know that they wouldn't be put out by it. They would be perfectly fine about it

MorocconOil Fri 17-Oct-08 15:04:54

Clockface- you sound lovely, and I prefer your stylee to the ones of the other Mums you describe. I have felt my DC excluded from cosy groups in the past. People do seem to have friends at school whose houses they religiously visit weekly. We have one set of friends from school like that, but only one. At times it has really bothered me, but more recently I have felt it is quite liberating not to be tied into these kind of arrangements. Your children are then free to be friends with whoever they like and it means they have broader horizons.

Clockface Fri 17-Oct-08 15:05:16

Yes Norbert, my dd has two best friends, but we have various others from different places whom we see regularly too.

Do you think it's insecurity / fear of being left out?

Bumblelion Fri 17-Oct-08 15:05:19

In that case, it is strange.

Now my son and my friend's son are at different schools, obviously they still see each other 3 afternoons a week. I am sure as they get older, this will die off but at the moment I do not want my son (and she doesn't want her son) being at home on their own at the age of 11.

Because they are now at different high schools, they have made new friends at both schools from different primary schools. It now seems that my son's new friends are also my friend's son's new friends and vice versa.

More the merrier I say.

Clockface Fri 17-Oct-08 15:06:29

thnaks for input. Must get dressed blush and go do the school run (just out of shower - probbalt TMI...!) blush smile

wessexgirl Fri 17-Oct-08 15:08:40

The first half term in Reception is surely not a very good indicator of who a child's good friends are going to be? They are still getting to know each other.

What will this mum do if the friendship group fractures? Come running to you, perhaps.

mazzystartled Fri 17-Oct-08 15:10:15

I reckon its more likely to be along the lines of Bumbelion's suggestion. Although asking her husband sounds a bit odd.

If you and ds are keen to have him to play, I'd get your son to ask the little boy, and get him to ask his mum.

ivykaty44 Fri 17-Oct-08 15:14:52

Perhaps as it is a regular tea time play thing she was worried that another friend for tea on another night was just going to be too much. (having to invite back etc)

It maybe that she has got herself into this tea time regular thing with the other mums and doesn't know how to get out of it and is going to be much more careful in future.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 17-Oct-08 17:04:10

Is it possible that this mum was being polite - that her son has never mentioned your son to her, so she's not sure he'd want to come to your house?

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