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DD (6yo) has asked me to help her make more/some friends - how?

25 replies

mascaraohara · 18/03/2009 09:28

I think the obvious solution is to ask to her to chose people to invite round for tea but I work full time and obviously can't expect my childminder to offer said children playtime and tea.

I could never invite my dd over to one of their houses because

a) I'm just not that sort of person
b) I don't really know any of the mums

I feel v guilty that dd feels lonely because all the other mums seem to know each other and so the children have long established friendships.. I don't know any of them really and feel this is why dd is often not invited to parties/round to play etc

I could potentially leave work a couple of hours early maybe every thursday for 3 weeks (meetings permitting) or something like that but would one play date with 3 different children be enough to initiate a friendship? maybe she'll get a return offer?

and what if she asks them and they say they don't want to come? (my anxiety their not hers)

She's a really lovely kid, one of those people in life that just don't have a bad bone in their body but I think possibly a little quiet at school and dominated by her 'best friend' who doesn't allow her to play with anyone else.

I've told her to try and talk to one new person in her class everyday and I've told her that they probably feel nervous like she does but if she talks to them first they will think she is brave and confident and frinedly and then they will speak back to her. I've also told her that if her that she must tell her 'best friend' she is allowed to play with anybody she wants and that they can all play together.. no idea if I've done the right thing

OP posts:
Bramshott · 18/03/2009 09:29

Can you invite them for playdates on Saturday afternoons? The parents will probably be super-grateful and jump at the chance!

mascaraohara · 18/03/2009 09:30

doesn't seem to be the done thing. I suggested that once to one of the mums I sort of know but most of them are SAHM and weekends seem to be reserved for family time

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GooseyLoosey · 18/03/2009 09:31

Ask her who she would like to have around and then write a note for her to take in and give to her friend asking her to come around for lunch at the weekend. If a childmider drops her off for school, get the childminder to check with the other mother that her child has got the invite and whether she would like to come.

Most parents don't do weekend playdates, but I find that where the parents work, they are very sympathetic to the fact that you can't do them through the week.

mascaraohara · 18/03/2009 09:32

I felt like a social leper that day.. being a single parent I'd never really thought that people might not want to arrange things for weekends lol

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mascaraohara · 18/03/2009 09:34

I guess it would be different maybe if I said we were going to the cinema and I'd said to dd she could take a friend?? the parent might be more up for it if it's an event maybe?

Afterall, all the parties are on weekends and all invitees turn out then??

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MamaG · 18/03/2009 09:35

Could she attend Rainbows? A lot of her school friends probably go and it would be nice for her to mix with a different bunch. Hopefully her best friend won't be there to stop her playing wiht others.

Agree, just keep asking for Saturday lunchtime play until one of them says yes - I'm a SAHM and I don't mind my DC going to play at others' houses at weekends

pollywobbledoodle · 18/03/2009 09:36

does dd's best friends mum have a circle you could meet?.....maybe say to her that you are feeling out of it all and could a group of you go to the park/soft play one saturday

join pta?

ask dd who she would like to play with outside school and you and dd write an invite for other child to give to her mum

Bramshott · 18/03/2009 09:37

Hmm, that's tricky then. Although just because one mum has said that she doesn't do them, doesn't mean everyone thinks the same way! Do any of the other parents work, even part time? If so, they might be more receptive to weekend playdates? Your event idea is also a good one - taking them to the cinema or something.

Does the PTA organise evening events? Might be a good way to meet other parents, even if you have to get a babysitter. And then once you know the parents better, it might be easier to sort things out for DD?

pollywobbledoodle · 18/03/2009 09:38

am also a sahm and because a lot of mums i know work late, weekends are good for us....keep plugging away!

dilemma456 · 18/03/2009 10:58

Message withdrawn

Grammaticus · 18/03/2009 11:00

Yes I think you're right about a cinema trip, or bowling or similar. Also, you tend to find the reserved-for-family-time stuff fades as the kids get older, IME.

Nemoandthefishes · 18/03/2009 11:02

agree just keep trying. I am a sahm and would still jump at chance for DS to go somewhere on a sat as DH works most weekends.

MollieO · 18/03/2009 11:03

I'm in the same position. I work full time and ds has weekday after school playdates which I reciprocate on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Seems to work out okay as most families can spare their dcs for a couple of hours at the weekend (and get on with shopping, house work etc).

handbagqueen · 18/03/2009 11:09

Weekend (or school holiday days) invites are even more special than coming back for tea during the week. One of the mums in my DDs class invited half the girls in the class (8) over one saturday for lunch and the other half over the nexy saturday. They did some craft activities (Baker Ross website is great for ideas) and played in the garden and had some lunch - she did this because she has 3 children and doesn't get to invite children back for tea as she is forever ferrying her sons to their clubs. It was a great idea, some of the mums stayed and helped so it was a way of getting to know them too.

Over the school holidays we tend to hold a couple of open house days where I invite loads of people over and anyone who can make it comes over and they can all have a play and some lunch - again its a casual invitation.

If you want to do it on a smaller scale then cinema, bowling going to a play area with just one of two friends is a great idea.

FuntoLearn · 18/03/2009 12:34

We are doing up our house at the moment so its not really suitable for play-dates. My DD is 5 and hasnt been invited to a friends yet or vice-versa.
Bit worried she might get left out of the circle of friends in class. I work part-time.
DD has asked me why no-one invites her round

Bramshott · 18/03/2009 12:39

Playdates don't have to be at a house FtL - why not invite one of DD's friends to come to the park, or on a walk? Once the weather is a bit warmer you can do a picnic tea to bring out.

FuntoLearn · 18/03/2009 12:49

Soory if I'm asking a stupid question, but do you normally include their Mum?

wishingchair · 18/03/2009 12:59

My daughter is a bit like this and is dominated by a best 'friend'. I talked to the teacher and she is actively splitting them up during activities and this is encouraging new friendships.

Secondly, in my experience from chatting with childminders, they are very happy to have friends for tea (assuming childminder is looking after child in child's house, not CM's house). It generally means the children go off and play on their own leaving CM to get on with things.

CarofromWton · 18/03/2009 13:07

Funtolearn - in the past I have given the mom the option - "would xxx like to come round for lunch on Sat? You can come yourself too if you like" - that sort of thing.

I work part-time and TBH I can go too far the other way - I often ask my kids' friends round (after school and Saturdays) because I know they enjoy it so much. What I find is that my hospitality becomes expected and my DDs don't necessarily get reciprical dates. The problem doesn't seem to be with their friends (they are lovely and always happy to be with my DDs) but parents can be lazy, too busy or not even in tune with their DC's needs for a social life outside the immediate family.

It can be quite hurtful for the child not to be invited to friends' houses, but there's only so much you can do to counteract that; I just make sure that I make the time to welcome their friends here.

Jeffa · 18/03/2009 13:11

Can she not do ballet/gymnastics/swimming/Rainbows/Girls Brigade/football/art etc etc at some point at the weekend or early evening? If she did some kind of club it might be easier to invite a child from there back to your house after the club, or once she gets into it, get her to invite a friend from school there too.

Bramshott · 18/03/2009 13:41

Once they are at school, you generally don't invite the mum. Mind you, there were a few occasions last year (DD1's reception year) when mums came with their DCs because they were a bit shy etc. You can always ask "will she be happy to come on her own, or do you prefer to come too?"

Grammaticus · 18/03/2009 16:36

Mums only in reception, IME too, and not always then.

Jeffa · 19/03/2009 10:45

We have sometimes invited mum in for coffee at the beginning if child is shy and has come during a holiday time. WOuldn't otherwise though, and didnt in year 1/reception either

mascaraohara · 19/03/2009 11:50

gosh loads of responses. thanks.

I just had a skim read and saw a couple of comments about clubs.. she goes to Rainbows, her best friend then joined 4 weeks later. she also does swimming and has until recently did trampolining

my laptop is about to dies. will login later and read and responsd properly.. just didn't want to not reply

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hedgiemum · 19/03/2009 17:07

Have you discussed with her class teacher and teaching assistant? If you explain she's feeling a bit dominated and would like to make more friends, they may well be able to move her to a different table/ encourage partnering up with others etc... School are very keen to discourage exclusive friendships, in my experience. School may also have suggestions of others who are feeling a bit lonely, choose those first for playdate invitations! Also, ask whoever takes/picks up from school to be on the lookout for new children - and pounce on them with invitations!

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