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Thread: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

  1. #1

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    Default 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    We live in Sweden and my eldest DS1 (6) has just started school a few months back in mid-August. So cultural differences aside, I'm hoping for some supportive advice, whilst noting that I am suffering insomnia (no doubt making me anxious about the situation) and am 36 weeks pregnant (hormones going bananas, had to get up during yesterday's parent-teacher interview at school, as I thought I may cry !)

    It seems that DS1 has trouble making initial contact with peers/socialising. It's only been 2 months, and still feels that everyone is in a settling period. He seemed to be ok at preschool where the play/environment was a lot more structured (and all 9 children moved to the local primary school he is attending, 5 of which are in his class). Every time I pick him up, he is playing on his own (the school day runs from 8-1 here, then from 1 onwards, there is a less-structured "play-based" activities (where the kids chose basically what they want to do)...it's basically semi-supervised after-school care.

    DS1 doesn't seem sad, doesn't complain (and occasionally is playing with a group of different people) but I am sad for him, remembering how much sucky stuff I went through in my childhood without complaining. So maybe I need to work on myself LOL! I was often left out at school and I think that's what's upsetting me. I hate the thought of him being somewhere he is not thriving, or worse still, unhappy.



    He spends a lot of time watching youtube clips of people playing minecraft (DH and I have different/polar attitudes to screens, but if it were up to me, we would have much less access to them), so I am worried this is affecting his socialising skills.

    As I am working from home and have a flexible day, the crazy thought of going to play (and observe) has even crossed my mind, as they're often outdoors. I am aware that my own reactions could make the situation worse and I need to give DS1 as loving/secure an environment as possible so he is confident in himself and plays with others happily.

    Thanks for letting me ramble at 4am - your constructive support is much appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    Hi, obviously there are many different reasons why your son might not be playing with people at the moment. I just wanted to give you one positive anecdote.
    My eldest (about to turn 6) also doesn't play much with other kids. We're in the Netherlands and here they start school at 4. At first his teachers were a bit worried about him because of it. But over time (and as he got more comfortable in the class) they became less concerned. They realised he just likes playing on his own. He can play with others and sometimes does so but often he just prefers to do things on his own and he's perfectly happy doing that. I was also concerned he was having trouble fitting in and being comfortable with the other children and there have been times when I've really encouraged (even pushed) him to interact more with them. But I've also accepted that he does just often prefer to play on his own. He has a couple of good friends but he needs his time to himself as well. It also helped when DH remembered that he'd been much the same as a kid.
    Sorry for the ramble. In short I'd say as long as there's no sign of anything nasty going on and he has some friends and can play when he wants to, a large amount of playing on his own isn't in itself a problem. But of course you know your kid better than I do

  3. #3

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    Default Re: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    hello fellow european BB member! :-)

    thanks for your reply - if you were rambling, then I was full-on verbal diahorrearing (at 4am!)

    it was reassuring to read your words, i realise that he is a person that likes solitary play (but he would be watching youtube all day, every day, if it were up to him)... so I'm keen to support him in making new friends and socialising with his peers.

    Now that you mention it, I think my DH was also similar. They didn't have iPads back then but he used to be lost in his comic books for hours apparently.

    re: nastiness. I don't think it's nasty (or deliberate exclusion). I have only seen one thing that left me feeling uneasy.... once when I picked him up he was following two girls around and they were trying to get away from him. It was becoming a bit of a cat-and-mouse thing, but it kinda made me angry. I was in such a hurry we just had to go anyway, so I didn't follow it up with him until later, when he said that he had been playing with them but he accidentally stepped on one of their fingers and then they were trying to avoid him.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    Sounds a lot like my DS. He's very happy playing lego and reading all day.
    I've also found it really hard especially when there are really lovely kids who want to play with him but he doesn't feel like it and doesn't seem to realise or be particularly bothered that they may stop asking to play if he says no all the time. It's certainly a tricky thing to balance encouraging the development of social skills and friendships without pushing his poor little introvert self too far out of his comfort zone.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    ok - i should draw a distinction - i wouldn't necessarily call my DS1 a loner or an introvert. I know he does like social play, but in his words "he doesn't know what to play" with the other kids. So he seems to be having trouble initiaing play. I have seen him a few times deeply engrossed in play, but this is not the majority of the time.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: 6 yo with socialising issues at school

    Ah also reasonable. With my boy it's more that he would often rather play on his own. He does like to play with others sometimes but he also seems to need a large amount of alone play time to decompress and recharge.

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