DD feeling left out at school — The Bump
Pre-School

DD feeling left out at school

DD started pre-K this year, and keeps telling me she feels left out and no one wants to play with her. It breaks my heart. I know it's important to let kids work things out on their own, but I also feel as parents it's our job to guide them and teach them how to work it out - especially at this age. She's an introvert, and I'm wondering if her shyness comes across as unfriendly to the kids. But, once she gets to know people she is pretty friendly and she tells me that she talks to the other kids. I've tried asking her if she is unfriendly or bossy, etc., but she says no. I realize she might not know she is doing it, but I'm at a loss for what I can do to help her.

The first time she told me about it, I figured it was isolated and just told her that sometimes people aren't nice and they don't mean it, but it would probably get better. But now, it seems to happen a lot so maybe there's something going on.



Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: DD feeling left out at school

  • Ditto Auntie. And is she trying to play with kids and they won't or she wants them to come to her? Does she know how to approach people or is she too shy?
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Thanks for the advice. She actually did have a playmate that she has done a few play dates with, but now that child is also leaving her out. She says she tries to play with them but they tell her they don't want top play with her. I don't know how much of that is really true because she does misinterpret things.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Loading the player...
  • Definitely talk to the teachers.  Last year, DD1 used to come home sometimes and say her best friend didn't want to be her friend any more just because she played with someone else that day.  Or she would say no one wanted to play with her when really they just didn't want to play the game she wanted to play.  We talked a lot about how to approach other kids in class and ask to join in.  We also played on the playground after school almost every day with six or seven other kids from her class (this might not be an option for you), and that helped her to branch out with her friendships.
  • Thanks, I will talk to the teachers. But, your post made me think of something. Some of the girls in the class have started getting together to play after school (they don't invite us, even though we would be able to go). The moms seem to have formed a little clique type thing. I wonder if that has something to do with it. Not all of the girls are in this group b/c their moms work all day, but it's almost all the girls in the class who are in it.
    mrszee2b said:
    Definitely talk to the teachers.  Last year, DD1 used to come home sometimes and say her best friend didn't want to be her friend any more just because she played with someone else that day.  Or she would say no one wanted to play with her when really they just didn't want to play the game she wanted to play.  We talked a lot about how to approach other kids in class and ask to join in.  We also played on the playground after school almost every day with six or seven other kids from her class (this might not be an option for you), and that helped her to branch out with her friendships.



    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • meg1974 said:
    Thanks, I will talk to the teachers. But, your post made me think of something. Some of the girls in the class have started getting together to play after school (they don't invite us, even though we would be able to go). The moms seem to have formed a little clique type thing. I wonder if that has something to do with it. Not all of the girls are in this group b/c their moms work all day, but it's almost all the girls in the class who are in it.
    mrszee2b said:
    Definitely talk to the teachers.  Last year, DD1 used to come home sometimes and say her best friend didn't want to be her friend any more just because she played with someone else that day.  Or she would say no one wanted to play with her when really they just didn't want to play the game she wanted to play.  We talked a lot about how to approach other kids in class and ask to join in.  We also played on the playground after school almost every day with six or seven other kids from her class (this might not be an option for you), and that helped her to branch out with her friendships.


    I can see why that would make her feel left out :(. We just played at the school playground, so anyone who wanted to join in could. There was kind of a mom clique in DD's class the year before, and I always felt awkward trying to organize play dates for DD. It's still early in the year, so hopefully things will get better.
  • She is pretty shy until she gets to know people, and I do think that probably has something to do with it. I've tried to tell her how to work on that, but an introvert is a perfectly normal personality type, and it's hard to get her to see how it's wrong (because, really, it isn't). It's just tough b/c at this age, kids aren't mature enough to know that shyness does not equal unfriendliness.

    Are there other 4-year olds who know how to deflect an invitation graciously? From my observations of other kids, most of them just say what they're thinking (sort of like opening a birthday present they don't like and not having the ability to pretend they like it like adults do).

    The other moms in the clique did not know each other before now. I would hope the moms aren't telling their kids not to play with her simply b/c she is shy or may have turned them away once or twice. If DD told me another kid did that, I would tell her she should be kind to and inclusive of everyone.

    I am very friendly to the other moms, but they are still pretty cliquey. One of the moms even mentioned to a few of the girls that they were going to play together after school the other day, and she said it right in front of DD. I thought that was kind of insensitive.

    -auntie- said:
    meg1974 said:
    Thanks, I will talk to the teachers. But, your post made me think of something. Some of the girls in the class have started getting together to play after school (they don't invite us, even though we would be able to go). The moms seem to have formed a little clique type thing. I wonder if that has something to do with it. Not all of the girls are in this group b/c their moms work all day, but it's almost all the girls in the class who are in it. 

    You've mentioned in other posts that your DD is shy. How are her social skills? Can she deflect an invitation graciously, without hurting some other little girls' feelings? Could her shyness/slow to warm up nature be at the root of this somehow? Perhaps she rebuffed her peers enough times that they feel she wants to be left alone and are giving her what she wants. Could she have rejected the advances of another child and the story have gotten around the alpha moms in the clique?

    Has it been possible for you to break into this group- do they know each other from older children who went through the school together? Do they all live in the same neighborhood? I noticed at DS's preschool that the old timers whose older kids had been at the school together and were now in elementary together where they all did PTA and sports together didn't reach out to newbies like myself unless they wanted help with something.






    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • edited October 2013
    I'd absolutely talk to her teacher about your concerns. She may be able to provide some insight as to what is really going on in the classroom.
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Fifth Birthday tickersLilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • IMO, learning how to maintain friendships/interact in a group is one the most important parts of preschool. Guiding social interactions is a major part of a preschool teacher's job. I second everyone else that you should start with the teacher to see what she sees in the classroom. And I would not rely too much on a 4 year old's recollection of the situation.
    image

  • JoannaJesJoannaJes member
    edited October 2013
    meg1974 said:
    She is pretty shy until she gets to know people, and I do think that probably has something to do with it. I've tried to tell her how to work on that, but an introvert is a perfectly normal personality type, and it's hard to get her to see how it's wrong (because, really, it isn't). It's just tough b/c at this age, kids aren't mature enough to know that shyness does not equal unfriendliness.

    Are there other 4-year olds who know how to deflect an invitation graciously? From my observations of other kids, most of them just say what they're thinking (sort of like opening a birthday present they don't like and not having the ability to pretend they like it like adults do).

    The other moms in the clique did not know each other before now. I would hope the moms aren't telling their kids not to play with her simply b/c she is shy or may have turned them away once or twice. If DD told me another kid did that, I would tell her she should be kind to and inclusive of everyone.

    I am very friendly to the other moms, but they are still pretty cliquey. One of the moms even mentioned to a few of the girls that they were going to play together after school the other day, and she said it right in front of DD. I thought that was kind of insensitive.

    -auntie- said:
    meg1974 said:
    Thanks, I will talk to the teachers. But, your post made me think of something. Some of the girls in the class have started getting together to play after school (they don't invite us, even though we would be able to go). The moms seem to have formed a little clique type thing. I wonder if that has something to do with it. Not all of the girls are in this group b/c their moms work all day, but it's almost all the girls in the class who are in it. 

    You've mentioned in other posts that your DD is shy. How are her social skills? Can she deflect an invitation graciously, without hurting some other little girls' feelings? Could her shyness/slow to warm up nature be at the root of this somehow? Perhaps she rebuffed her peers enough times that they feel she wants to be left alone and are giving her what she wants. Could she have rejected the advances of another child and the story have gotten around the alpha moms in the clique?

    Has it been possible for you to break into this group- do they know each other from older children who went through the school together? Do they all live in the same neighborhood? I noticed at DS's preschool that the old timers whose older kids had been at the school together and were now in elementary together where they all did PTA and sports together didn't reach out to newbies like myself unless they wanted help with something.





    TBH, OP, I think you may be reading into this situation a bit. Some of the moms may be getting together because they enjoy each others company, have the same schedules, or live by each other. I don't make it a goal to befriend every preschool parent I meet. DS has a small group of boys that he really likes and that is who he wants to see out of school. I don't intentionally snub people, but groups just kind of naturally form some times.
    image

  • I totally understand about the moms' groups. I try not to get too concerned with it. I think the issue in this particular situation is that there are very few girls in the class, and most of them are in the group. DD is the only girl who goes part-time who isn't in the group. When the moms talk to their kids about how much fun they're going to have after school together right in front of DD, I can't help but think she wishes she could join them.

    I may be sensitive to this because I'm always very inclusive, and you're right in that people probably don't even think about it. But, just b/c it isn't intentional doesn't mean it can't be hurtful.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If i were you, I would reach out to the parent of one child that your DD may have an interest in befriending. Have a small playdate with them. Doesn't even have to be a kid of this other group. Usually people just kind of keep doing what they are doing until someone specifically offers up something different.
    image

  • JoannaJes said:
    If i were you, I would reach out to the parent of one child that your DD may have an interest in befriending. Have a small playdate with them. Doesn't even have to be a kid of this other group. Usually people just kind of keep doing what they are doing until someone specifically offers up something different.
    We did this a few months ago. We had a few play dates with her then "best friend." But, now she says that girl leaves her out as well.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Honestly it sounds like you have a lot of reasons and yet only excuses about how to improve it. It sounds like your feelings are hurt and instead of asking them to hang out again you are digging in your heals and getting your feelings hurt. Having a play date months ago does not make a lifelong friendship. The girl may be a brat but she also might want to hang out with her friends that she sees after school. And the Moms might be trying to hurt your feelings but they probably just did not think anything about it. Ask them to hang out.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Wow, you totally misread my post LOL! When I said "we did this months ago," I was referring to reaching out to one of her friends. We reached out to them months ago. We have continued to do the play dates for the past few months. And, just do you know, I did ask them to hang out again - just last Friday (not sure why you assumed I didn't). Please try not to read too much into things.

    Littlejen22 said:
    Honestly it sounds like you have a lot of reasons and yet only excuses about how to improve it. It sounds like your feelings are hurt and instead of asking them to hang out again you are digging in your heals and getting your feelings hurt. Having a play date months ago does not make a lifelong friendship. The girl may be a brat but she also might want to hang out with her friends that she sees after school. And the Moms might be trying to hurt your feelings but they probably just did not think anything about it. Ask them to hang out.



    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thank you, that's great advice! I definitely do plan to speak to the teacher. I just haven't found a good time to do it yet. I also like the idea about talking to the other moms. I'll see if I can do that in the next few days.

    Interesting what you said about talking, though. DD is a pretty advanced talker. I'm not sure if that has something to do with it. Either way, I'm sure the teacher will help. Thanks!

    -auntie- said:
    meg1974 said: 

    Are there other 4-year olds who know how to deflect an invitation graciously? From my observations of other kids, most of them just say what they're thinking (sort of like opening a birthday present they don't like and not having the ability to pretend they like it like adults do). 
    Some can. My two older nieces certainly could juggle the social demands of group interactions with surprising grace. It's a trait I always admired in them, especially since DS has ASD and struggles so in this area.

    The other moms in the clique did not know each other before now. I would hope the moms aren't telling their kids not to play with her simply b/c she is shy or may have turned them away once or twice. If DD told me another kid did that, I would tell her she should be kind to and inclusive of everyone. 
    Maybe they came together because their kids are asking for playdates and they've bonded since this isn't the age of the solo playdate right away. DH and I have made friends with a lot of people we wouldn't otherwise know based on DS's friends and activities. 

    I am very friendly to the other moms, but they are still pretty cliquey. One of the moms even mentioned to a few of the girls that they were going to play together after school the other day, and she said it right in front of DD. I thought that was kind of insensitive.
    I wonder what would happen if you approached one of the cool girl moms when she was alone and picked her brain about how to encourage your DD in her social interaction. This kind of mom loves to be the expert. I bet if you said something like "Your little Isabella is so outgoing. I really envy you. Gracie is so shy and takes extra time to be comfortable with the others. How do you help Isabella make friends- she's so good at it." 
    I would start, though, with the teacher. When kids struggle socially, sometimes it's because of behaviors they have that make them less desirable as playmates. Maybe your DD has rebuffed her peers a few times too often and they aren't willing to put themselves out there again. Maybe she's too rigid in her play and they've evolved into a more free-form interactive style. Maybe they're really verbal and she's slower to process on the auditory channel- a lot of girl play is very language rich- if she a delayed speaker or have delayed auditory processing they won't wait for her. DS had a dear friend who had CAPD- she was so bright but struggled to process the content of what the girls said, she ended up playing with boys exclusively.










    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards