Trouble making friends at pre-school... — The Bump
Pre-School

Trouble making friends at pre-school...

Hello.  I'm normally on pregnancy boards, but I have a 4-year-old son.  I have a question about my son making friends at pre-school.  I might be over reacting, so please bear with me... 

We moved to a new town in April, and my son started going to a pre-school in the neighborhood.  Yesterday was the first day of this school year, and my son was happy to go to school.  When he came home, he said he had fun, so I was happy to hear that.  However, later on, while we were walking our dog, he started telling me that when he walked up to some kids to play together, they ran away from him.  These are kids who he made friends with in the previous year (between April and June), and one of them often comes to our house to play.  I asked him if he had asked them if he could play together, and he said he doesn't think asking would work.  He tried to play with them a few times, but they kept running, and no one would play with him, so he decided to play by himself.  He said, "playing by myself is fun too."  He told me everything in nonchalantly.  I asked him if he felt sad, and he said,"no, maybe a little bit, but I'm fine."  He says, "everyone is my friend, and they are all nice."  When he started this school in April, I went to watch him a couple of times during the outside play time, and I saw some kids refusing to play with him, saw him playing by himself, and some kids trying to take away the toys he was playing with, but I thought it was only because he was a new kid.

Imagining him isolated makes me upset.  I changed schools twice when I was a kid, and one of them was a very bad experience, so I'm having these flash backs of those days, and that doesn't help me either...  When I think about myself, I'm blessed to have some very good friends, but I can't say I'm very sociable, so I'm afraid my son is going to get influenced by me.

My son used to be super shy until he was 2 and a half, like he hated everyone but me.  When he became 2 and a half, something changed inside him, and he became very outgoing.  Even then, he always prefers playing with adults or older kids who care about him and take care of him, and he seems to have harder time to make friends with kids his own age.  Like the boy who comes to play at our house but runs away from my son at school, he has a brother who is two years older than he is, and my son gets along with this brother better.  

What should I tell my son about the kids who run away from him?  He obviously wants to play with them.  Should I tell him to forget about them and play with someone else or by himself?  Or should I tell him to keep trying?  I don't think those boys are bad, but some kids become very mean when they form a group, so I don't know what to tell him.  My son doesn't seem to care about it as much as I do, but as a mother, I'm hoping he has a good time at school...

I'm sorry again if I'm over reacting.  After all, not everyone gets along even in kids' world, so I really hope he will find friends who he can get along very well.

Any opinions or suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you! 

m/c - Dec 2005, DS - March 27, 2007, m/c - Oct 2009, DD - Feb 20, 2012

Proud mother of two breech babies:)

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Re: Trouble making friends at pre-school...

  • Thank you for your replies.

    When I dropped my son off this morning, one of the boys who he said ran away from him ran up to him eager to talk to him about their favorite toys.  We got there early, so there were only 5 or 6 kids there with 4 teachers.  He definitely does better when there are not too many kids around.  There were a couple of kids who he liked to play with last school year, but they are not coming to the same school this year.  I guess he has to start making new friends again.

    When my son was little, I thought he might have autism, but his doctors said no and laughed at me.

    He is bright and outgoing now, but he tends to be a little competitive, so that might be annoying to some kids.  Well, in the end, he has to learn how to get along with other kids himself.

    Thank you again. 

    m/c - Dec 2005, DS - March 27, 2007, m/c - Oct 2009, DD - Feb 20, 2012

    Proud mother of two breech babies:)

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • This happened to my DD at a play date yesterday. When we got there, the little girl whose house it was announced loudly "I don't want to play with her!" and clung to her mom. Another set of kids arrived and she repeated "I don't want to play with her, just them". I felt so bad for DD. She's very friendly and this girl and her had been in preschool together the year before and DD went to this chick's birthday party earlier this year. The mom was mortified, and had a talk with her, but then "playing with her" became the other 4 kids running and hiding. After 2 hours I was over it, LO provided a great excuse to leave. I used the experience as a good time to talk about it. Asked her how she felt and then we talked about that's why I insist she play with both her buddy next door and his 2yo brother. Told her how she felt when she and her buddy run away from his brother is how the brother feels. She was then nicer to him last night when they played. I think that's about all I can do. You can't make kids be friends, hopefully you son will make friends as school gets going. Maybe ask his teacher to help the kids determine what things they have in common.
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    DD1, Kathleen 9/15/2007

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