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#1 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I cannot seem to meet my youngest child's socialising needs - I wish I could, but I can't.

She often complains of being lonely or not having many friends - but the truth is she does socialise with children at least 5 times a week. She has Sparks, swimming, public skating, and free time where there are lots of six yr old around while her siblings are in a Hsing class. On occasions we have kids over, or visit others. She also goes to a babysitters once a week - and yup, there are kids there. I would not say she has a large amount of friends - but she does have some and I have given her every opportunity I can. I wish a bunch of pleasant 7 year old girls would move into the neighbourhood, but that is not likely to happen.

Would you send a child to school if you could not meet their social needs?

There is a part of me that thinks being near other kids all day would work for her (although it might not - she went to K and did not make any great friendships) - and there is a part of me that thinks "no" - school is not worth it. I do not want to change our life style over this, I do not want to deal with schools, and there is a lot about schools I do not agree with (philosophically). Moreover, I really do think her expectations are a little out of whack - and that she needs to learn to find happiness from within - and not from constantly wanting to hang out with others.

Anyone else have a child at home who wants to hang out with others all the time - how do you deal with it??

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#2 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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Couldn't read and not reply. My kids have gone to traditional school, private school and alternative public (multi-age) school - but we've never homeschooled so I don't know that my opinion will be helpful. But are you open to sending her just this year to see how it goes? Are there any multi-age/parent co-op type programs within your public school district? Our district is small but has quite a few options.
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#3 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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Are there any kids at all ages 5-9 in your neighborhood? At that age, some of my best friends (well, only friends, really) were a few boys.

Could you try to schedule a weekly sleepover with whoever her best friend is?
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#4 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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#5 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
Couldn't read and not reply. My kids have gone to traditional school, private school and alternative public (multi-age) school - but we've never homeschooled so I don't know that my opinion will be helpful. But are you open to sending her just this year to see how it goes? Are there any multi-age/parent co-op type programs within your public school district? Our district is small but has quite a few options.
I am not open to it - yet.

I would really prefer to solve this within a Hsing context.

Our school board is rural and there are few options. One thing I know they are open to is part time enrollment - but there are a host of issues that come with it (btdt with an older child).

edited to add: I feel guilty. Am I trying to change her by asking her not to be so peer dependant? That's not good. But at the same time - I do not want her to want to socialise all the time - I really do feel it is better if people learn to make their own happiness. Sigh.
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#6 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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have you discussed with her that school is not constant socializing all day long? that 1st grade (i am assuming that since you posted about sending her to K last year) is even less "social"time than K was? that a lot of the time she wouldn't get to sit with whomever she wants or have to work with the assigned kids, not her choice? sure, they do work in pairs sometimes, but you aren't in school to socialize, you won't even necessarily be in class with your friends.
i think sometimes because of tv and movies kids have an unrealiztic expectation of school.
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#7 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She would be in grade 2 - she has a November birthday and the cut off here is Jan 1st.

Honestly, she has not asked to go to school - she claims not to like school work (we are eclectic/Unschooly) and sees school as "work" so.....

It is me. I feel sad when she talks about being lonely and think about school as a possible solution - she has not mentionned it at all.

Mostly, though, I want to help her find ways to be happy with what she does have.

Yes, I do think she has unrealistic expectations. Her older brother has friends over a lot. And I mean a lot. Her older sister has friends over more than her (although not constantly - and some of my older DD's friends ). Both of their friends, however, are mobile. They get themselves to our house. When my older kids were her age they did not have oodles of friends either. These things take time - something I know but she (naturally) doesn't. She does watch a fair bit of TV - I Carly, Hannah Montanna, Zack and Cody....while I do not think they talk up school, they do show a lot of peer interactions - and maybe it is giving her some false expectations.
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#8 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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WOW, she gets out and about w/ other kids much more than my dd1 did. But I, like you, felt like I was not meeting dd1's social needs. So I enrolled her in 1/2 day ps K. Its been a month of seeing the same 20 kids almost every day and she still has not made a friend. This could be for many different reasons, but I suspect mainly because they don't really get the chance to get to know the other kids and because she is just the kind of kid who is more interested in the projects than what everyone else is doing.
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#9 of 19 Old 10-07-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
When my older kids were her age they did not have oodles of friends either. These things take time - something I know but she (naturally) doesn't.
I think this is a good point. My third child often complains that the older kids get to go out more (she's too young to go out unsupervised, but her older brothers can), they have friends over more (but those friends are old enough to go out on their own), they have more activities (but they didn't do anything like these activities when they were her age), etc. In reality, she gets more social time with others than her older sibs did at her age, but she still feels left out.

Right now, I try to make sure that when she feels left behind, we have some good one-on-one time. Tricky, since usually the older sibs are off playing while I'm making dinner, but it's helping. She has asked about going to school, but I don't really think it would help. She goes to a Sunday school class each week; they are divided by age, like classes at school, and even with just the 3 or 4 other SK-aged girls in her class, there is major drama. Dd had a best friend for months, until dd had a birthday before the best friend did and was older. The best friend said she wouldn't be her best friend any more. They seem to have made up now, but there seems to be a lot of that going on, especially considering they're only together for two hours a week.

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#10 of 19 Old 10-07-2009, 08:18 AM
 
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Mine complain about playdates -- and they get PLENTY -- but want more. I just tell them it's unrealistic to think that on a weeknight, for example, when it's almost dark, that they can play with a friend every single time they want to. Sometimes I'm tired and just want to chill.

My daughter is almost 6. At 2:30 pm yesterday she started whining about wanting someone to play with (other than her sibling ... tsk tsk). I was trying to get something done (and she'd been out of the house all day incl. seen one of her buddies in home school orchestra). I said she really could hang on for 2 hours until gymnastics team, where they chat it up in line for 3 hours.

I think you are already meeting your child's social needs, and are not obligated, nor is it related to any kind of adult reality, to give your child the experience of friends on demand.
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#11 of 19 Old 10-07-2009, 09:22 AM
 
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My 7 yr old needs a lot of socializing. She went to public preK and K and had fabulous teachers, who i loved, she made friends but not what I would call best friends. In fact, some of her best friends are through homeschooling, dance and church.

I can't justify sending her to school so she can chat with kids and come home miserable everyday. She would have a good day according to her teacher but the bus ride home did her in. Plus, we wouldn't be able to go at her pace in reading, which is really one reason I chose to homeschool.

We get together with friends 3-4 days a week. I think that is a lot.

And no, you are not selfish. I trust my daughter to learn as she needs, to grow and develop as she needs but at some point I am her Mom and need to make some of the bigger choices for her. She gets input- just not the final decision.

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#12 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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#13 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 04:08 AM
 
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My DD has always been very social--she's turning 9 soon. I felt much the same way you did--more so b/c she is our only (God's choice). And I remember it being specifically hard during that age. It took time, but DD has learned to be content with the life we have. Afterall, b/c she is an only she has to learn to be content with herself. We were involved in all sorts of activities including a co-op. But I think that just made her hunger for more friendships. It seemed insatiable. I recall one day when she had 2 friends at our house for the whole day. The minute they left she asked me if she could knock on a neighbor girl's door to ask her to to play! To me, that confirmed that she was getting too attached to peers. (read the book "Hold on to your kids: why parents need to matter more than peers") So I made a concerted effort to bring our family closer and pay more attention to her. Friends have come and gone in her life and we're both praying for God to bring good friends for both of us. DH, DD and I have become a closer family. About 6 mos ago she started voraciously reading books by herself. She's been able to read for a few years, but wasn't interested in sitting by herself and absorbing books. I think that was born out of her need to find something to do with her free time. My belief is that God knows exactly what she needs and how she is wired and will make it all work for the good.
Hang in there and don't your DD off to ps to gain friendships. It is not the answer.
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#14 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Natural Mother - I can so relate to the part about your daughter wanting to knock on a friends door minutes after having a play date!

The incident that prompted this post was as follows: On Monday she had Brownies. She stayed 20 minutes late at brownies playing with another Brownie (the mom and I were chatting - and I did not want to leave as DD was having a lot of fun!). It turns out the other Brownie is open to playdates and lives nearby!

So...we get in the car and she complains she is lonely. She had just played with a child! And events like this are not uncommon - she plays with people a lot!

I do think she is insatiable - and I do think it is a combination of too much "friends culture" exposure from TV and her siblings friends.

She does not read books to herself yet (but she is very close ) and that may help.

I am also thinking that it is, perhaps, a spiritual issue - I want to help her learn that happiness comes from within.

In any event, she has not made one peep about lonliness since Monday. Sometimes when I am near a breaking point with an issue - "the issue" backs off. It is a great thing - as it gives me time to assess instead of being reactionary!
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#15 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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We have a similar dynamic to which I attribute being a 6 yo younger sister. She sees older brother's social life (which he did not have at 6) and it seems there is something about being 6yo that she wants social, social, social, and much like others have said, it is that kind of addictive insatiable kind.

I have observed this same thing with the girl across the street who goes to school, so I don't think school is the solution....I think learning to be self-satisfied is the solution.
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#16 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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I DO think you are meeting her social NEEDS... it's her social WANTS that sound pretty impossible! If you have some type of socialization going on as many days per week as you do, she'd pretty much have to have her friends move in to feel like she has 'enough' if you kwim??

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Moreover, I really do think her expectations are a little out of whack - and that she needs to learn to find happiness from within - and not from constantly wanting to hang out with others.
This is my take as well. TOO much time with peers leads to peer pressure, the need to conform and be like the group, and usually to attitude problems with family/parents. (oh I remember this well from my own childhool ) I had about 3-4good friends growing up, and that was in public school. And I was teased, made fun of because I was 'smart' and not into trends later. IMO, the craving for more peer time is not worth school. Really, she wouldn't get that much time socializing there anyway? Unless you count being in the same room as socializing?

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#17 of 19 Old 10-10-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Could also be an issue of having enough satisfying interactions, not just being with kids, kwim? My ds has always been an interaction hound, seemingly insatiable. He'll take any interaction he can get but he won't necessarily leave feeling satisfied and fulfilled because some kids don't play in the way he likes. Not that he isn't flexible. He'll do what the other kids want because sometimes the alternative is not having anyone to play with. But he doesn't leave those situations feeling like his socialization tank has been filled. He finally has a real friend this year, not just a playmate. It is so nice!

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#18 of 19 Old 09-21-2012, 09:15 PM
 
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Is there a low-cost after-school program or a YMCA nearby that you could send her to? I would also agree that it might be a question of quality socializing, which might not be helped by school anyway unless it allowed her to meet neighborhood kids that she could visit with after school. Not a whole lot of quality socializing happens at school. I never made any real friends at school until my senior year of high school myself. Do you attend a church of any kind? That might help.


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#19 of 19 Old 09-22-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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This thread is 3 years old:-) No wonder I didn't remember posting on it...


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