DS (nearly 7) just doesn't seem to have hit it off with any of his first grade classmates and I'm a little worried. He seems to play on his own a lot of the time. He seems happy enough and doesn't complain but I can't help worrying about him.
I suppose he's a little geeky. He likes listening to music, playing the piano, reading, chatting etc. He's as active as any other boy his age. He likes running around, climbing trees, swimming. He isn't into competitive sports. All the boys in his class play soccer all the time or do other stuff that he's just not interested in. For a while he seemed to be hanging out with the girls but now more and more he seems to be alone.
He is a pleasant caring child. He has a younger sister who he gets on well with. When he is playing in a group he's lively, cooperative and tries to resolve issues verbally. He's quite clever - he seems to be ahead of most of his classmates.
I could do with some advice. Part of me says as long as he's not complaining just leave it. Part of me wants to encourage him to talk about why he doesn't play with the others. Then again I wonder if I should speak to the school physchologist - but am I making too big a deal about it all. He is happy I just think he'd be happier if he had some good friends
I'm not sure what to suggest. I would describe my boys very much like you describe your son, with the exception that they have each other. They are homeschooled, so there is not (currently) pressure to socialize, but I worry about being left out once they are in school, which is predicted to be for 4th grade.
Perhaps with summer there is some non-sports related day camps you could have him participate in so as to branch out for friends?
you know i think children do friendships differently.
i think we expect too much about 'friendships' from our children.
i think children not having really close friends in primary elementary school is more of a norm than we think it is.
i think its only around 4th or 5th grade do they have the idea of what a true friend is. before that they struggle with even understanding friendship. i am your friend. you should play with me, not anyone else.
and esp. for a ahead of the curve child unfortunately sometimes their brain or hobbies isolate them - until they find kids like themselves.
i wouldnt worry too much about it. instead i would try to find some groups outside of school where he would enjoy stuff and share a common interest with the kids.
If dd was playing by herself I'd definetly engourage her to play with other kids only because I am not a v. social person myself. I do suffer from a form of anxiety. I am not the other extreme either but I wish I was more social and I say this because I've read several times how socializing is good for your overall health etc etc. It is something I do pay attention to. Like, I ask her from time to time who her friends are. For a long time I was getting that she didn't really like anyone to call them her friend. Nonone. Now she lists 4-5 kids as her friends. I am not v. pushy but as I said if she wasn't playing with others or making friends I'd give her a gentle push.
When we change then the world can change. This is the current task that we all have to be engaged in ~ Unknown
He might actually want to talk about it. He might like brainstorming ideas about how to join in with the other kids. Or he might want to start taking soccer lessons. Or he might prefer to be alone more often (introvert) and knowledge of this can settle your worries.
I agree with marsupial-mom. He may just be an introvert (I am, I can get along in social situations just fine but don't seek them out because I prefer to be alone) or he may welcome ideas on how to make friends.
I just saw this pop up on "recent posts", and just wanted to add my
I was an introverted child, like how you describe your son. And I am a pretty introverted adult too. I have friends, make friends easily, and am relatively comfortable being in social situations...but I am typically happy doing my own thing most of the time. Growing up my parents worried about this, since they wanted me to be more "popular" or "cool" or whatever, and that really had an effect on my self esteem. (the fact that I wasn't cool enough, or extroverted, etc). I like marsupialmom's suggestion of an open ended question to feel out whether or not he *wants* to be more social and just doesn't know how, or if he's just introverted. I can relate to wanting your child to be able to socialize easily (i have those same fears for my son too), but just from my experience growing up, i think that helping to foster *his* identity will give him enough security in himself that socializing when he needs to or wants to won't be an issue.
i also don't think it's that uncommon or detrimental if a child isn't interested in being social at that age. If *he* wants to be involved in more, then by all means nudging him in the right direction would be helpful. But be careful of making him feel that his behavior is weird, because I don't think it really is.
I totally understand where you are coming from, just wanted to say be careful about making him feel like he is weird for being introverted - that can cause him stress that *can* make socializing difficult. HTH!
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13
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