First grade friendship issues... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-11-2008, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ds is in first grade. He has a number of 1st grade girls that he plays with. One of the little girls, B, has more or less monopolized him, and ds follows her around a bit like a sheep. For example, B has decided that she'd rather spend recess in the library coloring (a choice they have), but ds doesn't really want to.

When I ask him why he doesn't go out to recess and run around, he answers, "Well, B wants to go to the library." Ds and B don't have that many mutual interests, really. I think she likes to spend time with him because he's easy to boss around! (I'm not blaming her, it's just how she is, and she's exhibiting perfectly age-appropriate behavior for a 1st grade girl.)

He'd really like a friend with more mutual interests, but is pretty clueless about how to go about making a new friend, especially with B monopolizing his time. He's mentioned he'd like a boy to play with, but he has no boys in the neighborhood (really, they're all girls), or church (again 5 girls and ds), and even his 1st grade class is 6 boys and 17 girls!

When I ask about specific boys in class, he'll either say that he doesn't know what they do doing recess or "they play wall ball and I don't know how." I can give him suggestions on things to do ("you could go watch on the side for a bit, and see if you think you'd like to learn." "You could tell N that you'd like to learn and ask for his help."), but since I'm not THERE, I can't facilitate much.

How can I help him:
a) Not be quite so much of a sheep
b) develop friendships with kids who have more mutual interests (boy or girl, I don't care, but right now he doesn't have anyone who's a kindred spirit).

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#2 of 4 Old 03-11-2008, 09:17 PM
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My first thought is having practice conversations to show how it could look. I know when I have an important convo or even phone conversation, I think in advance about what I want to say, get my thoughts in order... Kids need this too and it's helpful to practice with an adult. Give him a few ideas and practice saying them- if he'll go for that. It sounds like you are already doing that a bit though. Good luck to your ds.
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#3 of 4 Old 03-12-2008, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
How can I help him:
a) Not be quite so much of a sheep
b) develop friendships with kids who have more mutual interests (boy or girl, I don't care, but right now he doesn't have anyone who's a kindred spirit).
Is there any way you could set up a playdate or two outside of school? That may help start things up and he will be more comfortable with joining in the games he wants to learn. Does he have any after school interests where he could meet a possible "kindred spirit". We live rurally and I have found that it takes more time to foster the friendships when you have siblings in tow and what not. Too much driving doesn't have a positive effect on my family, so we stick pretty close to home. My 1st grade DD has been to 4 bday parties in the past 4weeks all of which we spent almost 2hrs traveling back and forth. Oh the other thing I was wondering about, how tuned in are the teachers to your worries? Maybe they could also lend a hand at helping him join the other boys at recess...
Good luck to you mama
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#4 of 4 Old 03-12-2008, 02:47 PM
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I am not sure if this is any help, but here is what my very shy DS did when he was in first grade in a new school and all the boys in his class had already developed friendships. He never asked the boys the question, "Can I play with you?", I don't know why, but that way he didn't open himself up for rejection. He just played along side them, not trying to push his way in. After a few days, they got used to him being there and he managed to assimilate himself into their games easily. Granted, he is a very gifted soccer player, he is good at anything to do with balls and sports, and that is what most of the boys do at recess, so once he was comfortable enough to join in, he was readily accepted as part of the group. His teachers noticed this and thought it was a very effective strategy.

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