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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds goes to our local public school. It's a fine school, I love his teachers, and he's doing well academically. He enjoys school.<br><br>
However, I found out this week that he's choosing to go to the library during recess (before school and at lunch time). After a little digging, I'm pretty sure it's because he doesn't have anyone to play with. The cards are stacked against him in several ways:<br><br>
-There's an imbalance of girls and boys in his class (about 2/3 girls, 1/3 boys). Up until now, that's been OK, as he's had a couple of girls he's played with. One of his good friends moved last summer, and the other seems to be off doing other, more girly, things. Ds has not connected with any of the boys in his class.<br><br>
-There are significant cultural differences in the school (language based ones). In theory, this shouldn't make a difference, but in practice it does. The kids sorted themselves out in K and 1st grade when some of the kids didn't have great language skills and those divisions have stuck. The school does all it can for mixing the kids together.<br><br>
-Ds doesn't like to play sports, which is the one way of crossing boundaries (especially for the boys) at his school.<br><br>
-Ds is an introvert with weaker social skills. His friends at school have always been kids (girls) who've decided they want to play with him.<br><br><br>
Is there anything I can do to help? He's not unhappy, but he does sound a little embarrassed that he doesn't have anyone to play with at recess, so I wonder if it bothers him more than I realize. He's got 2 more years at this school before he moves on to middle school, and I'd like him to have a friend. (He's got neighborhood friends, but his current favorite playmate from the neighborhood doesn't go to his school.)
 

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Can the school help and form a group of kids with something task oreinted to do at recess time? I wonder if this would be a 'non-playing" way of getting the kids together, less threatening or competitive than sports.
 

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Could he or his teacher identify one or two kids he might be compatible with? And then you could schedule one on one playdates? That might foster a relationship that would carry over onto the playground.<br><br>
Catherine
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Could he or his teacher identify one or two kids he might be compatible with? And then you could schedule one on one playdates? That might foster a relationship that would carry over onto the playground.<br><br>
Catherine</div>
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I lilke this idea! That is what I would/will try if I ever encounter this issue with my son.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I've thought some more and sent a message asking for him to be put in chess for the after school program, and explaining why. I'm hoping he'll meet some fellow geeky kids there. He originally said he didn't want to do chess, so he didn't do it this fall, but I'm hoping he'll be able do it this winter.<br><br>
Playdates, unfortunately, are tricky. 80% of the kids come from Spanish speaking homes and I can't communicate with their parents. And, my experience has been that these kids don't do playdates. (They don't come to birthday parties when invited either.) I don't know if it's because culturally, you don't do that, or because they don't know us, or what. It's too late for me to learn enough Spanish to talk to the parents!<br><br>
Add to that the fact that 2/3 of the kids are girls, we have a total population of about 8-9 boys who might come for a play date. I'll ask his teacher this year (I asked last year without any success.) His teacher is pretty experienced and seems to 'get' ds better than last year's teacher did.<br><br>
Ideas welcome!
 

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The after school program sounds like a good idea!<br><br>
That's a shame about the language barrier, it would make things difficult. If there are any kids at all who seem like potential playdates, I'd invite them over. And I'd include girls! While my daughter may be off doing 'girly' things at lunch, she's always happy to have a 'friend-boy' over to play lego and Knex with. It just might not look like it at first glance while she's running with the girls at recess, but once she's hung out with a boy socially she usually loves playing tag and hide and go seek with them at lunch.
 

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I wonder if you can talk to both the teacher and school psychologist (if you have one) to make them aware and to come up with strategies that could help him. I would bet that they have experience helping kids with this kind of thing.<br><br>
My youngest is really struggling with social anxiety and coping at recess, and asking for this kind of help has been very beneficial. She's in kindy, so strategies that have helped her might not be appealing to a third grader.<br><br>
I think joining a club where he can meet kids who share a similar interest is an excellent idea.
 

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As a former "library kid" to be honest I would rather go to the librarian and see if s/he'd be willing to pair up the library kids for volunteering at the library together or a book club if there is enough kids.<br><br>
Some kids would rather hang out and read and aren't into recess. I don't think that's a fault!<br><br>
So I would not leave the librarian out of this equation, IME they can be more help than administration or teachers with something like this (since normally neither admin or teachers supervise recess).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the ideas. I have in the back of my mind to talk to the counselor at school, but I just haven't gotten around to it.<br><br>
I like the idea of talking to the librarian. I need to talk to her anyway, to get her help in terms of what ds should read after he's read all 120+ Boxcar Children Mysteries (he reads about 5 a week so he's well over 3/4 of the way done with the series). Maybe there is something more social he can do in the library, or maybe another fellow library kid he can hang out with.<br><br>
Part of the reason that I'm concerned, though, is that he's a kids who NEEDS the physical activity. I can tell the days when he doesn't go outside because he's bouncing off the walls at home and can't fall asleep at night.
 
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