Friends on the playground/Am I giving bad advice?

Lisa - posted on 02/17/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have two daughters, one in kindergarten and one in second grade. Both my girls complain about not having someone to play with at recess. I wouldn't describe either of my girls as particularly shy, nor are they bossy or hyper-active. When I have playdates with the other girls in their classes, the playdates always go just fine. So why can't they find friends to play with at recess?

I wonder if I give them bad advice. I always tell them to 1) look for kids who aren't playing with anyone else and invite them to play or 2) ask to play with other girls from your class. If I run down some possible girls, they usually have a story to tell like "I did play with Julie for awhile but then Julie wanted Michelle to play, so I didn't get to play anymore" or "Janie and Sherrie said they wanted to play by themselves."

Am I giving the wrong advice? I know that my husband and I really stress to our kids the importance of being nice to everyone and not leaving people out, so I wonder if I've created a situation where both my girls can't form individual bonds with people because they've always been taught not to create cliques.

I have asked their teachers about their social development with the other kids and both teachers say my children are well liked and are enjoyable in the classroom. What else should I do? I always hated feeling like I didn't have really close friends in grade school and I want something better for my kids.

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Sarah - posted on 02/17/2010

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I have a daughter that is in 2nd grade. One thing I found out listening to her talk is that often times she would come home saying that no one wanted to play with her. I too was concerned and just like your daughters mine is the much same in personality. As I started to ask her questions just about her day (not about who she played with) I started to realize that she DID really play with a lot of people that day. After her saying the same thing each day and me listening to her day each time I came to realize that when she said "no one wanted to play with me" would usually mean the person I wanted to play with at a certain particular time did not want to play at that moment (they may have played throughout the day, just not at that certain time or thing). I think it is just a girl thing. Boys tend to not go down that direction (I have a 6th grade boy and never had this issue until my daughter). Boys I think just don't care as much about who is playing with who. They are more into playing a certain thing and as long as they have people to play with they could careless who did not want to play at that time. I just started to ignore the "no one wanted to play with me" comment and focused more on her day. If by her describing her day it sounded like there might be a bigger issue than just the normal stuff then I would tune in more, otherwise we would just move forward.

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